"Special Collection Program"  

Friday, December 16, 2005

I haven't checked out the blogger response to this, but on the surface, it sure looks a lot like another case of Big Brother watching.

Yeah, I know it's the New York Times. However, in times of war, many administrations have done stupid things. Remember the way Asians were treated during World War II? The Patriot Act is the same kind of fear-driven surrender of God-given rights. This is just the next logical step.

We are at war. We are at war trying to protect the very rights we are surrendering out of fear. It is a victory for the enemy when we act in this fashion, and with the federal government usurping these rights anyway, we shouldn't be looking for more rights to give up.

It is, of course, important that the telephone conversations of those suspected of terrorist ties be monitored. I can also see any number of scenarios whereby there may simply not be time to secure a warrant prior to engaging in said monitoring. However, would it not be important to secure such a warrant at the very earliest opportunity (within a specified time frame)? Wouldn't it also be imperative that any policy such as this include the destruction of any record of monitoring of individuals that turned out to be innocent?

Granted, I did not read the entire article, as work is piling up both at the day job and in the performaing world - and it is, after all, the New York Times, one of the most boring and least credible of sources. Who knows how much of this is actually bullshit aimed at damaging the President? Yet, those aspects of this policy, if any and whatever they may be, that violate the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans should be addressed by those in charge. How difficult would it be to simply add a provision requiring a warrant be secured within a specified period of time if the lead required immediate surveillance? Also, why not set forth the criteria under which the information secured must be destroyed.

This kind of surveillance is actually a good idea. It allows those protecting us from our enemies to keep a close watch on them while they plan their evil deeds. I imagine there are many terrorist attacks that have been thwarted in this fashion. I can understand that, in haste, perhaps a few things may have been left out, but you don't protect rights by giving them up or taking them away.

Again, I am saying what I am saying within the context of having scanned part of an article in a source that has historically been pro-enemy and Anti-America. However, the charges here are pretty serious, and either the President must look more closely at this policy and make some changes, or the New York Times must be taken to task for its attempts to derail the war effort.


Update 1:10PM: Calls for a probe. What I find interesting about this is that we hear a lot of complaining from liberals and little more than assurances from the administration that everything is/was perfectly legal and ok. Given the track record of that situation, chances are good that this was done lawfully (evidence - Plamegate, etc). If a closer look reveals, for example, that the surveillance involved foreign nationals in the country, or of Americans who appear to be within the phone chain of terrorists, only minor adjustments to the policy, if any, should be necessary.