To spy or not to spy? That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of unknown yet preventable terrorist attacks, and keep our precious civil liberties untarnished, or, take arms against a sea of possibilities, and by our own foreknowledge, oppose them? Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy wasn’t talking about terrorism, but the world is today. The news has been full of stories about President Bush and his spying program, with most of the spin being against his actions. The left is calling for a censure, an investigation, at the very least their faces in the news showing seething indignation. How could he? How dare he invade the lives of innocent people, record them without their knowledge, and monitor their activities? How could this happen, in America?
Wake up world, America is at war. Not sure why we need to be reminded of this, but it’s a fact. We’ve been at war for four years now. Many American lives have been lost in fighting this war; many innocent American civilians have died in the attack that started this war. Real lives, real people, fighting to stop terrorism. These people give up their freedom, live in harsh conditions, and often do not come home. Ever. They make the ultimate sacrifice for us, for our country. We owe them the best protection we can possibly give, to ensure each soldier the best chance of success and safety as they perform their duties. We owe that to these Americans, fighting for us as we go about our daily lives.
We owe them.
And that means spying. Yes, spying. Recording those who have contacts with countries that harbor terrorists, monitoring groups or organizations that our government deems as a possible threat, and also detaining individuals who are deemed suspicious by our government. This is war, and this is what happens during a war. People die, innocent people get hurt and inconvenienced. To give up spying activities by our government is like tying a blindfold on a ground soldier, asking him to ‘guess’ where the enemy might be, and hopefully guess right. We have to do better than that.
This war is different than any other we have engaged in. We aren’t fighting a specific country, we’re fighting a sick idealism that paints Americans as an evil force. We do not have anyone to reason with here, we do not have a stage to bargain on, we only have the agenda of the Jihad- Americans must die. These people are more than willing to kill themselves trying to kill us. They act individually, they can strike anywhere at any time, as we have experienced. They are there, and they are waiting for us to let our guard down.
Civil liberties are important, you’ll get no argument here to the contrary. However, what good are civil liberties when our country is under constant threat of an unknown attack, when we can no longer feel safe going to the grocery store? Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge? Flying cross-country? Eating, drinking our food? Turning a blind eye to possible terrorist planning makes all of these activities high risk. We become prisoners, civil and liberated yet afraid to leave our homes.
Forewarned is forearmed. Spying gives us valuable knowledge about possible terrorist planning and activities. We can use that knowledge to protect American lives, and continue to fight against terrorism. To suggest we curtail spying to protect our civil liberties is nothing more than liberal propaganda that will, in the end, cost us more innocent American lives. There is nothing noble about that.
I Spy: Terrorists at Work