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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Domestic Spying Claptrap

The following is a letter that I have sent to our local fishwrap. I just can't stand it anymore!! The distortions, the half truths, the out and out lies and especially the idiots who lap it all up without a scintilla of thought and then reguritate it back into the aforementioned fishwrap.

The recent spate of letters to the editor decrying “domestic spying” and wailing that the “President is breaking the law” need to be examined in a brighter light. Let me give you a few quotes to ponder. "The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes." also “It is important to understand that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities." Before the inevitable knee-jerk reactions, let me also clarify that these quotes are from Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994. Where was the outrage then?? In 1994 President Clinton expanded this program of warrantless searches to domestic programs with no foreign connections at all in an attempt to control crime in highly violent housing projects. Again, where was the outrage??

It is a falsehood that the law has been broken. Federal Courts have constantly upheld the right of Presidents since Jimmy Carter through George Bush to gather foreign intelligence without having a court ordered warrant. In 1982 a federal court of appeals ruled that "the National Security Agency may lawfully intercept messages between United States citizens and people overseas, even if there is no cause to believe the Americans are foreign agents." This program is nothing new. What is new is the concerted effort by those who are permanently angry at the current administration to attempt to discredit it and try to regain political power at all costs, even at the cost of allowing future attacks on America.

We are at war; a global war with terrorists who have stated their goal to destroy us. The fact that the enemy doesn’t wear a spiffy uniform or have a recognized national flag doesn’t make it any less of a war. We ignore these facts at our peril. For those of you think that the attack on September 11, 2001 was the opening salvo, you need to review history. You know, that thing we are doomed to repeat if we don’t study it? Here is a very short recap: the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, US Embassies in Africa in 1998, the USS Cole in 2000, and in 2001 attacked both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Thousands of American citizens have died at the hands of terrorists.

Mr. Whittaker, from Millville, wants to know “How many innocent lives will be devastated by the recklessness of this administration?” I would like to know how many innocent lives will be destroyed in the next attacks. The next attack perhaps may be a dirty bomb made with enriched uranium obtained from Iran, or possibly a biological one fueled by a test tube of smallpox or anthrax. This next attack doesn’t have to be inevitable; however, it can be preventable if we are allowed to protect ourselves. Mr. Whittaker may be unwilling to give an inch or ounce of credit to the current administration in its efforts to keep us safe. In the short run, I am willing to give the government computers the ability to spy on terrorists, yes even American citizens who help the terrorists, if in the long run it means that we will live to have a future.

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