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Democrats' Amazing Disgrace
December 3, 2001

James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Recent tragic events that struck Israel stand as a bleak reminder to all Americans: Do not drift into a false sense of security. Our post-Sept. 11 faculties must remain sharply tuned.

Still, we see that at a time when the multifaceted nature of the "new war" is reinforced, Democrats are initiating a multifaceted war of their own.

They are betting on the idea that the American public will offset support for the president's policies against enemies abroad with criticism of the administration's domestic policies at home.

This is the same tactic that was employed against the senior Bush. Tag him with the label of good internationally, bad domestically.

How could this be happening so soon after these same politicians mouthed unity and crooned "God Bless America"?

The Dems' MO seems to be to attack the president and attorney general over anti-terror measures and, in their latest offensive, blame the Bush administration for the recession.

But one big fat obstacle stands in the way of their game plan. It's called fact.

It is difficult to believe that the congressional Democrats involved, along with select editorial boards of metropolitan newspapers and some university professors, have noble motives and are suddenly concerned with our civil liberties.

After all, the anti-terror bill (USA PATRIOT Act), which has genuine lasting, draconian and constitutionally questionable provisions, was virtually ignored.

On the other hand, tribunals that apply to non-citizens received more attention than the USA PATRIOT Act, which applies to citizens.

This may have something to do with the "big D" thumbprint on the legislation.

Three areas in which Democratic senators and their allies have tried to stir up trouble involve detainees, wiretaps and interviews.

Roughly 600 people are currently being detained. When we consider that, in recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have come to the United States from countries that nourish Al-Qaeda, and that 70,000 people have actually trained in Al-Qaeda terror camps, this is far from a mass roundup.

Other than the 55 charged with non-immigrant crimes, all of the detainees have violated immigration laws. Less than two dozen are being held as material witnesses.

It is important to note that 600 lawbreakers are being held today. This stands in contrast with the 120,000 people interned under FDR. Those individuals, 70,000 of whom were American citizens, were held and charged with nothing.

As to wiretaps, only those who are suspected of plotting terrorist activity from their prison cells are being monitored. These are individuals who have been convicted of crimes in the past. Before any listening-in occurs, both prisoner and attorney must be notified.

Those who implement the wiretap are not to have anything to do with the prosecution of the case. The information cannot be used in any manner, without the express permission of a federal judge.

Regarding future interviews, the Justice Department has identified people who have come to the United States from countries that have active Al-Qaeda operations. Officials plan to talk to those who are most likely to have information that might help prevent future terrorist acts. Participation in questioning will be voluntary.

These facts fly in the face of the charges that the Bush administration is somehow creating a "police state."

The attempt to pin the problems of the economy on the Bush administration does not survive factual scrutiny either. There is no causal connection between the actions of the Bush administration and the recession.

If the recession began last March, as economists suggest, the Bush administration could not have influenced it one way or the other. Blaming the president for a bad economy becomes politics as usual. The problem is we now live in an era where nothing is "as usual."

Since Sept. 11, the Justice Department has issued a series of warnings, increased security around vital facilities and engaged in numerous arrests and detentions. We have gone two and a half months with no significant terrorist attack.

It is not known whether terrorist acts have been directly prevented because of actions on the part of the Justice Department. But it is known that the less done, the greater the chance for American casualties.

Israel employs far more aggressive measures than the U.S. Yet the "Little Satan" continues to be the target of suicide bombings. Does anyone think that the "Great Satan" is no longer in the terrorists' sights?

Democrats are hoping that they can nudge public opinion of the Bush administration away from the supportive end of the meter. What they may find instead is that the majority of Americans stand strong in defense of freedom and united in their disdain of self-serving politicians.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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