On September 11th 2001 the World changed forever, the image of those passenger planes flying into the New York twin towers, followed by the images of them both collapsing will live with almost everyone in the Western world as long as they live. The civilised world were rightly outraged, someone must be punished, within days we not only had the name of the organisation behind the attacks, but all of the hijackers names as well. The free world would not sit back and let such an atrocity (which it was) stand unpunished.
The War on Terror (also known as the Global War on Terror or the War on Terrorism) is an ongoing international military campaign led by the United States of America and the United Kingdom with the support of other NATO and non-NATO countries. The campaign was launched in 2001 with the US/UK invasion of Afghanistan in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since then, other operations have commenced, the largest being the War in Iraq, beginning with a 2003 invasion. Originally, it was waged against al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with the purpose of eliminating them.
The phrase War on Terror was first used by former US President George W. Bush and other high-ranking US officials to denote a global military, political, legal and ideological struggle against organizations designated as terrorist and regimes that were accused of having a connection to them or providing them with support or were perceived, or presented as posing a threat to the US and its allies in general. It was typically used with a particular focus on militant Islamists and al-Qaeda.
Although the term is not officially used by the administration of President Barack Obama (which instead uses the term Overseas Contingency Operation), it is still commonly used by politicians, in the media and officially by some aspects of government, such as the Army’s Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
The notion of a “war on terror” has been criticized for lacking a defined and identifiable enemy, thus making it a potential framework for perpetual military action pursuing other goals.
The George W. Bush administration defined the following objectives in the War on Terror:
1. Defeat terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and destroy their organizations
2. Identify, locate and destroy terrorists along with their organizations
3. Deny sponsorship, support and sanctuary to terrorists
4. End the state sponsorship of terrorism
5. Establish and maintain an international standard of accountability with regard to combating terrorism
6. Strengthen and sustain the international effort to fight terrorism
7. Work with willing and able states
8. Enable weak states
9. Persuade reluctant states
10. Compel unwilling states
11. Interdict and disrupt material support for terrorists
12. Eliminate terrorist sanctuaries and havens
13. Diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit
14. Partner with the international community to strengthen weak states and prevent (re)emergence of terrorism
15. Win the war of ideals
16. Defend US citizens and interests at home and abroad
17. Implement the National Strategy for Homeland Security
18. Attain domain awareness
19. Enhance measures to ensure the integrity, reliability, and availability of critical physical and information-based infrastructures at home and abroad
20. Integrate measures to protect US citizens abroad
21. Ensure an integrated incident management capability
US Patriot Act 2001
The USA PATRIOT Act (commonly known as the “Patriot Act”) is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the Act is a contrived three letter initialism (USA) preceding a seven letter acronym (PATRIOT), which in combination standing for:
Act of 2001.
It doesn’t mean what most people assume it must mean.
The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.
The Act was passed by wide margins in both houses of Congress and was supported by members of both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Opponents of the law have criticized its authorization of indefinite detentions of immigrants; searches through which law enforcement officers search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s permission or knowledge; the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order; and the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to business records, including library and financial records. Since its passage, several legal challenges have been brought against the act, and Federal courts have ruled that a number of provisions are unconstitutional.
Many of the act’s provisions were to sunset beginning December 31, 2005, approximately 4 years after its passage. In the months preceding the sunset date, supporters of the act pushed to make its sunsetting provisions permanent, while critics sought to revise various sections to enhance civil liberty protections. In July 2005, the U.S. Senate passed a reauthorization bill with substantial changes to several sections of the act, while the House reauthorization bill kept most of the act’s original language. The two bills were then reconciled in a conference committee that was criticized by Senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties for ignoring civil liberty concerns.
The bill, which removed most of the changes from the Senate version, passed Congress on March 2, 2006, and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on March 9 and 10, 2006.
Since the awful events of 9/11 many people have started questioning the official story of the events, including architects, structural engineers, aircraft pilots, military experts, firefighters and many others. George Bush stated that you were either with the terrorists or against them, making anyone questioning the official story appear to be supportive of terrorism, a technique deployed in the global warming “debate” to stifle debate. There are now many books written questioning the official events and video’s on YouTube and elsewhere. We would all like to think these conspiracy theories are wrong, that our governments could never conspire to kill their own citizens, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Many of the questions being asked could be easily answered without compromising national security, but instead the authorities stick to absurd and plainly wrong explanations that do nothing to expel doubt.