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How the Trump Administration Plans to Use the NYC Terrorist Attack As a Power Grab Printer friendly page Print This
By Dallas Darling
Submitted by Author
Saturday, Nov 4, 2017

“We need quick justice and we need strong justice-much quicker and much stronger than we have right now…Because what we have right now is a joke and it's a laughingstock.”
-President Donald Trump’s comments
on NYC terrorist attack, Nov. 1, 2017.

The headlines couldn’t have been more shocking. Indeed, “Bloodbath Manhattan” to “Driver Mows Down Pedestrians, Cyclists,” including “Terrorist Yells ‘Allahu Akbar,’” “Corridor of Death,” “Terrorist Goes on Killing Spree,” and “New York Terrorist Was Radicalized Domestically,” would’ve sent fear and dread through anyone.

But what’s just as alarming as the New York City terrorist attack is how the Trump Administration plans to use it to grab more power. To be sure, officials and far right groups are already calling for a number of chilling laws, oppressive laws that may not come to this land in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy, but in fighting its citizens.

Fear and Thoughtlessness Is the Essence of a Police State

Some officials are already pushing to expand the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF), which only gave the president authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against “those whom he determined planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks. In other words, they want to include “any” act of terror.(1)

They also want the same war-making powers-that’s often been used as a blank check-to include any U.S. citizen or group deemed to have committed a terrorist act.(2) This means such citizens would be tried as unlawful enemy combatants, with no rights to due process or Miranda Rights. Indefinite detentions, torture and Military Tribunals would apply too.

Ultimate End of Diverse Ideologies Is Always Totalitarian Thinking
In addition to reminding Americans that the U.S. is at war with radical Islam, the Trump Administration plans to use the NYC terrorist incident to attack diversity. To be sure, officials and pundits have already reminded Americans that as a Christian nation it’s at war with Islam, a “people compelled by their religious views to kill us all.”(3)

Islam is not the only thing under siege. So too is what the Trump Administration calls the “cult of diversity.” In addition to calling for an end to the Diversity Lottery Visa Program, which allowed the attacker to enter the country seven years ago, politicians and others who support a more diversified nation are also under attack.(4)

Don’t Give Me Your Tired and Poor-Only Those Like “Me”
Officials are renewing a call for more extreme vetting, vetting that includes more nations to be added to the travel ban. Not only will those sympathetic to terrorist groups be denied entry, but anyone “suspected” of having a hostile or foreign attitude towards the country. This includes issues like marriage, religion, sex, or a “lack of shared values.”(5)

Not surprisingly, the Trump Administration and pundits are also suggesting social programs be slashed to fund and maintain a more secure nation. Indeed, some are calling for more cuts in welfare and education while also eyeing Medicare and Medicaid. Some sources even say that Social Security, too, has been proposed to face the chopping block.

Big Brother Is Watching
Don’t be surprised either if multiple agencies systems and databases that complete checks against various U.S. security databases and conduct interviews are expanded. With such high profile attacks, this will include Artificial Intelligence (AI) checks and biometric and biographic checks at multiple points throughout the process, including in the U.S.

What‘s more, the Trump Administration is already working to expand the Department of Homeland Security systems and the FBI’s National Counterterrorism Center/FBI's Terrorist Screening Center. With the Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Defense, AI will be checking facial expressions and behaviors for “high risk” targets.

Age of Faith or Schizophrenia?
George Orwell warned that “Totalitarian, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia.” Whether or not a Trumpian World overtakes the United States will be dependent on a Congress, Supreme Court and, of course, informative and active citizens. Citizens that cling to truth and liberty and not tyranny or absolute power.

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John’s Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for You can read more of Dallas’ writings at and

(1) “Trump Administration Does Not Want Limits on War Authorization,” by Patricia Zengerle and Idrees Ali. October 30, 2017.
(2) “NYC Truck Attacker Should Be Held as ‘Enemy Combatant,’ Graham Says,” by Jane C. Timm. November 1, 2017.
(3) “NYC Truck Attacker Should Be Held as ‘Enemy Combatant,’ Graham Says,” by Jane C. Timm. November, 2017.
(4) “After New York Attack, Trump Calls for Ending ‘Diversity Lottery Visa Program,’” by David Jackson., November 1, 2017.
(5) “Trump Calls for ‘Extreme Vetting’ after NYC Attack,” by Josh Delk. October 31, 2017.

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