Saturday, December 24, 2005

Radiation Monitoring Reported

Fast on the heels of reports out of the New York Times that President Bush authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on suspected terror sympathizers in the US come fresh reports that the federal government has been monitoring the air quality around predominantly Muslim sites for evidence of radiation. (Reuters: US monitored Muslim sites for radiation: report). Muslim rights groups are up in arms about the reports claiming that this makes it appear that the government is specifically targeting Muslims.

First of all, we most certainly are targeting Muslims for surveillance. Muslim groups in the US, under the guise of charitable donations, have sent a significant sum of money to front groups overseas for terror cells. Muslim clerics both at home and abroad have been largely critical of the US, have at times justified the actions of terrorists, and in some more extreme cases have actually condoned the use of terrorist type activities against the US and US interests. All of the terrorists in the 9/11 attacks were Muslim. Overseas, the insurgency is Muslim, the terrorist groups targeting the US are Muslim, and the terror groups striking the UK and Indonesia are likewise Muslim. Who, then, should we target for surveillance here in the US? The Irish?

In the weeks following 9/11, the US government took a number of very necessary steps to prevent another serious attack on US soil. Those steps included the monitoring of people here in the US that may have connections to terror cells overseas. They including the monitoring of Muslim centers here in the US that could have been fronts for overseas cells or could have been providing money and information to those cells. They included - and still include - the monitoring of Muslim centers for evidence that groups here in the US may have obtained radioactive material capable of producing a dirty bomb. Now that four years have passed and the Americans have lived in relative safety, there is a growing trend of second guessing in Washington and in the media that would have us believe that the government overstepped its authority in those post-9/11 activities.

Two things concern me the most in this hoopla. First and foremost, I want to know who is leaking vital national security information and I want them brought to justice. Whoever leaked the news about the NSA monitoring needs to be criminally charged for revealing top secret information. Likewise, whoever leaked the information about our air quality monitoring is guilty of providing aid and comfort to the enemy.

The New York Times is not guiltless either. The fact that they obtained this information, and that fact that they may have a constitutional right to print that information, does not mean that they should print it. In both of these cases, it was against the best interests of the US and against the best interests of our national security for them to release the information. Their choice to weaken the security of the US is inexcusable. All too often, I wonder if the New York Times is on the side of the US or on the side of the terrorists. There is no neutrality in this war. You are on one side or the other, and right now I consider the New York Times to be no better than a front organization for al Qaeda. They certainly do an excellent propaganda job for the terrorists.

The other issue I have with all this is the growing complacency here in the US. Americans are again taking the attitude that we're invulnerable here, and as a result we're quickly losing our will to do what it takes to fight and win this war. Few Americans seem to believe we are at war in the first place. Oh, they all know we're fighting in Iraq, but they don't seem to realize that Iraq is only one front on a global war against Muslim extremists that desperately want to destroy our way of life. This war may go on for years. We cannot afford to let down our guard because the Bush Administration has successfully defended our shores for the past four years. The enemy is still there, they still want to strike us, and we still must take whatever steps are necessary to intercept them. That is not something I expect to see change in my lifetime.

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1 comment :

Dr. Momentum said...

Thanks for blogging this story. I hadn't heard about it before.