Note that I said mostly false. I'll be the first to admit that there was some truth in it, but it was magnified in the public perception until it resembled an ongoing, Orwellian nightmare. But regardless of how overblown the fantasy was, nobody wanted to live that way.
Apparently, there is a large contingent of people who think that should be a description of America. Running and hiding from the evils of those evil Muslim terrorists, they are willing to accept any kind of behavior from their government, as long as it can be justified in the name of "the War on Terra."
Why should the government need a warrant to listen in to any phone line they find? And, for that matter, why should they actually hold trials for the people they arrest? It's inconvenient - let's just put 'em in Guantanamo and forget about them! And of course the CIA can have secret bases to imprison enemies of the state! Hell, yes! We'll even rent out those gulags in Siberia! Nobody's using them, are they? Just tell me you're doing it to protect me from the evil terrorists, and I'll let you do whatever you want. Civil rights? Who needs 'em?
Here's a new word for you, folks. Dystopia. It's the opposite of Utopia. Look it up. I can wait.
What makes me think this? Well, for one thing, there's this little piece of whimsy from Michelle Malkin, which she entitled We Are All Homeland Security Agents:
Picture this: You're a retail store clerk. It's the busy Christmas season. A half-dozen men of Middle Eastern/South Asian descent walk into the store. They want to buy between 60-150 disposable cell phones--you know, the kind that can't be traced. The kind that have been used by terrorists as detonators.
What do you do?And she's not the only one, either. A kid with an annoying love of boldface and brightly-colored letters (but an apparent hatred of spell-checking), who self-righteously calls himself Astute Blogger (a.k.a., "reliapundit"), goes even farther.
Do you think nothing of the incident? Hope for the best, sell them what they want, and move on?
Do you feel guilty for "profiling" them and dismiss any misgivings you have? Or do you listen to your post-9/11 conscience and contact the authorities?
...if 9/11 taught us anything, it was to be unapologetically vigilant. To act now and avoid the cacophany of hindsight hysterics later. What good are all the "Be alert" admonitions from the government if no one alerts authorities when their alarms go off?
Some civil liberties absolutists will no doubt go bananas over "racist" store clerks who blow the whistle on suspicious behavior. But the rest of us, including the feds who are now following up on the citizen watchdog reports, should be nothing but grateful--and ready to do the same.
The jihdoterrorists might now each be using a series of phones (each only once or twice) to communicate with other jihadoterrorists who are also using a series of disposable phones - each only once or twice. All they have to do is tell their comrade which cellphone number to use next. NOW HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET WARRANTS ON THAT!? It's impossible. Which is why it's ABOSLUTELY necessary for the POTUS, as CinC, to use his Article II powers during wartime in order to get the foreign intelligence we need to DEFEND OURSELVES.
By exposing the NSA intercept program, the leakers and their comrades at the NYTIMES have CONFIRMED valuable information to the enemy, alerted the enemy to the information, and NOW - AS A RESULT - the enemy has adjusted. Therefore, the leakers and the NYTIMES have endangered the lives OF MILLIONS of Americans, and our entire economy and also the world's economy (which after all depends on the US economy). They should ALL be charged, tried, convicted, and executed for TREASON.I tried to reproduce his formatting, just to show you how annoying it is to read. Oh, incidentally, he also wants to make sure that you know one thing:
And BY THE WAY: I WAS THE FIRST BLOGGER TO CONNECT THE NYTIMES "NSA LEAK" TO THE "DISPOSABLE PHONE PURCHASE SURGE".You can tell that this message is important to him. That's why he puts it in bright red, bold-faced capital letters. Did you ever feel like you're the last adult in the playground?
Nor are they alone. They link to several other blogs who are salivating to lock down the country. And what do all of these people have in common with George Bush, other than a blind love of the government posited in 1984? Well, they're all willing to go out on a limb based on inaccurate, cherry-picked intelligence. And the sad part is, Malkin even has this link at the end of her story.
Bill Vanderland, the agent in charge of Midland's FBI office... said Thursday after the ABC report aired that assertions of a connection between a terror cell and the men who attempted to purchase cell phones from a Midland Wal-Mart were invalid.Yes, folks, we had a single immigration violation. No terrorists. But that's OK, right? We're being protected from the evil, wicked, vicious Islamic terrorists! It doesn't matter what the government does, as long as we're safe! After all, those nasty jihadists haven't been able to attack us since 9/11, right?
"There is no known link or demonstrated link or any other kind of link at this point between the people here and any terror cell," he said.
Doesn't anybody have any kind of memory?
On February 26, 1993, Ramzi Yousef tried to bomb the World Trade Center. After that attack, it took those nasty Islamic terrorists eight and a half years to try again. As I write this, it hasn't even been five years since 9/11. Maybe they just like to take their time.
Grow up, people. When you give in to fear like that, the terrorists have won. Al Qaeda doesn't have to do anything to destroy America. Apparently, we're going to do it for them.