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Monday, February 06, 2006

Back to Law Enforcement?

By reading the transcripts and news reports of the Gonzales testimony today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I'm becoming more convinced that a number of folks in congress would like to see anti-terrorism work become law enforcement's private domain again.

For those with short memories (9/10 folks) law enforcement failed, and failed miserably in it's attempts to deal with terrorism in this country. Yet reading the questions asked by Lindsay Graham, Arlen Specter, and Diane Feinstein, I believe a lot of them would rather they handle everything.

We've already seen how well intelligence stove pipes, FISA warrants, and compartmentalized information work in combating terrorism. The Pentagon, WTC Ground Zero and Shanksville are tributes to the efficiency of that way of doing business.

There is a reason for those feelings though, it's called power. Congress has a lot more power when dealing with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies than they do with NSA and the CIA. While the NSA and CIA fall under Congress's budgeting authority, a lot of what they do remains black to the folks on the Hill because of security reasons.

The control freaks don't get to see everything. Information is withheld from them under "need to know" rules that they can't skirt. Freedom of Information Act requests can be denied by those agencies, so the "watchdogs" in Congress, and the one's who stuff congress's pockets can't get everything they want.

Unfortunately, the message isn't getting through to them. Some things are better left unsaid, and not discussed in the made for TV hearings they love so much. Programs such as the NSA wiretapping are things they don't get to control, and it bugs them.

What bothers me is the idea they should rewrite rules, to make things like this tougher. As much as Feingold, Feinstein and Schumer want me to believe they are protecting me, I feel less safe every time they write a new rule.

I'll take the chance that a "quaker" who is accidently on the watch list gets their phone tapped, as opposed to waiting for 72 hours to get a warrant for an incoming call from al Qaeda. Erase the tape when you realize it was Jethro talking to Granny about the cement pond, and not Abdul talking to Mohamed about the bomb location.

So, to the folks in Congress, and the news media who want me protected, I say STFU and let the professionals do their jobs. The NSA program makes me feel a little safer, you folks make me want to build a bomb shelter and use plastic and duct tape on my windows.

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Blogger Mike said...

Good Evening Bob. I too have been following the committee hearings. I remember in the not so distant past that congress "stepped in" and put impossible 'rules' on the CIA and the FBI. That stepping in and those rules are the primary reason that 9/11 was able to happen. Our intelligence agencies had been, for all practical purposes, been handcuffed buy our "lawmakers". It gives me a chill to know that I and the people I love could be put once again in harms way because of those same jackasses. I resent it very much.
Changing the subject...I think I could do better planning super bowl shows than we've had the last couple of years. This years preformers and their songs were older even than me. Geezzz

11:19 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yeah, they were all complaining that the agencies were communicating immediately after 9/11. I guess they've forgotten that.

See how well the law enforcement model works with dealing with terrorists?

You don't have to look any further than Yeman and what has happened to the USS Cole terrorists who were dealt with by that model.

So much for that....

11:19 PM  

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