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Old Jun 20, 2013, 10:55 AM   #26
vrDrew
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Originally Posted by Happybunny View Post
The problem with tackling terrorism is You have to be lucky every time, they only have to be lucky once.
The corollary to this is the reality: Big time terrorism is hard to pull off.

It is very difficult to get one's hands on large quantities of high explosives. Its harder still to transport explosives and weapons without detection. And using weapons and explosives requires a high degree of technical skill. And pretty much any large-scale act of terrorism will require funding: to acquire materials, travel, lodging, transportation, etc.

All of these challenges can only, in all practicality, be met by some sort of organization. Which is inevitably going to be made up of individuals of varying degrees of skill; commitment to the "cause"; and ability to travel to the target site. (ie. You might have a very technically proficient bomb-maker living in the wilds of Yemen - but he's going to have a tough time getting through US immigration.)

Finding a single individual who is planning a terrorist act is very much like searching for the proverbial "needle in the haystack." An organization however is much, much easier to identify: There needs to be communication between its members. There is some sort of recruitment and training process. All of which create opportunities for a vigilant security and intelligence service to identify and locate them.

9/11 was, IMHO, literally a once in a lifetime event. The hijackers took advantage of a systemic weakness in our airline security strategy: Airline crew were briefed to give in to hijackers demands. (See this Wired article for the history of US hijacking. Between 1961 and 1973 almost 160 planes were hijacked in the US.)

Thanks to the airport security advances since 9/11 and, more importantly, the change to the way aircrew respond to hijack attempts, it is highly unlikely a mass casualty terrorist event involving commercial airliners will ever occur again. With airliners taken off the table, the opportunities for terrorists to create large-scale attacks are massively reduced.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 12:08 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
You need to look beyond the body count.

According to the NY Times, 9/11 costs total about $3.3 trillion dollars.
I wonder how much of that was self-inflicted, such as the cost of PRISM and other monitoring programmes.

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Originally Posted by MacNut View Post
The reason we were attacked on 9/11 was because out intelligence failed, not because there wasn't data on every American. Had the FBI and CIA done their jobs properly we would not have been attacked.
You forgot the whole of the air defense of the Eastern seaboard (FAA & NORAD).... fighters sent up unarmed (presumably with implicit orders to ram), fighters flying in the wrong direction, etc.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 12:32 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
A good question.

Since 1999 how many Americans have been killed by terrorism? (Answer, approximately 3000). How many have been killed by gun violence? 364,000.

So, even including the worst ever terrorist incident in US history, its still pretty clear that guns are a hundred times more likely to kill us than terrorists.
So what they're doing is effectively keeping the terrorist at bay. Now lets spend some money to fight the war on gun violence.

Of course, we know the real reason behind the so called war on terror has nothing to do with terrorist and everything to do with oil. We want oil, that's why we're stirring up the hornets nest in the Middle East. Once the oil runs dry, we'll group them with the Somali pirates and Rowanda warlords...an annoyance we can ignore. That or kill on sight; no capturing, no interrogation.

As for da Gub'ment spying on it's citizen. That has happen since the Cold War and the "Red Scare." I'm pretty sure the NSA has someone reading what we write on these forum. It wouldn't surprise me at all if an NSA agent shows up at my funeral and eulogizes, "Mousse was one of the most upstanding family man I've ever spied on. He never forgot a birthday or missed any of his kid's recitals. I've got the e-mail and phone recordings to prove it."
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 12:42 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
The corollary to this is the reality: Big time terrorism is hard to pull off.

It is very difficult to get one's hands on large quantities of high explosives. Its harder still to transport explosives and weapons without detection. And using weapons and explosives requires a high degree of technical skill. And pretty much any large-scale act of terrorism will require funding: to acquire materials, travel, lodging, transportation, etc.

All of these challenges can only, in all practicality, be met by some sort of organization. Which is inevitably going to be made up of individuals of varying degrees of skill; commitment to the "cause"; and ability to travel to the target site. (ie. You might have a very technically proficient bomb-maker living in the wilds of Yemen - but he's going to have a tough time getting through US immigration.)

Finding a single individual who is planning a terrorist act is very much like searching for the proverbial "needle in the haystack." An organization however is much, much easier to identify: There needs to be communication between its members. There is some sort of recruitment and training process. All of which create opportunities for a vigilant security and intelligence service to identify and locate them.

9/11 was, IMHO, literally a once in a lifetime event. The hijackers took advantage of a systemic weakness in our airline security strategy: Airline crew were briefed to give in to hijackers demands. (See this Wired article for the history of US hijacking. Between 1961 and 1973 almost 160 planes were hijacked in the US.)

Thanks to the airport security advances since 9/11 and, more importantly, the change to the way aircrew respond to hijack attempts, it is highly unlikely a mass casualty terrorist event involving commercial airliners will ever occur again. With airliners taken off the table, the opportunities for terrorists to create large-scale attacks are massively reduced.
I do agree that big acts of terror are hard.

But they don't have to do that any more.

Just look how 9/11 changed the US, Compare life in the US back in 1980's and now look, TSA at airports, DoH's wide ranging powers, the militarism of you police departments. NSA surveillance on the internet, drone attacks on US citizens. These are the things that we do know are happening. Do you honestly feel safer.

Two relatively small bombs in Boston and the whole city grinds to a halt.

It is now more a death from a thousand cuts. Every time an attack happens more and more layers of the security apparatus intrudes on your private life.

But in the back of everybody's mind is the thought that one day it will be a dirty bomb/ or maybe Sarin gas from post/liberated Syria.
Because you and I both know no security system is ever a 100%.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:02 PM   #30
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Point of clarification when you say
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
The Economist is off by ~27,000 on that one.
Do you mean body count? If so where do these extra 27,000 come from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
You need to look beyond the body count.

According to the NY Times, 9/11 costs total about $3.3 trillion dollars.
Ah but the question at hand is "did it have to cost that much?"

The breakdown from that link you posted is:
$55 Billion - Toll and Physical Damage
$123 Billion - Economic Impact
$589 Billion - Homeland Security, Related Costs
$1,649 Billion - War Funding, Related Costs
$867 Billion - Future War and Future Veterans' Care

So the cost of the attack was more like $178 Billion, the costs of "protecting against future attacks" (yes which can be highly argued over it's effectiveness or other goals) was $3,105 Billion or $3.1 of the $3.3 Trillion dollars you quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
So I'll start with that premise: security measures become questionable when they tangibly compromise the lives of innocent people.
I'm all for this, but I'd take it one step further: security measures become questionable when they breach the liberties of individuals the laws of the land are supposed to uphold.
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Last edited by Raid; Jun 20, 2013 at 01:08 PM.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:19 PM   #31
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Point of clarification when you say
Do you mean body count? If so where do these extra 27,000 come from?
The OP, quoted the Economist as asking, "would Americans give up their second-amendment rights if it were to save 3000 lives?"

According to the CDC, there were 31,672 firearm deaths in the United States in 2010. So the question really should be, "would Americans give up their second-amendment rights if it were to save 30,000 lives?"

That is where the "extra" 27,000 comes from.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raid View Post
So the cost of the attack was more like $178 Billion, the costs of "protecting against future attacks" (yes which can be highly argued over it's effectiveness or other goals) was $3,105 Billion or $3.1 of the $3.3 Trillion dollars you quote.
I understand how you can interpret it that way.

In this case I was presenting the information as is, and not necessarily endorsing it.

The bottom line I was putting forth is there was more damage beyond just the body count.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:49 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
You need to look beyond the body count.

According to the NY Times, 9/11 costs total about $3.3 trillion dollars.
Only about $150 billion of that is direct physical and economic damage, the rest didn't need to be spent.

EDIT: I see Raid has beaten me to it and has better maths skills!
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:41 PM   #33
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Top-secret documents show Fisa judges have signed off on broad orders allowing the NSA to make use of information 'inadvertently' collected from domestic US communications without a warrant
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/inte...s-nsa-document
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 03:33 PM   #34
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So what they're doing is effectively keeping the terrorist at bay. Now lets spend some money to fight the war on gun violence.

Of course, we know the real reason behind the so called war on terror has nothing to do with terrorist and everything to do with oil. We want oil, that's why we're stirring up the hornets nest in the Middle East. Once the oil runs dry, we'll group them with the Somali pirates and Rowanda warlords...an annoyance we can ignore. That or kill on sight; no capturing, no interrogation.

As for da Gub'ment spying on it's citizen. That has happen since the Cold War and the "Red Scare." I'm pretty sure the NSA has someone reading what we write on these forum. It wouldn't surprise me at all if an NSA agent shows up at my funeral and eulogizes, "Mousse was one of the most upstanding family man I've ever spied on. He never forgot a birthday or missed any of his kid's recitals. I've got the e-mail and phone recordings to prove it."
IMHO it has more to do with strategic placement of US forces. Would you sacrifice your rook to put your queen two moves from checkmate?

Last edited by GermanyChris; Jun 21, 2013 at 03:02 AM.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 06:02 PM   #35
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If your society starts to resemble V for Vendetta, no. (Not saying we currently do, but we are on the path.)
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Old Jun 21, 2013, 01:10 PM   #36
Raid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
The OP, quoted the Economist as asking, "would Americans give up their second-amendment rights if it were to save 3000 lives?"

According to the CDC, there were 31,672 firearm deaths in the United States in 2010. So the question really should be, "would Americans give up their second-amendment rights if it were to save 30,000 lives?"

That is where the "extra" 27,000 comes from.
Ah ok, well I think the Economist was taking the position that Americans aren't willing to give up 2nd amendment rights for 3,000+ killed, but seem to be giving up 4th amendment rights for the 3,000 killed on 9/11.

Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
The bottom line I was putting forth is there was more damage beyond just the body count.
Certainly there is many costs not even captured in the nytimes article... I guess my point (and part of the point in the The Economist article is that America's reaction to the attacks have cost $3.1 Trillion... which given the damage done might not be entirely rational or effective.

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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
EDIT: I see Raid has beaten me to it and has better maths skills!
Well you Brits have some strange ideas about maths!
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Old Jun 21, 2013, 01:17 PM   #37
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Only the plurality of them. Makes more sense, actually: you don't call it mathematic, do you?
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Old Jun 21, 2013, 01:30 PM   #38
citizenzen
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Ah ok, well I think the Economist was taking the position that Americans aren't willing to give up 2nd amendment rights for 3,000+ killed, but seem to be giving up 4th amendment rights for the 3,000 killed on 9/11.
Ah! I didn't make that connection.

Thank you for clarifying that for me.

It's a somewhat silly question though.

If they won't give up their 2nd Amendment rights to save 30,000 lives a year, it doesn't make sense that they'd give up those rights to save 3,000.
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Old Jun 21, 2013, 02:12 PM   #39
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The point is that they are willing to sacrifice their 4th Amendment rights for 3000 dead, but hang on to the 2nd in the face of 30000 dead.
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