Tuesday, May 08, 2012

New underwear bomb plot foiled! Let's clamp down on civil liberties some more!

And you thought getting through airport security was tough when you only had to take off your shoes!

I have no doubt that some genius at TSA has already proposed strip-search boarding -- sexually segregated, of course, and behind privacy screens.

Not that it would work, of course.

What does work, and what the CIA apparently did in foiling this latest bomb plot was what used to be called "police work." That's where real security comes from: Identify genuine threats and investigate, infiltrate or monitor them. Eventually, if Americans are discovered to be involved and if they violate the law, arrest and prosecute them. If foreigners are involved, and if they pose a threat, take such actions as are permitted by the law of nations and, in cases of imminent peril, such additional measures as may be necessary to protect human lives and property.

Am I droning on here?

Well, let me make this much abundantly clear: I do not mean we should be spying on all Muslims.

Nor do I mean that the government should be permitted to build a giant facility in Utah where everyone's every email or Facebook post may be intercepted and read by government snoops. And yet? It may actually be happening. Call that Total Information Awareness if you will; I call it unreasonable, unconstitutional and... oh, my, it is going to be harder and harder to hang on to even the shreds and tatters of our civil liberties in the very near future, isn't it?

Look: There are blogs, there are websites, there are ezines, there are pamphlets and books and lectures -- all out in public -- in plain sight -- where the terrorists first recruit the dupes who would don the exploding BVD's. There's plenty to monitor without violating anyone's rights. It's just a matter of paying attention and following up; that's police work -- not secret police work.

Remember right after 9/11? Remember when everyone was saying that, if we give up our freedom the terrorists will have won?

By that definition, Mr. bin Laden's unhappy interview with SEAL Team Six notwithstanding, the terrorists have apparently won.

Is that really what you want?

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