An Open Letter to the Media and Politicians
I'd like to see a letter like this placed in the New York Times as a full page ad. (I have posted this to the scriptingNewsWTC mailing list a couple of hours ago but as of this writing, it has not appeared there yet.)
I think this next week is going to set the tone for the next five or ten years. Those of us who love freedom, and think that curtailing freedom will have no good effects and lots of bad effects, need to pull out all the stops. If we lose next week, it's going to be immensely difficult to ever recover.
Flash Worm Analysis
'In conclusion, we argue that a small worm that begins with a list including all likely vulnerable addresses, and that has initial knowledge of some vulnerable sites with high-bandwidth links, can infect almost all vulnerable servers on the Internet in less than thirty seconds.'
Steal a car in sixty seconds? Bah! Amateur stuff! You can steal the whole Internet in thirty! (Or so the authors claim, plausibly.)
They can't see why they are hated
'Nearly two days after the horrific suicide attacks on civilian workers in New York and Washington, it has become painfully clear that most Americans simply don't get it. From the president to passersby on the streets, the message seems to be the same: this is an inexplicable assault on freedom and democracy, which must be answered with overwhelming force - just as soon as someone can construct a credible account of who was actually responsible.'
Not related to my weblog but something that cannot be said enough. Spread this far and wide.
Perhaps if we all understand why this happened, we'll understand why cracking down on our freedoms isn't the answer.
Civil Liberty the Next Casualty?
'In the wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, scholars fear that Americans will sacrifice civil liberties that could be difficult to win back. Many civil liberties watchdogs say freedom in the United States have been slowly eroding for the past several decades. But they say Tuesday's attacks will redouble efforts by the government to infringe on civil freedoms, and now people won't resist.'
And a specific example of this can be seen in the Wired story Congress Mulls Stiff Crypto Laws.
I'm tired. The whole nation is tired right now. And it seems crass to take a massive tragedy of the kind that we just witnessed and twist it to fit into a particular agenda. I so don't want to do that.
But my hand is forced, and the only excuse I can give is the relatively weak "I didn't start it"... but I didn't. All I can do is console myself that however crass I may feel about talking about the World Trade Center attack in conjunction with the topics of this weblog...
... it totally pales in comparision to those in Washington who are using this attack to push their anti-American agenda of control, surveillence, and random knee-jerk reactions that trade liberty for not just illusory, but non-existent safety.
I do not wish this lightly on others, but to Senator Judd Gregg and everybody else who is using this tragedy to forward their own agenda to create a police state, an incomprehensibly-larger tragedy, I hope history judges you in the harshest of lights. Perhaps these people would do us the favor of moving to Afghanistan and living in a police state for a bit, not to taste their own medicine, but to remind them exactly what we must defend: Freedom. Liberty. Justice. All the things the world they are trying to build are missing.
It's just so crass to use the tragedy this way. I actually felt cautiously optimistic after seeing the US public pull together the way they did, but the events of the last couple of days are destroying my optimism and replacing it with despair and hopelessness instead. I begin to wonder if perhaps the terrorists were right, even if their actions were horribly, horribly wrong.
To all freedom-loving peoples, whether in the United States or elsewhere, I say to you: The problem is not freedom, the problem is terrorists.
What were they thinking?
Did the terrorists want to show us we were not invincible?
Did the terrorists want to remind us that we are not isolated from the world?
Did the terrorists want us to experience a revival of the American spirit?
Did the terrorists want our resolve to weaken?
It is not.
Did the terrorists want us to to come away from this stronger then we were?
Did the terrorists want to see how strong we really are?
Those who would attack the US accuse us of slumber... and they poke us with a giant stick. They accuse us of isolationism... and they bring the world to us. Whatever these terrorists were thinking, whatever it is they hoped to accomplish, we must and we will ensure that they will not have accomplished it.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
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