Although I am no fan of Bush’s spying program, as he could accomplish the same while working within the framework of the law and in conjunction with the other two branches of government, the lawsuit by the ACLU is quite outrageous.
Consider these allegations from the complaint:
“Some of the plaintiffs, in connection with scholarship, journalism, or legal representation, communicate with people whom the United States believes or believed to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations.”
“Some of the communications of ACLU staff concerned individuals whom the Justice Department’s website describes as ‘linked to the September 11th investigation’.”
“ACLUF attorneys and human rights advisors have communicated by telephone and email with individuals whom the CIA has alleged are associated with terrorist organizations.”
“The government has attempted to deport some of [Mr. Ayad’s] clients because of suspected ties to terrorism. For example, the government suspected some of his clients of supporting, or having ties to, the military wing of Hezbollah, a group that has been designated a terrorist organization by the Department of State.”
In a nutshell, these individuals are communicating with terrorists, who are not US citizens and not in the US. The communications are not intended to protect the security of the country. Rather, the goal is apparently to find ways to prevent these persons from being imprisoned. Another implicit subplot in the complaint is an attempt to gather information for political use to harm the Republican Presidency.
Wouldn’t it have been refreshing for the ACLU to say “We are trying to win the war against terrorists by infiltrating their organizations and to obtain information about them. To do that we are engaged in various activities and communications.”
Instead, we get allegations suggesting that whenever someone, anyone in the world, is accused of being a terrorist, these persons run to their aid – particularly if the terrorism is targeted at the United States. Repulsive.
These terrorists are seeking nothing less than the downfall of Western Civilization and to kill all of us. The ACLU terrorism complaint highlights the need for vigilence and spying. Now, if the Bush administration could only do it right so it is not sidetracked by these issues. What an unnecessary mess.