Orlando Shooting

America Needs a New, Decentralized Counter Terrorism Paradigm in the Wake of the Orlando Tragedy

Giving more draconian powers to intelligence bureaucracies will make us less free, not more safe


The popular wisdom on both the left and the right is that the Orlando massacre represented an intelligence failure. And how does one deal with this failure? By

cometstarmoon via Foter.com / CC BY

rewarding it, of course, and giving FBI even more draconian surveillance and spying powers – if Hillary Clinton's proposals and Republican legislation is any indication.

But I note in The Week today that Orlando's lesson isn't just that our intelligence systems failed. It's that they cannot succeed. To blame the FBI for not stopping the tragedy is to blame it for not being able to delve into the minds of citizens and pre-empting pre-crimes, The Minority Report-style. It shows that we have not fully grokked the nature of the modern-day terrorism that has evolved from being controlled by state actors to Al Qaeda cells to lone wolves.

A counter-terrorism model that wants to empower central bureaucrats to put away people with bad motives won't make us more safe, just less free. We need a paradigm shift and decentralize our terrorism-fighting capacities. That means, among other things, encouraging private entities like clubs, malls, movie theaters, and other places where people gather to take charge of their own security.

Go here for the whole piece.