Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stupidity in defense of liberty is no virtue

From the mid- to late 1960's, civil strife in this nation was rampant. Leftist anti-war radicals were rioting on college campuses. Black street gangs were rioting in our major cities, and fears of a right-wing racist backlash were rampant. During this period the nation was in fear of insurrection. The national guard was called out on many occasions and US Army troops were also called to defend life and property. Because the US Army was involved, Army intelligence services were required to help understand the situation and the individuals instigating these riots. Pertinent FBI reports were monitored by our military intelligence specialists. There were some instances of Army special intelligence agents also monitoring US civilian activities when Army personnel had to be involved in suppressing these college campus and urban riots.

There was one chap in Army intelligence (I'll call him "Weasel 1") who disagreed with the concept of the Army gathering some of its own intelligence in preparing itself for its assigned riot control mission. In fact, his complaint went to the US Supreme Court as Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1 (1972). Specifically, the complaint accused the U.S. Army of alleged unlawful "surveillance of lawful citizen political activity." The case was dismissed for "lack of ripeness", meaning it was determined that no harm was done. Not surprisingly, Weasel 1 became a law professor and does work for the ACLU. Weasel 1 and the ACLU thrive on stupidity in defense of liberty.

This 1960's history reminds me very much of the concerns of present day "Weasel 2" and his radical left cohorts. These Weasels are consumed with concern over the CIA's methods of interrogation, not of US Citizens, but of wartime captives who were involved in the worst ever atrocity against our nation, the 9-11 attacks. They also believe that our nations "values" are harmed in the eyes of our enemies because of our "enhanced interrogation methods" and because we chose to detain terrorists at Guantanamo, Cuba, during wartime, which by the way, we are still in. Weasel 2 also thrives on stupidity in defense of liberty.

Dick Chaney, who's primary mission as past Vice President was national security, gave a speech today (right after Weasel 2's speech) on this very subject. Mr. Chaney provides essential reminders of why we did what we did. More importantly, he reminds us of the ongoing threat - the ongoing need to continue the practices that kept us safe over the last eight years. We cannot consider his work "mission accomplished" as Weasel 2 apparently does. The threat remains, and is, in fact, even greater today given the progress of our enemies in developing and likely distributing nuclear weapons (see Iran and Pakistan.)

Dick Chaney's speech is a "must read" for anyone wanting to understand our past actions, and why we cannot adopt new policies that put the concerns of our enemies ahead of our national security.

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