Can't have it both ways.

Copyright 2006 Chuck Klein


Prior to 9-11 Federal Law Enforcement agencies were, for the most part, independent re-active units. This might not have been their intention, but this is the way it worked out, i.e., undercover operatives/infiltrating the enemy's planning centers has proven to be most difficult, at best. In other words, due to the inability of the FBI, CIA and NSA to infiltrate Islamic gangs and most other non-American criminal groups we have been left open for attack. 

THE BEST OF CHUCK KLEINThese national and international American police/military agencies failed to learn in advance some of the biggest changes in world power - The fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the USSR and anything the Islamics have done. Today, they don't know of China's, North Korea's or Iran's military intentions. There is no indication that combining any or all of these agencies under Homland Security will produce better results. 

The game plan has always been, let it happen and our law enforcement and military officers will respond - take action - after the crime has been committed. This re-active police behavior has worked for the most part because these agencies were good at catching the perpetrators and punishment was swift, sure and did act as a deterrent. 

Things have changed. Now, punishment - even death - to our sworn enemy, the Islamic fundamentalist, is not only not a deterrent, but is something these terrorist want and need - suicide bombers/martyrs. There are two methods of preventing this Islamic threat to America and Americans: 

1) Keep them so busy fighting themselves and our trained troops over there that they can't muster the resources to attack us over here. This has been GWB's strategy since day one in Iraq. And, it has worked so far. . 

2) Spying on the enemy by using our techPnology to intercept their communications. This is the rub and the point of today's editorial. Under our current constitution surreptitious police behavior is tightly controlled by law as well as public opinion.

Therefore, and before we start slamming the police and our elected/appointed officials, we must decide if we want our law enforcement agencies to remain re-active or become pro-active. Surely, if our executive branch remains in re-active mode, we will most certainly experience the another 9-11. 

What we need now is effective infiltration of the enemy to learn at what point they discover they've been snookered and what they plan to do about it.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking re. the phone records: The present administration might be violating the law, but if we change the law and/or the Constitution to fit the circumstance, it becomes merely an exercise in academics. 

Granted, if we yield too much power to the government, either de facto or de jure, they might become tyrannical. If that happens, that's when we - those with guns - over-throw them. In this day and age, we should demand that our government do what it can to keep us safe from those pledged to kill or control us - up to the point of disarming bona fide citizens. 

How do you feel? Do you want our government to remain re-active - wait for the next attack on American soil before retaliating (err on the side of political correctness) or, for all intents and purposes, place the whole country under martial law (err on the side of dictatorial rule)? This is what it is, or should be, coming down to. 

This Column is syndicated to: THE BLUE REVIEW