Suppose in the midst of the Second World War a media outlet like the New York Times stumbled on the ULTRA secret? Remember, that was the amazing code-breaking machine that Allied scientists invented to decipher the Nazis’ supposedly unbreakable codes? Suppose the newspaper published the secret for all to see, giving the Nazis the incredibly valuable information that the Allies were reading their highest classified transmissions. It would have been akin to giving Hitler information that would mean a longer war, more American and Allied soldiers lost, and more innocent lives sacrificed for the sake of selling more newspapers.
We’re about at that point today in our war with al-Qaeda and Islamofascist terrorists. A big part of the problem, as Frank Gaffney and his collaborative authors (full disclosure: I made a small contribution) explain in the new book War Footing, is that one of the greatest challenges facing America today is the inability – or denial – of a large number of Americans to face the fact that we are actually at war. Many on the Left actively deny existence of such a war. They speak and behave as if al-Qaeda were a criminal gang running wild. Worse, some justify these terrorists through confused multicultural babble and unabated moral equivalence. Therefore, we have devolved to the point that anyone can say or do anything regardless of how harmful to the security interests of the country and not be held accountable. Dan Rather gave sympathetic interviews to Saddam Hussein on the eve of war. Sean Penn visited Baghdad and said negative things about America’s treatment of the dictator. A covey of Anglican religious leaders expressed solidarity with Saddam and noted how popular he was with Iraqi people. Congressional members went to Iraq, were feted by Saddam then blamed America for the region’s ills while abroad. CNN’s Baghdad bureau faked news stories rather than risk expulsion.
Now the Times and other outlets are revealing top secret, highly classified counter-terrorist strategies and tactics, the exposure of which harms the national defense. This all fits under the so-called “people’s right to know.” Then these same critics turn things upside down and blame our leaders for carrying out these activities designed to keep the country safe and destroy our enemies. It is as if Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill were attacked for violating Hitler’s civil rights by reading his dispatches.
The phony indignation is about a clandestine, highly productive operation intended to thwart another terrorist attack on America. The president authorized limited, tightly controlled electronic eavesdropping by the NSA on terrorist supporters’ calls overseas to terrorists. The president consulted frequently with the Congress. He reviewed the program every few months. This is done in order to prevent another attack and since we have not had an attack since 9/11, this limited program has been effective. In return, the opposition talks hysterically of impeachment.
Now that this program has been exposed, you can rest assured – just as Hitler would have instantly changed his codes had he known about ULTRA – bin Laden, Zawahari, and other terrorists have already changed their methods of communications, making intercepting their plans for future attacks that much more difficult. Suppose NSA analysts caught them talking about bringing a dirty bomb into the U.S.? Or perhaps how they could effectively distribute weaponized anthrax around the country? Are leftists really content to miss that intelligence information on the absurd hypothetical that some innocent grandmother’s cell phone privacy might have been violated?
The Founders did not draft the Constitution to be a suicide pact.
Meanwhile, the media breaks yet another classified story: the FBI and DHS have been monitoring mosques for signs of unusually high radioactive levels. This might tip us to the presence of a suitcase nuclear weapon. If you are a terrorist, might this disclosure not alert you to store radioactive weapons elsewhere?
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate stays forever locked in a September 10th mindset. They foolishly argue more ludicrously about G-Men violating my library privileges, rather than about that library being blown up.
Senators, busy pandering to the environmental fanatics over ANWR, allow not just the Arabs but also our friend Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to can put the squeeze on us. If our esteemed leaders had been wise enough to act a decade ago, we could already be pulling a million barrels a day out of ANWR, enough oil to keep Ted Kennedy and John Kerry’s state free of Arab oil for 75 years. But in their minds not enough to “make a difference.”
While these self-appointed scolds feign concern over exaggerated threats to our “rights,” our enemies grow stronger, smarter, and deadlier – thanks, in large part, to the Left.
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