Monday, June 28, 2004


The greatest obstacle to domestic security in the war on terror is the worldview of the liberal elites. No sooner had the Twin Towers fallen than the press and an army of advocacy groups were on the hunt for victims-not of Muslim fanaticism but of American bigotry. The liberal commentariat has denounced every commonsensical measure to protect the country the Bush administration has proposed as an eruption of racism or tyranny.

But the elite ideology began its corrosive work long before 9/11. For three decades, the liberal establishment, fixated on preventing a highly unlikely repeat of Watergate-era abuses, has encumbered America's intelligence and national security capacities with increasingly crippling procedural inhibitions, culminating in domestic intelligence restrictions promulgated by the Clinton administration in 1995. As long as the elites continue to act as if America's biggest enemy is not al-Qaida but the country's own allegedly repressive and bigoted instincts, the nation's defense against terror at home will proceed at half throttle.

In August 2001, mere weeks before the greatest mass murder of civilians in U.S. history, the Justice Department squelched two prescient efforts to avert the attacks. In Minneapolis, FBI agents frantically sought permission to search the possessions of one Zacarias Moussaoui, a bumbling, suspicious flight student and a colleague of Islamic fundamentalists. In New York, another FBI agent no less frantically sought clearance to throw his squad into an 11th-hour search for Khalid Almihdar, an al-Qaida operative at large in the country.

Justice Department bureaucrats refused both requests on absurd grounds..

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