Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trading Liberty For Security?

They who would trade liberty for security soon have none and deserve neither.-- (Both Franklin 1775 and Thomas Jefferson said variations of this about the same time of the Founding of the United States)

People on the left were incensed when former president Bush used warrantless wire tapping as a tool to fight terrorism. They made wild and exaggerated claims that he was shredding the Constitution.

So why aren’t those same people concerned when we have a President and Congress that show so little regard for the Framers and the Constitution? Instead of accusing Priest and Arkin of undermining National Security without evaluating what they’re reporting why don’t we objectively look for who represents real threats to our liberties.

Unlike a Thomas M. Tamm, a former lawyer in the United States Department of Justice's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review who Liberals hail as a hero for leaking to the press warrantless NSA surveillance during the Bush administration. Washington Post’s Investigative reporter Dana Priest, columnist, and reporter, William M. Arkin spent two years investigating this story for a report to the American people. By the way, the courts found that president Bush wiretaps where in fact Constitutional. (see article)

Tamm has admitted that his leak was politically motivated. He’s conceded that it was his anger over other Bush-administration policies at the Justice Department that helped justify in his mind to bypass procedures in place for “whistleblowers. The policies that Tamm was most upset with included the Bush administration’s aggressive pursuit of death-penalty cases and the legal justifications for "enhanced" interrogation techniques that many believe are tantamount to torture. The NSA warrantless wiretaps were but the final straw that lead Tamm to go directly to the press to leak government classified secrets.(see article)

This is not the case with reporters Priest and Arkin who plainly state that after 9/11 they saw the exponential expansion of secretive government and launched a two-year investigation. Priest and Arkin included the government at several points in this investigation, they allowed the government to see the report site several months ago in case the government had any concerns. When the government had specific concerns about material, those things were removed. (see 7:25min video)

With all of the organizing, money and resources expended since 2001, we need to know why we have had intelligence failures such as the Fort Hood shooting and the Christmas plane-bombing attempt.

Last fall, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opened fire at Fort Hood, Tex., killing 13 people and wounding 30. In the days after the shootings, information emerged about Hasan's increasingly strange behavior at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he had trained as a psychiatrist and warned commanders that they should allow Muslims to leave the Army or risk "adverse events." He had also exchanged e-mails with a well-known radical cleric in Yemen being monitored by U.S. intelligence.

But none of this reached the one organization charged with handling counterintelligence investigations within the Army.—Dana Priest and William Arkin

We need to know what this government is doing and why what it is doing is not working.

These were all clues to what would happen when a Nigerian named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab left Yemen and eventually boarded a plane in Amsterdam bound for Detroit. But nobody put them together because, as officials would testify later, the system had gotten so big that the lines of responsibility had become hopelessly blurred.—Dana Priest and William Arkin

Priest and Arkin are not harming Intelligence work in this country. On the contrary, they are performing the country a service as the fourth estate.