Det er Gary Younges konklusion i hans indlæg i dagens Guardian. “Bush’s anti-terror strategy was not about protecting people but about scaring them“:
When it actually came down to it, to forestall a near-calamitous terrorist atrocity in the US the authorities didn’t even have to go in search of information or informants. The alleged terrorist’s father came to the US embassy in Nigeria of his own free will and warned them that his son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had disappeared and could be in the company of Yemeni terrorists.
Meanwhile the National Security Agency had heard that al-Qaida in Yemen was planning to use an unnamed Nigerian in an attack on the US. If that were not enough, then came Abdulmutallab himself, a 23-year-old Nigerian bound for Detroit who bought his ticket in cash, checked in no bags and left no contact information. For seven years the American state manipulated the public with its multicoloured terror alerts. But when all the warning lights were flashing red, it did nothing.
To brand this near miss a “systemic failure”, as Barack Obama has done, is both true and inadequate. It reduces the moral vacuity, political malevolence and enduring strategic recklessness that has been the enduring response to the 9/11 attacks to a question of managerial competence.
Hvis den manglende afsløring af den nigerianske bombemand in spe skulle betegnes som en “systemfejl”, ville det jo nemlig forudsætte, at hele terror- og advarsels- og sikkerhedssystemet ikke havde virket efter sin hensigt – men det er helt forkert.
“Krigen mod terror” har fungeret helt fejlfrit. Dens formål er bare ikke at fange terrorister, men at opskræmme befolkningen, så den bliver lettere at kontrollere og de bitre kontrol- og overvågningspiller bliver lettere at få til at gå ned. At sådan en Abdulmutallab kan slippe igennem, er vel nærmest at betragte som en ekstra bonus, der kan bruges som påskud for yderligere skærpelser og stramninger, så skruen kan drejes endnu en tand, mens vi venter på det næste påskud til at skære endnu en skive af vores frihed.