Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Picking on the wrong kind of terrorists

and trampling their civil liberties. Shame!

Writing at MSNBC, NBC's News Investigation Unit has uncovered a government report indicating that terrorists' mail is still not monitored:
...Of course most of us would probably naively prefer that terrorist correspondence should probably be ripped open as soon as it passes between the iron bars, so that any terrorist attacks being planned or supported can be nipped in the bud before they kill us.

But then again, what if the terrorists were writing to journalists?

As they've been quick to point out in recent months, journalists are regularly in contact with all manner of unsavory characters, and how is the government supposed to be sure the mail it's reading is not actually addressed to journalists engaged in the discovery of terrorists' deeper truths and heart-wrenchingly tragic stories? []
In this case we're all supposed to be upset that these particular terrorists are NOT having their mail monitored. Yet at the same time we're also so supposed to be upset that certain other terrorists ARE having their phone conversations monitored.

But I realize the distinction is not so simple, even if the reporters didn't bother explaining the difference in the remainder of their report. There is indeed an obvious answer why some terrorists should be spied on, while others should be left free to pursue their murderous plans unhindered by US government surveillance.

The terrorists whose mail should be monitored are in JAIL. The terrorists who should be left free to kill us are running free on the global BATTLEFIELD. That's a big difference.

In prosecuting the Global Litigation Against Terror, it is clear the government should be carefully monitoring those who are already locked up after having been convicted of a crime, since their rights are therefore already legally circumscribed anyway based on the Constitution or ACLU position papers or something like that. But terrorists running around on the battlefield without uniforms, well, who can even tell them apart from the innocents who merely finance their operations? Plus, they've got rights that haven't even been read to them yet.

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