Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Case for Wiretapping AGAINST Islamic Terrorists

Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal:
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain brought their presidential campaigns to the Petraeus-Crocker hearings on Iraq this week. An Iraq-based reporter appearing on one of the cable networks in the evening said the hearings struck him as oddly decoupled from the daily reality of war for the Iraqi people and U.S. troops there. Yup, never hurts to pinch yourself hard on entering presidential campaign space right now.

The three candidates addressed Gen. David Petraeus in tones of high gravitas equal to the thin altitude of the American presidency. Sen. Obama colloquied with Gen. Petraeus about the status of al Qaeda in Iraq – asking whether the terrorist organization could "reconstitute itself" and said that he was looking for "an endpoint."

Here's another hypothetical: Would this conversation be different today if in August 2006 seven airliners had taken off from Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport, bound for the U.S. and Canada and each carrying about 250 passengers, and then blew up over the Atlantic Ocean?

It is a hypothetical because, instead of the explosions, British prosecutors this week presented their case against eight Muslim men arrested in August 2006 and charged with conspiring to board and blow up those planes.
And how was their terror plot foiled? It had to do with monitoring their communications through wiretaps up until the point when their operations were to be carried out.
The arrests of the men, who say they are innocent, were the result of broad and prolonged surveillance. For months, the suspects were bugged, photographed and wiretapped.

Here in the U.S., our politics has spent much of the year unable to vote into law the wiretap bill, which is bogged down, incredibly, over giving retrospective legal immunity to telecom companies that helped the government monitor calls originating overseas. Even granting there are Fourth Amendment issues in play here, how is it that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cannot at least say that class-action lawsuits against these companies are simply wrong right now?

Philip Bobbitt, author of the just released and thought-provoking book, "Terror and Consent," has written that court warrants are "a useful standard for surveillance designed to prove guilt, not to learn the identity of people who may be planning atrocities." Planning atrocities is precisely the point.



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2 Comments:

Blogger Amy Proctor said...

I'm with you on this. Democrats continue to try to tie the hands of the U.S. to listen in to incoming calls from suspected terrorists. Who are they concerned about, anyway? Apparently not Americans.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tapline said...

Word, They just don't get it.. or else they just what us to get it.......bombed that is.....stay well....

Saturday, April 12, 2008 12:53:00 AM  

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