Forget the White House’s doomsday talk about American intelligence going blind. Thanks to backdoor provisions and alternate collection schemes, U.S. spies will keep on snooping.
President Obama and his top national security officials have spent the past few days warning that if intelligence-gathering authorities in the Patriot Act expire just after midnight Sunday—which is now a foregone conclusion—the United States will face a greater risk of a terrorist attack.
That argument is highly debatable—at least, in the short term. Not only does the U.S. government have all sorts of other ways to collect the same kind of intelligence outlined in the Patriot Act, but there’s also a little-noticed back door in the act that would allow U.S. spy agencies gather information in pretty much the same ways they did before.
In other words, there’s a zombie Patriot Act—one that will live on, even if the current version dies.
Should the Patriot Act sunset today?
At some point we will learn, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Obama and his minions in gov’t have used this metadata to find dirt on opponents.
Then, other Obama minions create a new, legal, trail to that dirt and snap the trap shut on an Obama opponent with no paper trail to that metadata.
Until that day we know that, so far, no actual terrorist attack has been thwarted by this metadata.
There’s a great reason for that.
Obama knows who HIS enemies are and can have minions dig into their everything until something gets found.
But we don’t know which disaffected Muslim from which radicalized imam at which radicalized mosque will be moved to action next.
Pinpointed, targeted data collection could help us.
Problem is it cannot help Obama.
He is allowing our next terrorists to hide as needles in haystacks just so he can cull data from his enemies in politics while appearing blameless.
We should be spying on every mosque’s public meetings in this country.
As we do so we would quickly see which ones we could drop from spying as they are inert.
Then we could target our spying on mosques led by radical imams.
We would thus be able to see when a disaffected young man is isolated and spy on his interactions with the imams and others.
Maybe then we could stop our next attacks.
This would not help Obama, but it would help us.