February 7, 2006
Point of No Return
at the history of tragic times often reveals that many -- or most
-- of the people of those times were often preoccupied with things
that look trivial, or even pathetic, in view of the catastrophe
looming over them. Will later generations looking back at our
times see a similar blindness, and even frivolousness, in the
face of mortal dangers?
and terrorist governments are giving us almost daily evidence
of their fanatical hatred and violent sadism, as the clock ticks
away toward their gaining possession of nuclear weapons. They
not only hold a harmless young woman hostage in Iraq, they parade
her in tears on television, just as they have paraded not only
the terrorizing, but even the beheading, of others on television.
there is a large and gleeful audience in the Arab world for these
gross brutalities, just as there was glee and cheering among the
Palestinians when the televised destruction of the World Trade
center was broadcast in the Middle East.
are we preoccupied with or outraged about? Whether the American
government should intercept the phone calls of these cutthroats
to people in the United States.
has been sanitized in the mainstream media by asking whether the
government should be engaged in "domestic wiretapping,"
just as the terrorists themselves have been sanitized into "militants"
the question is posed by many in the media and in politics, you
would think our intelligence agencies were listening in on you
talking on the phone to your aunt Mabel.
There are more than a quarter of a billion people in the United
States. Intelligence agencies have neither the manpower, the time,
the money, nor the interest to listen in on you and your aunt
may differ on fine legal points about the Constitutional powers
of the commander in chief during wartime versus the oversight
powers of the courts. But, a Supreme Court Justice once pointed
out that the Constitution of the United States is not a suicide
was meant for us to live under, not be paralyzed by, in the face
honcho in the international terrorist network is captured in Afghanistan
or Iraq, and the phone numbers in his computer are found by his
American captors, it is only a matter of time before his capture
becomes news broadcast around the world.
In the hour
or two before that happens, his contacts within the United States
may continue to use the phones they have been using. Listening
in on their conversations during that brief window of opportunity
can provide valuable information on enemies within our midst who
are dedicated to our destruction.
time can be wasted filing legalistic documents to get some judge's
permission to tap the domestic terrorists' phones before CBS or
CNN broadcasts the news of the captured terrorist leader overseas
and the domestic terrorists stop using the phones that they had
used before to talk with him.
advancing step by step toward nuclear weapons, while the Europeans
wring their hands and the United Nations engages in leisurely
discussion, this squeamishness about tapping terrorists' phone
contacts in the United States is grotesque.
been paying attention to the audacity of the terrorists? Some
in the media seem mildly amused that Palestinian terrorists are
threatening Denmark because of editorial cartoons that they found
the 1930s, some people were amused by Hitler, whose ideas were
indeed ridiculous, but by no means funny.
not the first threat against a Western country for exercising
their freedom in a way that the Islamic fanatics did not like.
Osama bin Laden threatened the United States on the eve of our
2004 elections, if we didn't vote the way he wanted.
has nuclear weapons, such threats cannot be ignored, when the
choice is between knuckling under or seeing American cities blasted
off the face of the earth.
the point of no return -- and we are drifting towards it, chattering
away about legalisms and politics.
2006 Creators Syndicate