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Do you watch the news on TV?

Did you catch the story just a few days ago about the rather miraculous, rather wonderful event in Italy? How the Italian government foiled a horrific plot by extremists … to murder 10,000 innocent people in one cataclysmic explosion? And not only that, but to attack railways, ships and stadiums in America, as well?

Did you hear the news anchors describe the anticipatory glee between the perpetrators, saying things like “this will be a much bigger ‘party’ than what happened to the World Trade Center in New York City”?

Were you thrilled to know that these demonic fiends, driven by some perverted notion of religious superiority and divine directive, had been discovered and thwarted before they could carry out the unthinkable destruction? It was reported for days all over Europe, to great relief and congratulations.

What?

You didn’t hear or see it? Or even read about it?

That’s really remarkable; I barely caught one account on a cable news outlet, I think it was, while we were packing to come home from some “down time” in Hawaii. I knew I’d get all the details later as it would surely be a lead item on all the news shows – what a glorious and hopeful thing!

But later I didn’t get any details. I’ve not heard another word about it, anywhere.

Can the media just have missed it, or were there other, bigger and more relevant stories? Or could it be they didn’t want to report the story because of the way the plot was foiled – through phone surveillance?

WIRE TAPPING! Yes, Al Gore … WIRE TAPPING!

The liberal media and all the usual sympathizers like the ACLU and a number of legal and pseudo-legal organizations are howling about our government – and our president – utilizing perfectly legal and imminently advisable efforts to apprehend and defuse ongoing efforts to wreak ever more ghastly havoc on this country. They are exactly the very ones who, in the likely event of another 9-11, no matter what we do to prevent it, will be screaming at the government: “How could you let this happen? Why didn’t you do something to stop these devils?

Well, thank God, our government is doing something, a lot of right somethings.

Am I one of the last remaining Americans who remembers the civil liberties we all suspended, voluntarily, during World War II? To keep ourselves and our neighbors alive, we endured blackouts rather early every evening, gave up most all gasoline and nylon and butter and sugar and many other things we were accustomed to, accepted ration stamps, women went to work in defense plants (“Rosie the Riveter”), and there was the nationwide feeling we were “in this thing together.” Since so many of our finest young people were putting their very lives on the line – we felt we’d make any personal sacrifice to support them and win the war.

What’s happened to us? Is there no national resolve anymore?

Do these liberal critics actually think we can protect ourselves against organized, fanatical murderers without using every means at our disposal? Haven’t they figured out by now that our enemies use our own civil strictures against us? Just like organized crime always has, they laugh at our well-intentioned and self-imposed ordinances and regulations, and they lay traps and blindside us.

Can we not picture a gentlemanly boxer getting in the ring with a toughened, dirty street thug?

Do we really think the Marquis of Queensbury rules will prevail against a brawling, kneeing, sucker-punching , stool-swinging crazed animal? If you found yourself caught in the crossfire of a shootout in the street, would you rather have Perry Mason defending you – or Dirty Harry?

Don’t bother; I know your answer. Mine, too.

Our laws, our Constitution and Bill of Rights are treasures – for us – for a society that honors and obeys decent, democratic law. But John Adams cautioned while the ink was still damp on those documents: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

I remember when Muhammad Ali went to Japan for a very ill-advised fight against a top judo martial arts champion, for a million dollars. The greatest boxer in history danced and bobbed and jabbed, looking beautiful – when his opponent suddenly dropped to his back on the canvas and began kicking viciously at Ali’s knees! There was no way Ali could hit this guy, restricted by his own rules and training, and he told me later all he could do was stay away from the other guy, to run and hide. He was lucky to get out of the ring not crippled for life!

Two thoughts, if I may: 1) Both the Italian and American governments are interested only in listening in on phone conversations that are connected from overseas countries and involving those already suspected of terrorist activity or support. They aren’t interested in your calls to brokers or the corner grocery or the neighbors to gossip; they’re trying to SAVE YOUR LIFE!

And 2) I don’t care personally if some governmental agency listens to our family’s phone calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have nothing to hide. The surveillors may expire from boredom, but that would be their problem.

And one question: Do you suppose even one of the 10,000 Italians marked for death in that planned holocaust regrets the “invasion of their civil liberties.” Which would they rather have – their “privacy” or their lives?



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“Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington”

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