In a recent post about the white supremacist Sikh temple gunman, Brian Bennett of the L.A. Times laments that Big Brother couldn’t do more beforehand.
But the FBI is prohibited under federal law from collecting information on U.S. citizens not suspected of committing a crime. In order to open a domestic terrorism investigation, FBI agents must believe a suspect has threatened violence, has broken federal law and is trying to advance a political or social agenda.
This sets the bar high for opening a domestic terrorism case before someone has made a specific threat of violence or committed a crime.
It’s alarming that Bennett and the Times are open to throwing away laws that prohibit the KGB-style collecting of information against U.S. citizens that are not suspected of committing any crimes. How much more of our freedom will the leftist press be willing to sacrifice on the dubious claim that allowing Big Brother to keep files on American citizens will somehow help them stop crimes before they happen?
Reading Bennett’s call for more authoritarianism brought Samuel Adam’s famous quote to mind.
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
We cannot tolerate the actions of one man, no matter how vicious or evil, being used to strip away the basic protections and privacy of our entire Republic, and should revile Bennett and his editors at the Times for hinting at such a repulsive “solution.”