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The Use of FUD in the FISA Debate

As I've mentioned on a few occasions recently (see here, here, and here), FISA reform, such as in the form of the so-called "Protect America Act," is very bad for this country, in terms of privacy, national security, and civil liberties. I wanted to spend a little time, however, exploring this concept of "FUD" and why it's a dangerous argument.

Bush and his cronies would have you believe that FISA reform is essential to the future of this country. According to this Think Progress posting, they've argued that failure to expand FISA, making it easier for warrantless wiretapping, and providing retroactive immunity for telecoms (which may, in and of itself, be unconstitutional), is essential to national security. However, their arguments are based on FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The arguments are largely void of any actual content or reality, relying strictly on fearmongering to further their own political agendas. Incidentally, these are agendas that appear to be designed to undermine the US Constitution, propping up these corrupt "neo-conservative" leaders, who are fully committed to their corporate lobbyist masters.

FUD is a form of terrorism. It's a form of argument that is based on sowing fear, preying on uncertainty and doubt. Someone using FUD is hoping that you will be so afraid, you'll be willing to part with your money, your freedom, and your common sense. You may question this characterization, but consider this definition of terrorism:

ter·ror·ism /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ter-uh-riz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
As is self-evident from this definition, the use of FUD to prop up an argument is, itself, a form of terror. It seeks to further an agenda through intimidation and coercion. More importantly, when a person or organization resorts to the use of FUD to argue a point, one should assume that their position is extremely weak, possibly to the point of being indefensible. What does this mean? It means that you should refute and oppose that argument on the grounds that it does not take peoples' best interests into consideration.

So, the bottom line here is this: Refuse to be Terrorized! When you hear arguments based on FUD, expose them for what they are: blatant attempts at terrorism.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 28, 2008 3:28 PM.

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