Published July 17, 2002
To borrow a phrase from the Rolling Stones: get your kumbay-ya-ya's out...
The kumbaya crowd is looking to get us out of the foxhole we've all been in since Sept. 11 by trying to get us to feel sorry for the people we have locked up on various immigration violations (but really on the suspicion they may have ties to Al Qaeda).
I'm starting to hear from the hand-wringing Left, worried to death about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
They accuse me of being the hand-wringing Right, worried about getting attacked... obsessed with fear.
And they may be right. I worry about Mohammad Atta killing us while they worry about Mohammad Atta not getting read his Miranda rights. Which worry ought to occupy our frontal lobes at the moment?
(By the way... while we've had these 1,200 Middle Eastern men locked up, out of circulation, unable to communicate with their cronies... have we suffered another terror attack? No. So was it really such a bad idea to put these particular souls on ice?)
But back to my kumbaya point. The kumbaya singers want to bring us back to that psychological, emotional and legal point where we see the aggressiveness of the Patriot Act as un-American and unconstitutional, an abridgement of the rights of any person in America… not just citizens.
"Do we give up rights because of fear", Mr. Kumbaya asks? "Do we give up rights Americans fought and died for because of fear?"
On Sept. 10th, we would have answered no, and it would have been an answer that made sense. Up until then, the threat was more to our rights than to our lives.
Now it's different. Dispersed among us, according to U.S. intelligence experts, are thousands of snoozing Al Qaedas awaiting the call to act.
You and me... we have no plans to hurt anyone, but these people do. It's not theoretical. It's real.
So do you afford terrorists the same rights you give yourself and your neighbors and friends? No, obviously.
Now the problem is figuring out who those terrorists are. That requires the extra intrusiveness of the Patriot Act and the guts to tell the singers of kumbaya to go back into their coma. If they haven't got the good sense to realize the importance of fear in these times, those of us who do have the good sense to be afraid for them.
That's My Word.
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