Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tap My Phone! Please!

Imagine, for a minute, it’s a few years in the future. The Black Friday Commission has just completed its report on the intelligence failings that led to the post Thanksgiving bombings in dozens of American Malls. A terrorist attack that has left hundreds of Americans dead, and crippled the American economy by suppressing holiday retail trade. The commission has found that American intelligence was technologically capable of intercepting communications made between disposable cell phones in the US to pre-paids and pay phones overseas in Riyahd, Islamabad, Mexico City and Montreal. But because the NSA was forced to seek a warrant from FISA courts for every intercept, they were unable to keep up, and thus identify the terrorists, who switched phones regularly.

Sound farfetched? It’s not. It’s a scenario that many in congress, most in the media and every single member of the ACLU is more comfortable with than routine surveillance of calls between the US and suspect locations overseas. This is a willful ignorance in the face of our enemy’s obvious tactical flexibility.

Readers of Lewis Carroll are familiar with a character known as “The Red Queen,” a character used to symbolize the effects of long term conflict. The Red Queen runs and runs, but never gets anywhere. Actors caught in a long term adversarial conflict often feel like The Red Queen. As one develops a new tactic or technique, the competitor develops a countermeasure. Our adversaries in the War on Terror have demonstrated this type of cunning over and over again. Not surprising since they have little in the way of assets short of brains and determination.

Oh yes, they also have the complicity of those in this country who would make there jobs easier by ceding them tactical advantages where ever it’s possible. Not that we should never be concerned about the balance of civil rights, but we should be rational and realistic about. Instead the self appointed guardians of our rights waged a hysterical campaign against government efficiency in the name of liberty, but which is really about their anti-Bush agenda. The NY Times release of the NSA story, an old story they sat on for months, amid the Senate debate on renewing the Patriot act reveals their agenda.

Saturday night, at a social occasion, a close friend expressed her oft spoken concerns about President Bush yet again. When I pressed her about what her exact objections were, to our Commander in Chief, civil liberties. Under the influences of her main news sources: the NY Times, CNN, and her uber-liberal boyfriend, she had come to believe that we are in a crisis of civil liberties. She is hardly alone as a victim of this campaign of disinformation. But I asked her if she had placed it in history? Did she know about the Sedition Act of 1798? Or the Espionage Act of 1917? About Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War?

She did not. Due to the efforts of the left, such episodes, and the subsequent restoration of status quo ante rights at the end of America’s wars are ignored and brushed under. Historical study is discouraged by the left, because it usually leaves a positive impression of America in the minds of students. Today, even under the Patriot Act, and with NSA activity American’s enjoy unprecedented freedom. Freedoms unheard of in 1797, 1916, or 1859.

I asked my friend: “What freedom have you lost? How in any tangible way has any of this affected you?” She demurred. There was no answer. Today we have internet and cable pornography available legally to anyone over 18, and readily to most of those under. We have a mainstream media dedicated to undermining the president, and our war against terror. We have protesters at the White House, in Crawford Texas, and in every major city and college campus. We have legal political parties subscribing to communism and socialism. We have an ACLU that searches bags at its NY HQ, while suing the NYPD to stop bag searches in subways. It’s hard for me to see where I’ve lost my liberties.

Meanwhile in the European states slavishly worshipped by the NY Times as paragons of Human Rights, warrants are mostly unnecessary for electronic eavesdropping. That’s right a phone call from Paris to Algiers, or Brussels to Islamabad will be monitored by European signals agencies, with no worries. Does anyone really think that he US government shouldn’t track phone calls from Lackawanna to Lahore or from Detroit to Damascus? Please Mr. President, tell General Hayden it’s OK to tap my phone.

Crossposted @:

Betsy's Page

Stop the ACLU


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