July 3, 2008

United States of Lamerica

Excuse me, but what's the date today?

July 3rd.

Okay. Uh, what year is it?

2008.

So, 9/11 was like six years and eight, almost nine months ago, right?

So, why are we reading articles like the following today, rather than, say, six and a half years ago? Was Homeland Security too busy hassling octogenarian retired Marine Corps generals on their way to give a speech at West Point when their Congressional Medals of Honor set off the metal detector?

The AP reports:

Proposed Justice Dept. rules would allow FBI profiling

By Lara Jakes Jordan The Associated press

WASHINGTON (AP)- The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups.

Law enforcement officials say the proposed policy would help them do exactly what Congress demanded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: root out terrorists before they strike.

Although President Bush has disavowed targeting suspects based on their race or ethnicity, the new rules would allow the FBI to consider those factors among a number of traits that could trigger a national security investigation.

Currently, FBI agents need specific reasons - like evidence or allegations that a law probably has been violated - to investigate U.S. citizens and legal residents. The new policy, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, would let agents open preliminary terrorism investigations after mining public records and intelligence to build a profile of traits that, taken together, were deemed suspicious.

Among the factors that could make someone subject of an investigation is travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, access to weapons or military training, along with the person's race or ethnicity.

More than a half-dozen senior FBI, Justice Department and other U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the new policy agreed to discuss it only on condition of anonymity, either because they were not allowed to speak publicly or because the change is not yet final.

The change, which is expected later this summer, is part of an update of Justice Department policies known as the attorney general guidelines. They are being overhauled amid the FBI's transition from a traditional crime-fighting agency to one whose top mission is to protect America from terrorist attacks.

"We don't know what we don't know. And the object is to cut down on that," said one FBI official who defended the plans.

Another official, while also defending the proposed guidelines, raised concerns about criticism during the presidential election year over what he called "the P word" - profiling. ...

The changes would allow FBI agents to ask open-ended questions about activities of Muslim- or Arab-Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect. ...

Racial profiling generally is considered a civil rights violation, and former Attorney General John Ashcroft condemned it in March 2001 as an "unconstitutional deprivation of equal protection under our Constitution."

President Bush also has condemned racial profiling as "wrong in America" and in a December 2001 interview had harsh words for an airline that refused to let one of his Secret Service agents board a commercial flight. The agent was Arab-American.

Of course, on 9/11/2001, the Bush Administration was actively working to loosen security on Arab airplane passengers, such as, Mohammed Atta, by cracking down on airport profiling. But, that's disappeared down the memory hole.

Is America just terminally lame? It's been 80 months and the government is now kicking around the idea of profiling? The Ottoman bureaucracy was more on the ball in the 1880s.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

17 comments:

none of the above said...

Surely that last date in your post should be 9/11/2001.

Eric said...

Of course, on 9/11/2008, the Bush Administration was actively working to loosen security on Arab airplane passengers...

Erm....

Anonymous said...

I doubt I am the first paranoid to e-mail on this. This policy is not about Arabs or Muslims. The targets of the expanded powers will be the real threat to America: Neo-Nazi militias and Anti-Semitic groups. Remember the terrorist attacks on the Synagogues? Timothy McVey? People with engage in non-state sponsored military training, like the Michagan militia?

Remember, every day is the day before the night of Kristallnacht.
Or August 31, 1939. Or Sept. 1938. Or the day in 1290 when the Jews were expelled from England or some other equally horrible day in history that can never be forgotten or forgiven.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is 100% correct. These laws have nothing to do with Arabs and everything to do with white men. In 5 to 10 years, the "War on Terror" will become the "War on Hate." And guess what? White men don't have liberals to look out for them as the Arabs do. This is very important to understand.

testing99 said...

No, anon is not correct. He's never worked in a bureaucracy, nor has Steve, so neither have a clue what bureaucracy is all about.

NOT GETTING FIRED.

You can only get fired for running afoul of the reigning ideology. Which is now PC-Multiculturalism. GWB did not fight (because he was lazy) with the Dems over PC and simply dare to impose by executive order profiling. Instead we got massive CAIR lawsuits, etc. the ACLU all over the place, Kerry, Kennedy, Boxer, Feinstein, etc. screaming murder.

Now, the bureaucracy has floated rules (which will NEVER be enforced) because they are SCARED OUT OF THEIR MINDS of another mass attack or series of attacks. Either a nuke or a series of gunmen and IEDs. "Hey, we tried, but you wouldn't let us" is a good excuse.

IT's prevention from GETTING FIRED.

cabrolet said...

Steve, how about some commentary on the attempted "norming" of left wing patriotism espoused this time by one David Greenberg at Slate.com:

'Waving the Flag: How the Republicans Claimed the "Patriotism" Mantle in Presidential Politics'

http://www.slate.com/id/2194695/entry/2194697/

During every single election we go through this ridiculous exercise of the attempted re-definition and re-shaping of patriotism in order to fit the liberal worldview.

There was a very telling videotape of an Obama speech from a couple months ago where he was asked about his idea of patriotism and, in response, Obama immediately launched into a global poverty rescue plan outline - but then he caught himself and tacked back to a national discussion. Too funny! How provincial are the politics of modern America that Obama would feel forced to contain his welfare plans to within the borders of the U.S.A.

By the way, Lawrence Auster is very good in his accounts of the 'hilarious dilemma of liberal patriotism'. Because that's exactly what liberal patriotism is: laugh out loud hilarious.

Dmytro Kornilov said...

I wrote about patriotism the other day. You'd think that paleocons or racialists should like it, but under an evil regime like ours it becomes worse than useless. Our elites use the word to manipulate our natural tribalism but this "patriotism" ends up serving the interests of others.

halfbreed said...

I'll never forget the head-scratching experience of going through the security lines at various airports right after 8/11. I have a vaguely ethnic look, and was young enough looking so that my appearance should have excited suspicion among the security personnel. Yet I was never once singled out for special attention. Instead I saw, on more than a couple occasions, little old white ladies asked to step aside to be frisked and wanded. It didn't exactly make me feel safer. This sort of willful blindness is the perfect metaphor for the mindset which dominates our country these days.

Henry Canaday said...

Let's see, the rules now are;

1) it is a violation of the Equal Protection clause to use race as one factor in investigating or preventing crime, even though these actions will not result in any substantial harm to the individual unless evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime; but

2) it does not violate Equal Protection, and in fact is mandatory, to use race as a factor in, not just reviewing applications for college admissions, but in actually awarding these admissions, which are substantial benefits to the individuals.

So major benefits may be awarded due to race, but inquiries that themselves do no harm may not be influenced by race. That is the formal logic of today's political and legal culture.

ben tillman said...

This is not good news. As has already been said, this cannot be intended to be used on foreign terrorists; the national government has already demonstrated that it finds this sort of terrorist beneficial. otherwise, it wouldl have ceases importing them long before 9/11/01.

ben tillman said...

No, anon is not correct. He's never worked in a bureaucracy, nor has Steve, so neither have a clue what bureaucracy is all about.

NOT GETTING FIRED


How many bureaucrats got fired as a result of 9/11/01?

Argent Paladin said...

They should take a page from your book and substitute family ties for race. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to show that generic Arab X at airport is 5th cousin twice-removed from terror suspect Y. Then one could technically avoid race and just focus on ancestry.

RKU said...

(1) The odds look pretty good that Obama will be the next President, with his wife Michelle being a very influential First Lady.

(2) Steve has written all sorts of really nasty things about Mr. and Mrs. Obama.

(3) Presumably, Steve's views are very much part of the "ideological profile" of all sorts of terrorists, KKKers, etc., or at least that's what groups like the SPLC keep claiming.

THEREFORE

(4): I really wonder who Barak Hussein Obama will decide to have "investigated" based on his profile...

Roger Chaillet said...

Some of your posters are correct.

Remember Dr. Steven Hatfill?

It's my belief he was railroaded because he was white, and a had resided in Zimbabwe. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A49717-2003Sep9?language=printer

Interesting to note he won his case against the brownshirts in the federal government, yet the real terrorists go scot-free. http://www.anthraxinvestigation.com/Hatfill-v-Kristof.html

airtommy said...

The July 4th holiday "Independence Day" was originally intended to celebrate our freedom from imperialism. Now, it seems the right-wing almost universally considers this holiday a time to celebrate imperialism and savagely attack any American who does not support it. Kudos to Steve Sailer to avoiding this trend, even if virtually his entire audience is part of it.

David Davenport said...

GWB did not fight (because he was lazy) with the Dems over PC and simply dare to impose by executive order profiling. ...

I disagree. It's more than bureaucratic or Bush Jr. inertia. The Bush Admin. is affirmatively and actively afraid of insulting Sasudis travelling to the US.

Saudi A. -- The home country of many members of Al Q. in Itraq.

Our elites use the word to manipulate our natural tribalism but this "patriotism" ends up serving the interests of others.

So what's your opinion of patriotism in Israel?

Roger Chaillet said...

One of your many "Anonymous" posters is wrong.

The attack on the El Al ticket counter at LAX a few years ago came via the hands of a Muslim.

As for 9/11 and racial profiling, American Airlines had an advertisement in the Dallas paper on the morning of 9/11 proudly announcing the appointment of a "Latina" as VP of Diversity. No, I am not making this up. Interested readers can go to the online archives of the News for that day, and confirm it for themselves.

The Republic is finished.