December 29, 2005


You choose: Civil liberties or safety? (James P. Pinkerton, December 29, 2005, Newsday)

Revelations about the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping rocked the civil liberties establishment, but the country as a whole didn't seem upset. Instead, the American people, mindful of the possible danger that we face, seem happy enough that Uncle Sam is taking steps to keep up with the challenges created by new technology.

Ask yourself: Do you think it's a bad idea for the feds, as U.S. News & World Report mentioned, to monitor Islamic sites inside the United States for any possible suspicious radiation leaks? The Council on American-Islamic Relations is up in arms - but are you? If you were to read in the paper that some FBI agent has gotten in trouble over pointing a Geiger counter at a mosque, would you be inclined to give the FBI agent the benefit of the doubt? I thought so.

Or take another example: Wednesday's USA Today details government plans to deploy security agents at major airports to engage in "behavioral screening." That is, agents chat up passengers, looking for anything suspicious. It's a tactic that's worked in Israel for years, and it's being introduced here, starting with Boston's Logan Airport. That airport, some might recall, was the departure point for two of the doomed flights on 9/11.

But of course, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has already sued to oppose any such program. Who do you think the overwhelming majority of Americans want to see prevail on this question?

The thing is the overwhelming majority would support even some impingement on our own lives, but none of these steps touch us at all.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 29, 2005 12:26 PM

Yeah, I'm kinda skeptical that there is a civil liberty that allows people to keep secret radiological material.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 29, 2005 12:48 PM


When nuclear weapons are criminal.....

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 1:50 PM

It looks as though we are all in agreement. The whole system is one vast, right-wing. . ..

What other explanation could there be for complaining about the radiological monotoring story? It resembles nothing so much as the one-party system seen in certain large cities. The "opposition" party does not seriously contest elections and receives political concessions--patronage, mostly--in return.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 29, 2005 2:33 PM

it's just those glow in the dark crescents, giving off all the rem's

Posted by: toe at December 29, 2005 3:39 PM

The MSM and Dems are in their own bubble on this one. Watched a bit of CNN where they were in full blown gasket mode on this and then looked at the local paper which cited an article showing over 60% approval for wiretaps to prevent another 9/11.

Posted by: AWW at December 29, 2005 8:27 PM