Friday, February 15, 2008

Fighting 'Fearmongering' by Mongering Fear

Noted Salon demagogue and sock puppet Glenn Greenwald celebrates the latest boon handed to international terrorists by the Democrat Congress:
Americans are worried and even angry about many things. Whether Osama bin Laden is throwing a party because AT&T and Verizon might have to defend themselves in court isn't one of them. Outside of National Review, K Street, and the fear-paralyzed imagination of our shrinking faux-warrior class, there is no constituency in America demanding warrantless eavesdropping or amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms.
Brilliant. The well-being of the Constitution of the United States of America depends, not upon physically defending the territory and citizens of the country, but upon preserving the inalienable right of bottom-feeding lawyers to make a quick buck (or billion) by suing companies that cooperated in good faith with government agencies investigating terrorist plots.

In his characteristically turgid, longwinded prose, Greenwald reduces the serious question of combatting potential hookups between foreign and domestic terrorists to a political game. He's only interested in how many points the Democrat team is scoring:
Political parties that are "strong," and which are perceived as strong, are ones that "defy" orders and mount "great challenges" against weak and unpopular Presidents by standing on principle -- not ones that bow and capitulate and surrender and lose. Again, leave aside any hope that Democrats will actually be sufficiently motivated by the crucial constitutional principles at stake here. Just basic political self-interest, and basic human dignity, ought to mean that this singular act of defiance will lead to others.
Greenwald doesn't really care a fig about the Constitution, except for its value as a tool to fearmonger amongst the hysterical BDS class. In fact, Greenwald's entire diatribe concerns the American internal political struggle. In Glenn's world, no towers have ever fallen. The thousands of dead are merely hypothetical. The War on Bush takes precedence over everything else.

Greenwald conveniently ignores the cold fact that spectacular terrorist attacks are not only possible, but have actually taken place, preferring to cite the hypothetical possibility of infringement upon Constitutional rights, though he does not, in fact, cite any example of this. Mainly because there is no Constitutional right to plot terrorist acts against Americans, nor has the Left been able to bring forth anyone who can indisputably be said to have had his or her rights violated.

Greenwald closes his second update to the original post with some lawyerly prevarication:
One other vital point: The claim that telecoms will cease to cooperate without retroactive immunity is deeply dishonest on multiple levels, but the dishonesty is most easily understood when one realizes that, under the law, telecoms are required to cooperate with legal requests from the government. They don't have the option to "refuse." Without amnesty, telecoms will be reluctant in the future to break the law again, which we should want. But there is no risk that they will refuse requests to cooperate with legal surveillance, particularly since they are legally obligated to cooperate in those circumstances. The claim the telcoms will cease to cooperate with surveillance requests is pure fear-mongering, and is purely dishonest.
Notice that for all Greenwald's pretensions to venerate the rule of law he seems ignorant of that pesky "innocent until proven guilty" business. What Greenwald glosses over here, is the fact that terrorist plot investigations are usually time sensitive. That means that once US corporations are given the signal that good faith cooperation with authorities can leave them vulnerable to ambulance chasers, every request for information during an investigation will lead to delays while company lawyers research pertinent case law to determine whether or not the request for information is "legal" enough to satisfy petulant partisan prima donnas who are eager to sell out their own country for thirty pieces of silver or temporary political advantage. People like Glenn Greenwald.