Terrorism as Propaganda

Today’s Drudge headline for the last several hours has been “TERROR SCARE IN KANSAS” and the link takes you to an NBC News story proclaiming that “Feds say they disrupted suicide bomb plot by worker at Wichita airport.” For the 90 percent of readers who don’t make it past the headlines, the impression is that terrorism remains an ever-present danger from which our ever-vigilant government is protecting us, but for those who look a little deeper, the story is much different.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom claims that Terry Lee Loewen, the 58-year-old avionics technician and now terrorism suspect who was arrested today, ‘became radicalized after reading extremist Islamic material on the internet.’ What he doesn’t say so explicitly is that the ‘radicalization’ process was helped along by FBI agents who made contact with Loewen online while pretending to by philosophical allies and who fomented the alleged “bomb plot” that the government is now claiming to have disrupted.

The only problem with that story is that the “bomb plot” involved no actual explosives and was essentially another false-flag event designed to convince Americans that ‘terrorism’ remains a perilous threat from which only government agents can save them…. if they can find the time in between inventing the terrorist plots themselves. As in so many other cases, the FBI agents found a frustrated individual who they strung along and carefully coached into attempting an attack that would never actually occur. The FBI readily admits that ‘the suspect was under constant surveillance and at no time was the public in danger.’

Would Loewen have ever actually carried out a real attack if agents of the state weren’t actively inciting him along the way? We’ll never know for sure, of course, but I’d wager the answer is probably no. Even if he was truly inclined to do harm to innocents, perhaps the agents could have tried to deescalate the situation and help Loewen get past his anger instead of goading him into attempting an attack and supplying him with dummy explosives. But what good would that story have done for the state’s unrelenting propaganda campaign?


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Parrish Miller has worked as a web designer, policy analyst, blogger, journalist, digital media manager, and social media marketing consultant. Having been largely cured of his political inclinations, he now finds philosophy more interesting than politics and is focused particularly on alternative ideas such as counter-economics, agorism, voluntaryism, and unschooling.