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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Editorial: Get spied on without doing anything wrong

If you're wondering how desperate of a pickle we're in in our "war on terror," check out the following item: The Department of Justice is mulling over whether to let the FBI investigate U.S. citizens and legal residents without evidence of wrongdoing. Instead, investigators would be allowed to use racial profiling, targeting, according to The Associated Press, "Muslim, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups. ... The changes would allow FBI agents to ask open-ended questions about activities of Muslim- or Arab-Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds match trends that analysts deem suspect." Attorney General Michael Mukasey denies this is happening. Then again, just as he doesn't consider waterboarding torture, perhaps Mukasey has a new term for racial profiling ("racial recognition" would sound downright complimentary). Also, senior FBI agents and law enforcement officials spoke to the AP about the potential new guidelines, so we know it was/is being considered. Say hello to the World War II days, when just being Japanese was enough to be seen as a threat. So, we're being told that racial profiling might be allowed as a legitimate investigative tool. I guess that means all that warrantless spying on thousands of Americans, snooping through our mail and e-mail and keeping tabs on whom we call hasn't been yielding much in the way of evidence. Anyway. [Link]

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