Rolling Over and Going Back to Sleep
Vol: 51 Issue: 23 Friday, December 23, 2005
The Patriot Act was passed by acclamation four years ago. And, for the last four years, the enemy has not been able to mount a successful attack against the United States homeland.
It would seem that those two facts should be considered in examining the latest uproar being launched by the Left against policies they initially supported.
Just after September 11, everybody and their brother was quoting Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, architect of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Upon hearing of the mission’s success, Yamamoto told his commanders, “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
And indeed, that seemed to be the case. Americans lined up a recruiting stations, eager to ‘take it back’ to the enemy, just like they did in 1941. American flag makers struggled to keep up with increased demand.
While the smoke was still rising from the ruins of the World Trade Center, everybody solemnly assured the “American people” that they would NEVER politicize the war. Thus assured, after having been awakened and filled with a terrible resolve, the American people rolled over and went back to sleep.
The flags went back into attics. The politicians began asking questions like; “What did the president know and when did he know it?” and the war became the number one political debate of the nation.
Four years later, there has yet to be any evidence of systematic abuses or unjustifiable invasions of privacy. But to listen to the current leftist babble, (“Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator,” fumed Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter) one would think America had become a police state as a result of abuses of the Patriot Act.
Before moving on, it is worth remembering that the ‘right to privacy’ was invented by the Supreme Court as a justification for abortion on demand. The interpretation of privacy as a ‘right’ is derived from the 4th Amendment guarantee to be ‘secure’ in ones personal property, papers, etc., against warrantless search and seizure.
‘Security’ is what is guaranteed by the Founders, not privacy.
Somebody leaked to the New York Times that the NSA was monitoring calls from terrorists outside the United States calling INTO the United States, and in some cases, without obtaining a warrant. Something along the order of thirty times in four years.
It would be interesting to know how many legal wiretaps the United States obtained in the last four years. My guess would be in the hundreds of thousands. Which would hardly make thirty transgressions evidence of ‘widespread’ abuse.
I am trying to examine this logically and carefully — the moment it sounds like a defense of the Bush administration, I’ll lose everybody who doesn’t like Bush. It isn’t about Bush. Its about America.
I don’t know all the facts about the wiretapping the Left is dubbing “Snoopgate” — and neither do they. (It’s classified). We know what was leaked by the New York Times.
We know that the calls originated outside the US. We know the NSA monitored them because they were from suspected enemies of the United States. We also know that plots have been foiled in the last four years that, if successful, would have dwarfed 9/11.
We also know something else that our minds tend to discount when evaluating the situation. If we had foiled 9/11, September 11 would have been just another day. Just like the other days when foiled plots DIDN’T kill thousands.
What we DIDN’T need to know was that such an operation existed in the first place. If I know, then so does Osama. It wasn’t essential information for me, but it is of critical importance to our enemies.
I’ve heard Ben Franklin misquoted more times this week than Yamamoto was quoted in the fall of 2001. “They who trade liberty for security deserve neither,” thundered Harry Reid and Company in railing against extending the Patriot Act.
What Franklin REALLY said was, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.
Nobody is giving up ‘essential liberty’ by NSA monitoring of terrorists’ phone calls — except the terrorists. And the purpose isn’t ‘temporary safety’ but rather, permanent national security.
The rest is spin aimed at making political points for the Left at the expense of the rest of us, and I, for one, am tired of my security being a pawn in their chess game.
The White House said the NYTimes leak ‘seriously damaged’ national security. If the White House isn’t the one qualified to make that assessment, then who would be?
That the leak was politically motivated is obvious. The Times sat on the story for more than a year, before breathlessly leaking it on the front page just in time to counter rising approval ratings in the wake of the Iraqi election. But in taking an opportunistic shot at George Bush the politician, they damaged America’s national security.
And nobody is holding them accountable.
Since the story leaked, the leftists have been all over the airwaves calling for Bush’s impeachment.
CNN’s Jack Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer said Bush should be impeached. Cafferty likened it to Watergate. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter called the leaker ‘a patriot’ and Bush a ‘dictator’. Barbara Boxer called for Bush’s impeachment on MSNBC.
The terrorists must have thrown a party in their caves! They only wanted to kill Bush. Impeaching him would kill the whole war effort.
If I was Osama, I’d make a whole bunch of phone calls, then leak to the New York Times that Bush was listening in.
I could win the war without firing another shot.