Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Can Hope

I, for one, hope the Obama administration is not taking lessons from Dick Cheney and the Bushies on how to keep us safe:

Federal and city counterterrorism agents raided homes in New York City early Monday after a man under surveillance for suspected ties to al-Qaeda met with people in Queens, federal officials said.

Rep. Peter T. King (N.Y.), the senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, said after receiving a briefing from federal authorities Monday afternoon that the suspect's visit this weekend triggered the raids.

"He was being watched, and concern grew as he met with a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend," King told ABC News on Monday in a report forwarded by his office. "The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning."

OK, that's not too bad, right? I mean, the FBI is keeping mum about the nature of the investigation and that it's ongoing and all that, but...well, as my post last Tuesday suggests, the US government might have a bit of a hair trigger on inicidents like this.
Here's the bit that worries me, a little, that perhaps the Obama administration might be taking a tougher stance than it has to, in order to deflect right wing criticism:
Authorities said there were no arrests.
Bingo. You execute search warrants when you have probable cause to believe a crime has been or is about to be committed. Suspicion, paranoid delusion, or rumour should not ever be considered "probable cause", and yet the lack of arrests tells me that the FBI feels it might have gotten lucky, but didn't.
And if anything, this ought to have the fright-wing of the nation in turmoil. Wasn't it just a few months ago they were up in arms over a Bush DoJ document outlining the right wing hate groups in this country and how improved surveillance was essential in order to keep us safe from that form of domestic terror?
But of course, in that warped, counterintuitive Bizarro logic of the right-wing political landscape, where consistency is measured in nanoseconds while crowds are inflated beyond comprehension, this is a quieting moment, where it would be hard to criticize a President for being strong on terrorism, especially in light of Osama bin Laden's...remember him? Because Bush sure didn't!...recent taunting of Obama. 
But it worries me.