Give up your freedom for a false sense of security

“As a former senior executive of the FBI, responsible for terrorist financing,” writes Dennis Lormel, “the investigative initiatives I oversaw were direct beneficiaries of the USA PATRIOT Act. Make no mistake about it; the PATRIOT Act facilitates investigative success. The ultimate beneficiaries of such success are the American people.”

He goes on. “Why is it that certain members of the House and Senate choose to overlook this basic fact? After all, isn’t ensuring our safety and security a paramount responsibility of our elected officials? It’s disheartening that select legislators continuously cast skepticism toward the integrity of the FBI, CIA and other agencies in respecting our civil liberties in deference to the desire of terrorists, who seek to exploit our very freedom by attempting to conduct heinous acts of terrorism against us.”

How could anybody possibly be skeptical of the integrity of the FBI?

Let’s take a look.

In the last year, we found out that the FBI has retaliated against whistleblowers reporting botched terror investigations; routinely collects data on innocent people, keeps it forever, and shares it with other federal agencies; conducted improper and unlawful surveillance, sometimes for years at a time; declared war on pornography (the perfectly legal kind); and monitored political activist groups, falsely labeling them terrorists.

All this while hiring incompetent counterterror managers and using broken computer systems.

This doesn’t sound like an agency likely to respect our civil liberties.

As for the CIA, don’t even go there. They’ve been busted running secret prisons in which innocent people are routinely tortured. And we probably have no idea what else they’ve done. But at least, for the most part, they aren’t operating within the U.S. That’s another agency.

We need law enforcement and intelligence agencies who go after terrorists and criminals. But these agencies waste too much of their time and our money doing, well, just look above.

One thought on “Give up your freedom for a false sense of security

  • December 15, 2005 at 3:09 am

    The most frightening thing about that article is that the author is unaware that his very philosophy is the same as the fundamentalist. Who in our administration decides which liberties are alright to shed in the name of ‘protecting me’? Isn’t that the real issue? Our government is so concerned about ‘protecting’ its citizens, that the very liberties on which our country stands for are slowly getting stripped away. The federal and local authorities would be better served by protecting the constitution and ensuring for which it stands – is still serving the people.

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