- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
Question of the Day
Can we all agree now on the necessity of uncompromised terrorist surveillance programs? British authorities said yesterday that “an unprecedented level” of surveillance of meetings, spending, travel and “the aspirations” of terrorists was the key to unravelling yesterday’s horrific plot to blow up transatlantic airliners in flight. This may or may not be the result of a “terrorism surveillance program” so controversial of late, but it surely demonstrates the need.
We shudder to think what would have happened in the coming days had the New York Times gotten hold of British or American airline antiterrorism investigations prior to yesterday’s arrests. A successful attack would have cost the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands, of innocent passengers travelling from the United Kingdom to North American destinations. People would have been incinerated over the Atlantic Ocean by fanatical Islamist terrorists in an attack which Home Secretary John Reid rightly calls the biggest terrorist threat Britain has ever faced.
The plot-foiling resulted from good intelligence work by British security services in conjunction with Pakistan and U.S. intelligence agencies. 24 suspects were in custody late Thursday, some or all of whom are reported to be British Muslims of Pakistani descent and citizens of the United Kingdom.
“During the investigation an unprecedented level of surveillance has been undertaken and that surveillance has had as its objective to gather intelligence and evidence in support of the investigation,” said Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police Service Antiterrorist Branch. “We have been looking at meetings, movements, travel, spending and the aspirations of a large group of people. This has involved close co-operation not only between agencies and police forces in the U.K. but also internationally.”
Is this a “terrorist surveillance program”? Possibly, possibly not. But even if it isn’t the type of program which Democrats and civil-libertarian maximalists so fashionably decry lately, it shows why those programs continue to be so necessary.
They were invaluable just two months ago in Canada, when successful surveillance of Islamist Internet sites led Canadian intelligence to thwart a major terrorist attack in and around Toronto. But nearly everyone seems to have forgotten about that near-catastrophe and its important lessons.
So simple an item as a carry-on bottle filled with combustible liquids can be the kind of vulnerability which radical Islamists stand ready to exploit. It’s time to stop the pretenses about terrorism surveillance. They don’t threaten our civil liberties; they save lives.
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq