Cal Thomas: Government Agencies Failed, so We Must Give Them Even More Authority

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After something like what happened in Boston occurs, journalists and government agents trot out the following canard: Government agencies need more authority to conduct real investigations and more funding, lots of extra funding. The Usual Suspects never fail to give us the same dog-and-pony show rendition and legislators always accede to the demands.

The latest version of this broken record (There. I’ve dated myself.) comes from the Columnist from Central Casting Cal Thomas in World Magazine, who writes:

According to Dana Priest and William M. Arkin of The Washington Post: “Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. … An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. … In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings—about 17 million square feet of space.”

All of that failed to prevent the Boston bombings. The massive manpower, sophisticated equipment, and money could not stop the Tsarnaevs from constructing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including “pressure cooker” bombs. Despite a domestic army of federal, state, and local forces, the suspects managed to evade capture for days until Tamerlan was killed in a shootout and David Henneberry, a Watertown resident, found Dzhokhar hiding in his boat in his backyard. Henneberry called 911 and the wounded suspect was taken into custody.

So, what does Thomas conclude? We need more “intelligence,” more authority for government agents, more internal spy networks, and more summary judgments of our “enemy within.” His column could have been written off a template, but is what passes for “journalism” these days. First, he declares:

How much confidence should Americans have in their government for keeping us safe when two young men can wreak havoc, shutting down a major city?

Apparently a lot of confidence because he essentially calls for the government to dismantle of much of the Bill of Rights (or, I guess, destroy those few rights that we have left):

One thing the U.S. government should decide is whether or not to allow people into America from countries where radical Islam and “jihad” are taught. The hope has been that letting them live here would lead them to become more like us, more accepting of our way of life. In fact, their stay in America seems to have reinforced a radical brand of religion and its worldview that are intended to destroy countries like America whose freedoms and “libertinism” they despise.

The UK Daily Mirror reported Sunday that the FBI was hunting a 12-member “sleeper cell” they say is linked to the Tsarnaev brothers. Quoting a source close to the investigation, The Mirror reported, “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.”

More must also be done to curtail the admission of radical imams and the construction of mosques and Islamic schools where hatred of America, Jews, and Christians is preached and taught. How many sleeper cells are there in America? They must be found and dismantled. As offensive as this may be to some sensibilities, it is either that, or the offense of more terrorist attacks by people who hate us and are willing to die in the pursuit of goals they believe are dictated by their god.

Time and space do not allow a full rebuttal to what Thomas has written, but there are some things that need to be placed into perspective (not that Thomas is intellectually capable of having such perspective):

  1. The Boston bombers have not “destroyed” America. If a bomb here or a shooting there “destroys” America, then America is a pretty weak and helpless entity. Even the most militant practitioners of the most militant brand of any religion do not have the capability of destroying a large country like ours. If there is real destruction, it comes from within, from the very agencies Thomas wants to be given even more authority.
  2. The only way to prevent construction of a house of worship is via zoning laws and other legal restrictions that always will be used to prevent Christian churches and houses of worship to be created as well. Thomas in other columns has lamented government heavy-handedness against churches and individual Christians, but guess what? Giving government the power to determine which religion is acceptable and which is not is giving government the power to determine that Christianity is unacceptable in a “democratic” society.
  3. What constitutes “hatred” and what does not? I’m sure that a number of Jews believed Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” was a form of “hate speech,” and neoconservative columnist Charles Krauthammer declared the movie to be a “blood libel” against Jews. Should the government have the power to forbid the showing of that movie?
  4. What tactics should government agents use to find and dismantle the “sleeper cells”? For that matter, what should be the definition of a “sleeper cell”?

In Thomas’s world, the USA is an innocent victim of unwarranted terrorist attacks from Muslims, and anything Americans do either overseas or at home in the name of fighting terrorism is justified. Killing women and children at weddings via drone strikes? Off with their heads! Creating political havoc and hatred abroad by occupying other countries and brutally enforcing the will of American politicians? Fully justified.

Thomas continues:

How many more Americans must be killed and wounded before we fight back, not just overseas, but here? Our enemies are fighting us here. It’s our country, not theirs. We must fight for it.

“Scores” of Americans were not killed in Boston. Yes, there was too much loss of life because the killing of anyone is “too much.” But I get the sense that what Thomas wants is for Americans to give government agents even more power and authority and an even bigger share of their paychecks in order to “fight for it” (the USA).

Unfortunately, he apparently is not even capable of connecting the dots from what he previously wrote about the impotence of the “anti-terrorist” apparatus already created. Americans have spent trillions of dollars in the name of “fighting terrorism,” yet we are told that truly all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men could not stop a couple of young men from exploding bombs at a major American sporting event.

What is Thomas’s response? The American State obviously needs more power and more authority. Stay tuned for a future column by Cal Thomas complaining about how government agents are being heavy-handed against American Christians. And like most people on the Religious Right, he won’t be intellectually capable of making the connection between vastly expanding government authority and its heavy-handed use against people who are no threat to others. The dog-and-pony show must continue! And continue! And continue!

6:00 am on April 24, 2013