The first targeted attacks launched by the White House against “nests of terrorists” within the US were presented as “surgical.” However, many of these nests were located in heavily populated zones, and there was inevitable “collateral damage” which the Presidential spokesperson “regretted” while placing the blame on a “handful of terrorists, outside agitators, foreign agents and malcontents” behind the disorders. Speaking of Cleveland, Ohio, Air Force General Mike Megabom was quoted as saying: “We had to destroy it to save it.”
Radio-TV transmitter towers and occupied broadcasting studios were immediately secured. There was to be no live coverage of the Cleveland crater, the burning of Los Angeles, the mass arrests in San Francisco, the Chicago massacre. Yet within hours pictures and reports were criss-crossing the nation via the Internet, that elastic, near-indestructible electronic web originally developed (irony!) by the US military to preserve its command network in case normal communications were interrupted by a Russian atomic attack. Now this abandoned military project turned out to be a formidable weapon for democracy. Uncensored, unedited reports gathered from all over the country and posted on various information sites kept the people informed. The government’s credibility fell to zero. Shocking images and first-hand accounts spoke for themselves. The whole foundation of Americans’ faith in their government had collapsed. Where to turn?