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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill


September 10th America

That's what the Themocrats and LWM are trying to return us to. That's also where al Qaeda wants us:

We are once again living in September 10 America. The signs are all around us: Congress's acting to neuter interrogations of terrorist detainees; the Senate's filibustering the reauthorization of the most important piece of counterterrorism legislation since 9/11, the Patriot Act (Sen. John Sununu, who supports the filibuster, responds to our Friday editorial here); and now the controversy over National Security Agency intercepts of conversations between persons in the United States and suspected al Qaeda operatives overseas.

The New York Times ignited the firestorm last Friday, of course, with a front-page report on how President Bush has authorized the eavesdropping on conversations without obtaining warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Democrats are rushing to accuse Bush of breaking the law and are even flirting with the I-word — impeachment — their favorite fantasy of the moment. While there is much yet to be learned about the NSA program, it seems very likely that no laws were broken and that President Bush was acting responsibly in a context where we are fighting a fast-moving, loosely organized enemy that uses the wonders of modern communications technology to aid its mass murder. The president still has preventing another September 11 foremost on his mind, even as much of the rest of political culture has lapsed back to September 10, when we hamstrung our own surveillance and law-enforcement capabilities in blissful unawareness of the enemy that was about to slaughter 3,000 Americans.

The debate so far over the NSA surveillance has obscured more than it has enlightened. It is important to remember that the Constitution fully vests the president with authority to use all the powers of government to respond to national-security threats. Indeed, the Supreme Court held during the Civil War that the commander-in-chief is not merely empowered but obligated to respond effectively. This obviously includes deployment of intelligence assets as well as military force.

In addition, immediately after September 11, Congress declared that "the president has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism" and authorized "all necessary and appropriate force" against al Qaeda. The Bush administration cites this authorization in justifying the NSA program. Critics respond that the authorization said nothing about intercepting communications. Well, it didn't say anything about detaining enemy combatants either. But in the Hamdi case the Supreme Court upheld the administration's power to do just that, since such detentions are organically connected to waging war against al Qaeda. The same applies to the NSA wiretaps. The position of Bush's critics is that he can launch a Hellfire missile at an al Qaeda operative in Pakistan or Yemen, but can't listen to that operative's telephone conversations. Absurd.

When the history of the 21st century is written, the Themocrats inability to come to grips with the world changing on 9/11 will loom large in explaining why this party faded from the political scene after nearly two centuries of operations.

What we're seeing now is the death throes of a once-dominant political party. In 10 years, it won't make national ballots at this rate.


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