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Terrorists' "Right" to Work By: Shawn Macomber
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, August 19, 2004

The ACLU has hit a new low.

The group's latest batch of press releases insists that the organization will never check their new hires against terrorism watch lists.


The problem for the ACLU is that they actually already signed an agreement to use the watch lists in order to obtain nearly $500,000 from the Combined Federal Campaign, as required by the USA PATRIOT Act. The CFC is an agency which dispenses charitable donations from federal and state employees to more than 2,000 non-profit groups, which totals some $250 million per year.


The ACLU, however, despite all its bluster about the Constitution, apparently has little use for contract law. They decided to simply disregard the list. And they probably would have gotten away with it if they could have kept their egos in check. That, of course, proved quite impossible and soon ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero was announcing to the world on NPR that while he'd printed out the watch lists, he'd "never consulted them." Furthermore, he had no intention of doing so.


When CFC Director Mara Patermaster pointed out in the New York Times that the ACLU was willfully violating government policy, the ACLU actually voted to heed the agreement and collect their cash. Then Romero, seemingly unable to repress any rash impulse whatsoever, pulled out of the agreement entirely, and began screaming the ACLU's favorite word from the rooftops, one so integral to the martyr myth the group was built on—"blacklist."


"It is increasingly clear that the Patriot Act and the government's 'war on terror' are threatening the ability of America's non-profit charities to do their essential work," Romero wrote in a letter to Patermaster. "By requiring non-profit charities to check their employees against a 'blacklist' in order to receive donations from the CFC, you are furthering a climate of fear and intimidation that undermines the health and well-being of this nation."


Now it must be conceded that, yes, the government is seeking a "blacklist" here. According to the U.S. State Department, the government is seeking a "blacklist" on those who have committed or threatened to commit the following actions: "hijacking or sabotage of an aircraft, vessel, vehicle or other conveyance; hostage taking; a violent attack on an internationally protected person; assassination; or the use of any biological agent, chemical agent, nuclear weapon or device, or explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property."

Essentially, the ACLU is being asked to not hire those who seek to murder large numbers of Americans. Perhaps it should surprise us that the ACLU is reluctant to agree to such a request. Sadly, it is not. But even the radicals over at the ACLU know how this must sound to the average American and are using all sorts of permutations to attempt to make it more palatable.

For example, in a recent ACLU press release on the matter the group contended that the terrorism watch lists were a sham because they had pulled a single name from the list—Julio Ramirez--and found hundreds of people across the nation with the same name. "Any non-profit that employs a Julio Ramirez would now be obligated to ask potentially intrusive questions about his personal life and beliefs," the ACLU lectures.

If you aren't a terrorist, is it really going to be such a big deal to go ahead and say you aren't one? Does saying you do not, in fact, want to murder Americans sound like too much of a "loyalty oath" for the folks over at the ACLU? If a certain six foot eight, bearded man applied for a position at the ACLU, would it be too much to ask Anthony Romero to inquire as to whether the Osama before him was one and the same with the Osama currently sought in the mass murder of September 11? Or would that be "potentially intrusive"?

Unfortunately, the hysteria has spread, and the ACLU is not alone in seeking what amounts to a Right to Work law for terrorists. They have been joined by a coalition that includes such lefty luminaries as the Advocacy Institute, Amnesty International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the NAACP, the National Women’s Law Center, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Sierra Club.

 Some of the claims by these other groups rivals even the crudely ludicrous rhetoric of the ACLU. For example, Barbara Brenner, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action, has embarrassed herself by going on-record saying that checking terrorism watch lists "forced" her organization "to choose between accepting these restrictions"—i.e., not hiring terrorists—"and putting federal employees’ contributions to good use to help women confronting a life-threatening illness.”

So now a stand against providing terrorists jobs is the equivalent of supporting breast cancer? Not to most Americans, I'd wager. Permanent victimhood is the bread and butter of groups like the ACLU, PETA, the Sierra Club, and, now apparently, Breast Cancer Action. Heroes in their own minds, they've become rich by embracing Blame America First mentality on every major social and policy issue our country has faced. Protecting terrorists in the midst of the War on Terror is but a continuation of this philosophy.

Shawn Macomber is a staff writer at The American Spectator and a contributor to FrontPage Magazine. He also runs the website Return of the Primitive.

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