Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Strategy of Tension (Part 2)

WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday the United States "will remain vigilant as a nation" following the terrorist bombing attack at the Boston Marathon., 4-20-13
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“Similar but rather less drastic methods were used during the Korean War on military prisoners. In their Chinese camps the young Western captives were systematically subjected to stress. Thus, for the most trivial breaches of the rules, offenders would be sum­moned to the commandant's office, there to be ques­tioned, browbeaten and publicly humiliated. And the process would be repeated, again and again, at any hour of the day or night. This continuous harassment produced in its victims a sense of bewilderment and chronic anxiety. To intensify their sense of guilt, pris­oners were made to write and rewrite, in ever more intimate detail, long autobiographical accounts of their shortcomings. And after having confessed their own sins, they were required to confess the sins of their companions. The aim was to create within the camp a nightmarish society, in which everybody was spying on, and informing against, everyone else.”
 --Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (Chapter Seven), 1958
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“The Nebraska State Patrol is reminding citizens to remain vigilant in the wake of the tragic and senseless acts of violence which have taken place in Boston.
“‘We join the nation in condemning these acts of terror on the American public,’ said Colonel David Sankey, superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. ‘We encourage our citizens to continue to help keep our communities safe by reporting suspicious activity.’
“Nebraskans can report suspicious activity through the Nebraska Information Analysis Center website.
“Using the ‘Suspicious Activity Reporting’ link citizens will access the SAR portal which opens a detailed questionnaire for the reporting party to provide information on suspicious activities or events they believe should be shared with law enforcement.
“Colonel Sankey said, ‘We believe Nebraskans are observant and have good instincts. The SAR tool provides them another avenue in which to make law enforcement aware of their concerns.’
“The Nebraska State Patrol reminds citizens that emergency situations or situations which require immediate action should be reported to 911.
“Nebraskans can find additional Homeland Security Information by visiting the NIAC website ‘Eight signs of Terrorism’ link.
“’Our Agency remains vigilant in its responsibilities to protect and serve the people of Nebraska. We encourage our citizens to remain vigilant as well,’ Sankey said., 4-16-13
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“To these mental stresses were added the physical stresses of malnutrition, discomfort and illness. The increased suggestibility thus induced was skilfully exploited by the Chinese, who poured into these abnormally recep­tive minds large doses of pro-Communist and anti-capi­talist literature. These Pavlovian techniques were re­markably successful. One out of every seven American prisoners was guilty, we are officially told, of grave collaboration with the Chinese authorities, one out of three of technical collaboration.”
--Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (Chapter Seven), 1958
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“No matter how far away, we all felt the blast of Oklahoma City.
“Then the World Trade Center. The Pentagon. And now, Boston.
“Shock, confusion, sadness, fear, anger.
“We felt them all in our gut; we didn’t have to breathe the dust. But some people have to do more than stare at a TV and cry and cuss. Because if a little boy can die waiting for family friends to cross the finish line of a race on a beautiful day in April, it can happen anywhere.
“On Monday, as timing would have it, a group of Kansas City area police, fire and emergency response officials were meeting at Mid-America Regional Council when two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon.
“Three dead, including that 8-year-old boy. More than 170 injured. Limbs blown off, bones splintered. Horror on bloody faces of people who didn’t know they were fighting a war.
“Everybody at that table in Kansas City asked themselves: Are we ready?
“’It’s a reminder of the uncertain times we live in and how critical it is to remain vigilant and to be prepared,’ Erin Lynch, emergency services and homeland security program director at MARC, said Tuesday […]
“The area’s law enforcement officials share a culture forged by Oklahoma City and 9/11, said Tom Dailey, Independence police chief and a member of MARC’s Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee.
“’We have had a whole generation of police officers come on since 9/11,’ said Dailey […].
“Terrorism is crime on steroids, and we have developed an inventory of behaviors and activities that often occur before terrorist acts,” Dailey said.
--“Boston Marathon Bombing Is a Sad Reminder ‘To Remain Vigilant,’”, 4-16-13
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It must not be supposed that this kind of treatment is reserved by the Communists exclusively for their enemies. The young field workers, whose business it was, during the first years of the new regime, to act as Communist missionaries and organizers in China's in­numerable towns and villages were made to take a course of indoctrination far more intense than that to which any prisoner of war was ever subjected. In his China under Communism R. L. Walker describes the methods by which the party leaders are able to fabri­cate out of ordinary men and women the thousands of selfless fanatics required for spreading the Communist gospel and for enforcing Communist policies. Under this system of training, the human raw material is shipped to special camps, where the trainees are com­pletely isolated from their friends, families and the outside world in general. In these camps they are made to perform exhausting physical and mental work; they are never alone, always in groups; they are encouraged to spy on one another; they are required to write self-accusatory autobiographies; they live in chronic fear of the dreadful fate that may befall them on account of what has been said about them by in­formers or of what they themselves have confessed.”
--Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (Chapter Seven), 1958
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“It has become a depressingly familiar story in the digital age. An alleged sexual assault occurs. Images brazenly are shared electronically. Reputations are destroyed and, in some cases, a humiliated teen even takes his or her own life.
“That horrifying chain of events played out shortly after school started in the fall when 15-year-old Audrie Pott, of Saratoga, committed suicide eight days after police say she was assaulted by three boys, who were arrested last week on suspicion of sexual battery and distribution of unlawful material in a case that has sparked national outrage.
“Audrie's death is only the latest in a series of cyber-related tragedies fueling a debate about the negative effects of social media -- especially on kids who are anxious to live their lives through electronic devices but unprepared to deal with the sometimes harsh consequences.
‘A Canadian teen, who allegedly was gang-raped and then horrified to see a photo of the incident circulating among friends, was taken off life support last week after trying to hang herself. Last month, two Steubenville, Ohio, high school football stars were convicted of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl -- an assault that came to light when digital photos were distributed.
‘’You look at these cases and see how similar they are, and you wonder what's happening in our society right now,’ said Parry Aftab, founder of advocacy group Stop Cyberbullying. ‘Something new and terrible is occurring. Why do otherwise normal kids rape people and then brag about it online for cyberglory? These kids are setting off bombs online, and then they explode offline.’
‘Instant communication on cellphones has become increasingly important to teenagers. And teens can have the attitude that if they don't post something on Facebook, then it didn't actually happen. But the full implications of that technology also can be lost on them, and Audrie's death is yet another cautionary tale about the perils of social media.
“’As much as the original rape of this young girl was a violation of her soul, you could argue that the suicide was motivated by the public humiliation of the photos rather than the private humiliation she suffered at the party,’ said Dr. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children's Hospital. ‘The rape was repeated every time someone passed those photos on. It sure sounds like that's what led her to feel her life was worthless, not the rape itself.’
“The photos going viral, according to accounts provided by authorities and family attorney Robert Allard, only magnified the teen's emotional pain -- and ultimately became too much to bear.
“Audrie, who played musical instruments, loved to sing and enjoyed playing soccer, attended an unsupervised house party Labor Day weekend. Audrie had passed out drunk when she was assaulted by three Saratoga High students, police say.
“Allard said digital photos ‘spread like wildfire’ among students, and that seems to be reflected in a series of tortured Facebook postings by Audrie in the days before her Sept. 10 death, including one describing the ‘worst day in her life.’
“It was only after her death that a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy assigned to the school began hearing whispers about the sharing of the images and that her parents became aware of the assault.
“Tina Meier knows first-hand what the Pott family has been going through the past seven months. Her 13-year-old daughter, Megan Meier, committed suicide in 2006 after the teen was embarrassed by a cruel Internet hoax where a friend's mother pretended to be a boy who liked her.
“’I'm sure this girl knew that she didn't have control over those images and what was being said about her,’ said Meier, who founded the Megan Meier Foundation. ‘Kids many times feel that the things that they hear are what everybody is going to believe, and that there's no way out.’
“Just turning off the cellphone or computer is not a solution, she said.
“’Social media is the way that teenagers communicate today,’ Meier said. ‘It's their whole life, and when you're pushed aside and humiliated in that world, it's truly devastating for them. Kids are conditioned to have their cellphones with them everywhere and even go to bed with them. They set up alerts that ding anytime there's a message. It's a vicious, 24-hour cycle that they can't get away from.’
“The circumstances of Audrie's death quickly gained national attention in part because of two other high-profile cases. Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was removed from life support on April 7 after a suicide attempt. She was depressed over being allegedly raped and bullied by four boys in November 2011 when she was 15. She reportedly had been tormented at school after a photo allegedly showing her having sex with a boy was circulated among friends' mobile phones and computers.
“In March, two Ohio football stars were convicted of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl -- an attack that came to light when digital photos of the naked 16-year-old were distributed digitally.
But David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, said it's wrong to place the blame with technology
“Instead, he said: ‘Kids feel like they can commit these kinds of acts and maybe even get away with them.’
“Rape among teenagers, he added, has decreased substantially since the 1990s and cellphones even might be part of the reason for that drop. That's why he calls the issue of technology ‘complicated’ when discussing sexual assaults.
“’If someone knows their images could be out there because everyone is carrying around smartphones, they will be fearful of committing a crime,’ Finkelhor said. ‘The problem with sexual-assault crimes always has been that it can be his word vs. her word. So while an image of what happened can be tremendously humiliating, it also can identify the offenders and lead to convictions.’
“Aftab has a different view. She believes once technology becomes involved, young people can lose a sense of empathy. She theorizes that whomever took the alleged images might be teens who feel like they're the stars of a reality television show. Teens who viewed and then disseminated the photos become the audience.
“’It's not just the plain, old, horrible crime of rape,’ said Aftab, an Internet privacy and security expert. ‘The cyberworld has a different reality as far as kids are concerned. It's not real life. For them, it's a show and not a rape of someone their own age. It's almost as if entertainment has taken over their humanity.’
“The Pott family has been public about the circumstances of Audrie's death in hopes it can prevent further tragedies and lead to an ‘Audrie's Law’ to better address cyberbullying that follows sexual assaults.
“Rich isn't sure if changes in the law are the answer, but he's convinced there needs to be changes in societal attitudes.
“’We need to reframe the whole act, including the photos, as rape because that's exactly what it is,’ he said.
--“Saratoga Girl’s Suicide Fuels Cyberbullying Debate,”, 4-13-13
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“After about six months of this kind of thing, prolonged mental and physical stress produces the results which Pavlov's findings would lead one to expect. One after another, or in whole groups, the trainees break down. Neurotic and hysterical symptoms make their appearance. Some of the victims commit suicide, others (as many, we are told, as 20 per cent of the total) develop a severe mental illness. Those who survive the rigors of the conversion process emerge with new and ineradicable behavior patterns. All their ties with the past -- friends, family, traditional decencies and pieties -- have been severed. They are new men, re-created in the im­age of their new god and totally dedicated to his serv­ice.”
--Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (Chapter Seven), 1958
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“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told lawmakers Wednesday that there is ‘no current indication’ that the deadly Boston Marathon bombings earlier this week were a part of a larger plot but she urged the American people ‘to remain vigilant’ in light of the explosions.
“’There is no current indication to suggest the attack was indicative of a broader plot,’ Napolitano said at a Senate committee hearing on the Department of Homeland Security's 2013 budget requests. ‘But out of an abundance of caution we continue to keep in place enhanced security measures, both seen and unseen, in coordination with federal, state and local partners. We continue to urge the American public to remain vigilant and immediately report any signs of suspicious activity to local law enforcement.’”
--“Napolitano:  ‘No Current Indication’ Boston Bombing Was Part Of Bigger Plot,”, 4-17-13
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“Brainwashing, as it is now practiced, is a hybrid technique, depending for its effectiveness partly on the systematic use of violence, partly on skilful psychologi­cal manipulation. It represents the tradition of 1984 on its way to becoming the tradition of Brave New World. Under a long-established and well-regulated dic­tatorship our current methods of semiviolent manipula­tion will seem, no doubt, absurdly crude.”
--Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (Chapter Seven), 1958

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