Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Very Good OpEd

By my friend, Jeff Gardner, who can put in 600 words an argument pundits have been waging since this stinking NSA wiretap flap made big news thanks to our friends at the Treason Times.

Warrants? We really don’ need no stinkin’ warrants

by Jeffry Gardner

Does anyone remember Aldrich Ames? American citizen and CIA spy Aldrich Ames? He was an enemy of the state. Our state, yours and mine, the United States -- meaning no offense to those whose distaste for their U.S. citizenship is so palpable they speak openly of leaving … but regrettably never do.

Ames’ work for the Russians cost at least 10 lives and landed dozen more in prisons far less amiable than our facility at Guantanamo Bay. By helping the then-communists (he started selling state secrets in 1984) he betrayed his nation on a scale that usually brings Mike Farrell and other progressives to his defense.

At the time the Clinton Administration argued vigorously that the constitution gave the president the power to order intelligence gathering without warrants if he believed our national security was in jeopardy. The Clinton Administration figure who took that message to the Senate Intelligence Committee was then-Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick.

Gorelick is something of a lefty heroine for her endless persecution of the Bush Administration during the infamous “independent” 9/11 Commission hearings.

Yet, in 1994, Gorelick told the Senate in no uncertain terms “…case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”

Did she say this because she knew her argument had genuine constitutional merit, or because she knew that authorities of the United States government had searched Ames’ United States abode sans warrant, and she feared the government’s case against him would be tossed aside.

Or did she make that case because just as Times’ columnist Frank Rich knows George W. Bush hungers for absolute power today, Jamie Gorelick understood then that Bill Clinton longed to reign supreme over the nation, and she was bound by her oath of office to help him get there?

It’s a little fuzzy, but surely we recall reading editorial after editorial here and around the nation as a vigilant media warned us of the whole-scale attack on our civil liberties that Clinton waged legislatively -- including a “no knock search” law -- against the Fourth Amendment. No?

Clinton’s actions occurred long before September 11, 2001, long before we were a nation formally at war. Nor were we at war when Hillary Clinton “accidentally” reviewed more than 2,000 secret FBI files of Americans. Maybe they weren’t Americans you liked -- they were Republicans, after all -- but they were still Americans.

But what now makes front-page news in America’s dailies only warranted (clever, eh?) deep-inside-the-section coverage during the Clinton years.

Fast forward. Today, we’re at war against a fanatical, fascist enemy that will destroy, maim and murder indiscriminately to achieve its goal. Now, do you honestly think we should cheer the New York Times and its tax-payer salaried sources as they try to destroy this president simply because they don’t like him or the way he’s battling to keep our families safe? Think again.