Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Pre-Emptive Hypocrisy
While I agree that the Bush (and Clinton) administration could have done a lot more to protect us from 9/11, I think most of the complaints are overly reliant on hindsight. In particular, when people and organizations that are on the record as being anti-war, anti-profiling, and pro-UN, then argue that Bush should have been more aggressive, it reeks -- reeks! -- of partisan hypocrisy. Who am I thinking of? How about the NYT?

In an editorial this week that embodies the left's unmitigated gall, the New York Times castigated President Bush for not doing enough after receiving an Aug. 6, 2001, briefing memo warning vaguely of bin Laden-planned domestic terrorism. According to the Times, Mr. Bush should have "rushed back to the White House, assembled all his top advisers and demanded to know what, in particular, was being done to screen airline passengers to make sure people who fit the airlines' threat profiles were being prevented from boarding American planes."

That's right. The same editorial board that has barbecued the Bush Justice Department after the September 11 attacks for fingerprinting young male temporary visa-holders traveling from terror-sponsoring and terror-friendly nations (editorial, June 6, 2002); temporarily detaining asylum-seekers from high-risk countries for background screening (editorial, Dec. 28, 2002); and sending undercover agents to investigate mosques suspected of supporting terrorism (editorial, May 31, 2002) now expects us to believe it would have applauded Mr. Bush for his vigilance if he had swiftly ordered airport security officials to stop thousands of young Middle Eastern men at airports during the summer 2001 on the basis of an ill-defined threat.

Unsurprisingly, when Attorney General John Ashcroft acted decisively to detain more than 1,200 potential Zacarias Moussaouis after September 11, he was lambasted by Democrats, the American Civil Liberties Union, minority groups, and, yes, the New York Times editorial board, which attacked Mr. Ashcroft's "extreme measures" (Nov. 10, 2001) against illegal alien detainees who were merely "Muslim men with immigration problems" (Sept. 10, 2002).

See what I mean?

And yes, this is rather similar to an Ace of Spades post.

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