Big Sis and free­dom’s demise

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

At a Politico break­fast at the New­seum on Sept. 6, Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Janet Napoli­tano tokk her crit­ics to task. “Big Sis” in­sisted that the likes of Matt Drudge have been wrong to fo­cus at­ten­tion on the grad­ual de­struc­tion of civil lib­er­ties and pri­vacy in this coun­try since the Sept. 11 ji­hadist at­tacks on Amer­ica.

An As­so­ci­ated Press-NORC Cen­ter for Pub­lic Af­fairs Re­search sur­vey also re­leased Sept. 6 sug­gested, on the sur­face, that Amer­i­cans might be buy­ing into the var­i­ous Big Govern­ment schemes ped­dled as a re­sponse to ter­ror­ism.

A plu­ral­ity of 47 per­cent had no prob­lem with forc­ing peo­ple to carry a national ID card. More than 70 per­cent sup­ported the 24/7 use of fed­eral sur­veil­lance cam­eras to track and record ev­ery move­ment of peo­ple and their ve­hi­cles.

Ms. Napoli­tano likely took com­fort in know­ing 58 per­cent of re­spon­dents backed elec­tronic strip searches and the grop­ing of pri­vate parts as a pre­con­di­tion for board­ing air­planes. Sur­pris­ingly, when the ques­tion of us­ing the same mea­sures was ap­plied to buses, trol­leys and other forms of mass tran­sit, the idea lost by a 6 per­cent mar­gin. Per­haps that’s be­cause 44 per­cent of those par­tic- ipat­ing in the sur­vey iden­ti­fied them­selves as “not em­ployed.”

About 69 per­cent hadn’t taken more than a sin­gle trip by air­plane this year, sug­gest­ing that what hap­pens at the air-

As we near the 10th an­niver­sary of the at­tacks on the World Trade Cen­ter and the Pen­tagon, it’s worth not­ing that the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion has yet to catch a sin­gle ter­ror­ist.

ports was of less di­rect con­cern for them.

Those look­ing to ag­gran­dize the allpow­er­ful le­viathan state have been re­ly­ing upon such parochial im­pulses to ex- pand their agenda. Some forces on the left and even the right have ex­ploited the fear of a pos­si­ble at­tack to chip away tra­di­tional Amer­i­can val­ues of in­de­pen­dence and drive them into the wel­com­ing arms of a nanny state. Their schemes pur­port to bar­gain away a lit­tle free­dom for a bit of safety. That is al­ways a bad deal.

As we near the 10th an­niver­sary of the at­tacks on the World Trade Cen­ter and the Pen­tagon, it’s worth not­ing that the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion has yet to catch a sin­gle ter­ror­ist. We’ve al­lowed count­less women, young chil­dren and men to be sex­u­ally as­saulted by blue-gloved thugs, with noth­ing to show for our loss of free­dom. What the Drudge Re­port has done is keep mil­lions of read­ers up to speed on a fact Big Sis would rather you for­get: Our govern­ment fre­quently does more dam­age to our way of life than any ter­ror­ists could ever hope to do.

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