Some good friends on the Right and many nutcases on the Left are raising issues about our privacy in the wake of reports that the feds are listening in on cell phones and reviewing e-mails in the war on terrorism.
OK, it’s not fair to accuse the ACLU of acting insane. Can I suggest instead that they suffer from selective prosecution? They were clearly AWOL during the Clinton years of Ruby Ridge, Waco, FBI investigations of peaceful militia groups and abortion clinic protestors. They also remained silent when a federal agency SWAT-trooper in full riot gear pointed an automatic military assault rifle at a little boy named Elian Gonzales.
The same type of domestic surveillance took place during the Clinton years, but somehow the ACLU missed it. Our sources in the Defense Intelligence Agency and on Capitol Hill tell us that the Defense Department based D.I.A. gathered information about U.S. persons — American citizens — while they trained their data sweeping machines on sources, trying to develop information about terrorists’ plans.
This happened during the Clinton years of "purity," apparently admired by the ACLU.
Back then, members of the Able-Danger unit made up of military officers and private contractors discovered the existence of a terrorist cell that included the 9/11 lead hijacker, Mohammad Atta. However, the information was useless because they were unable to notify the FBI about these potential terrorists or what they might be planning. This was because of incompetent Clinton policies. Clinton is gone, but too many of the incompetent bureaucrats he brought with him remain.
And now, they are attacking members of Able-Danger for revealing the truth!
The feds were also aware — through efforts of Able-Danger — that the U.S. Navy warship Cole was about to be attacked. Again, nervous bureaucrats could not find a way to warn the captain. Able Danger found out about the attack listening to conversations or reviewing documents, presumably without a warrant.
Warrant or no warrant, what they discovered made no difference.
These intelligence failures and the controversial methods of data collection will soon be revealed in hearings on Capitol Hill by interested members of the various House committees.
It’s anticipated that these revelations will bring even more discredit to the 9/11 Commission and its flimsy report. Apparently, members of this commission were made aware of the Able-Danger discovery of Atta, as well as the imminent attack on the U.S.S. Cole. However, they ignored this critical evidence. Instead, they behaved much like the ACLU, presenting data which reinforced their agenda to make the Bush Administration look bad and the Clinton Administration look more competent than it really was.
The commission missed the bigger question: Can the federal government ever get its act together on terror threats or anything else that’s important to its citizens?
Which brings me to the rationale for wiretapping and watching American citizens by the hundreds of thousands — to investigate anyone they think is engaged in suspicious activity. Let’s begin by wiretapping and watching the real bad guys (at the nation’s airports, for example), and then they can tell us what additional freedoms they would have us give away.
Why do I have the feeling that we’re being told we must give up more simply because the federal government refuses to institute needed reforms to guarantee more excellence? There still is no evidence of accountability or competence, and excellence in the federal workplace is hardly mentioned during speeches made by the various leaders of our government. Have the feds decided to settle for what they have, and not bother to expect higher quality?
Don’t ask me to give up more of my liberties, such as privacy, because the federal government has settled into a comfortable pattern of incompetence, unaccountability, and political correctness. They need to remember that they work for us, not the other way around. Let’s get this mess fixed!
And, by the way, we don’t have to join forces with the ACLU to stand up for individual liberty. Clearly they don’t care about the concept of "rights" unless it serves their decidedly hard-left agenda.
Just say "Yes" to individual liberty and excellence as the standard in the War on Terror. And, just say "No" to the ACLU.