Allow me to sum up the homeland security strategy of America's do-nothing brigade, led by the armchair generals at The New York Times and ACLU headquarters:
The hindsight hypocrisy of the civil-liberties absolutists never ceases to amaze. And their selective outrage over privacy violations never ceases to aggravate. Last Friday, The New York Times splashed classified information about the National Security Agency's surveillance of international communications between suspected al Qaeda operatives and their contacts all over the front page in a naked attempt to sabotage the Patriot Act. This Tuesday, the newspaper continued to stir fears of "spying on all innocent Americans" by recycling old ACLU complaints about FBI monitoring of radical environmental groups, antiwar activists and some Muslim leaders and groups.
Alarmists in the Beltway want investigations (though not of the leakers who fed the Times its story). The civil-liberties sky is falling, they say, and never have Americans been subjected to such invasive snooping.
Funny enough, another story about unprecedented domestic spying measures broke a week before the Times' stunt. But neither the Times nor the ACLU nor the Democratic Party leadership had a peep to say about the reported infringements on Americans' civil liberties. Sen. Charles Schumer (by the way, Chuck, how's that apology to Lt. Gov. Michael Steele over his stolen credit report coming along?) did not rush to the cameras to call the alleged privacy breach "shocking." Sen. Robert Byrd did not awake from his slumber to decry the adoption of "the thuggish practices of our enemies." The indignant New York Times editorial board did not call for heads to roll.
That's because the targets of the spy scandal that didn't make the front-page headlines were politically incorrect right-wing extremists.
According to the McCurtain Daily Gazette, in the days after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the U.S. government used a spy satellite to gather intelligence on a white separatist compound in Oklahoma. The paper obtained a Secret Service log showing that on May 2, 1995, two weeks after the April 19 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people, the FBI was trying to locate suspects for questioning.
Investigators zeroed in on the compound in nearby Elohim City. "Satellite assets have been tasked to provide intelligence concerning the compound," the document said, according to the Gazette and Associated Press. The Gazette noted that "America's spy-satellite program is jointly under the control of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Targeting decisions are classified; however, persons familiar with the project say any domestic use of these satellites is barred by agreements between the CIA and DoD." Photoreconnaissance satellites that gather intelligence from space usually target hostile governments and foreign terrorists. "The domestic use of a military satellite for domestic spying is a violation of DoD and CIA regulations regarding the proper use of top-secret national security satellites," the Gazette reported.
But with the exception of a brief Associated Press recap, the story received absolutely no mainstream-media attention. No civil-liberties circus. No White House press-corps pandemonium.
The left believes the government should do whatever it takes to fight terrorists—but only when the terrorists look like Timothy McVeigh. If you're on the MCI Friends and Family plan of Osama bin Laden and Abu Zubaydah, you're home free.
Michelle Malkin [email her] is author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow's review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin's latest book is "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."
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