Re: Olympic Terrorism

Craig Johnson (
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 13:10:07 -0400

> From Mon Jul 29 12:23 EDT 1996
> X-Sender: seanc@ (Unverified)
> Mime-Version: 1.0
> Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 15:08:58 +0000
> To:
> From: (Sean Clark)
> Subject: Olympic Terrorism
> Sender:
> The posting about the Olympic runner reminded me of a question I had been
> wanting to ask. What is the real US reaction to the recent terrorist
> activity at the Olympics? Our press portrys your public as having a shocked
> 'how could it happen here' attitude and a growing paranoia over the 'enemy
> within'. Is this the case?
I think the press colors the incidents and the reactions for the best dramatic effect rather than being concerned with accuracy. While the victims and their families may certainly feel shocked, I think the public at large feels it is somewhat distant from their everyday lives. Nobody at work is even talking about. People have lot more resiliency than the media ever give them credit for. Besides terrorism is really nothing new here. Remember the Boston Tea Party. The assasination/attempted assisinations of several presidents, the Weathermen in the 70's, the Ku Klux Klan, the World trade Center bombing, the Kansas City bombing, the list goes on and on. All these things meet the definition of terrorism as put forth by William Session, former director of the FBI - "violence or the threat of violence to further political or social goals'. The only difference is the international character of some of the violence

> Also, given that these terrorists seem to come from anti-government
> factions (albeit violent and extreme ones) should those who hold
> Libertarian/Extropian/Anarco views be concerned that the media will begin
> to 'tar them with the same brush'?

Frequently governments use the promise of security as means of increasing their power base. Sometimes this works; sometimes not. In the case of the 'War on Drugs' it worked quite well - to a point. There is now considerable backlash because of this. My guess is that any push toward totalitarianism will result in a greater backlash whatever the media position. Nonetheless, there will be additional legislation that limits individual freedom in the name of fighting terrorism. This is more worthy of concern then the media's portrayal.

> Sean
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