This has been a very interesting week. Americans hold a free speech private event and get attacked by two Islamic jihadists — who were shot dead. The Americans holding the event are criticized for inciting the jihadists and offending Muslims. As we reported yesterday, one of the slain jihadists had been on the FBI watch list and had even been brought in for lying to law enforcement officials but was released.ISIS uses social media to take credit for the attack and issues a Fatwa on social media against the organizer of the free speech event. And we find out that the primary Islamic jihadist in the attack had been in contact with a known ISIS recruiter.
And despite all of that, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the NSA megadata surveillance program, which systematically collects millions of Americans’ phone records, is illegal.
As reported by Reuters, the ruling puts “pressure on Congress to quickly decide whether to replace or end the controversial anti-terrorism surveillance. Ruling on a program revealed by former government security contractor Edward Snowden, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the Patriot Act did not authorize the National Security Agency to collect Americans’ calling records in bulk. Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch wrote for a three-judge panel that Section 215, which addresses the FBI’s ability to gather business records, could not be interpreted to have permitted the NSA to collect a “staggering” amount of phone records, contrary to claims by the Bush and Obama administrations. “Such expansive development of government repositories of formerly private records would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans,” Lynch wrote in a 97-page decision. “We would expect such a momentous decision to be preceded by substantial debate, and expressed in unmistakable language. There is no evidence of such a debate.” The appeals court did not rule on whether the surveillance violated the U.S. Constitution. It also declined to halt the program, noting that parts of the Patriot Act including Section 215 expire on June 1.”
Back in 2011 after I was sworn into Congress, the Patriot Act was up for a five-year renewal. At first there was a vote for a three-month extension — for which I voted yea. I wanted to better research this measure and ascertain whether or not it had a viable use.After doing my due diligence along with my staff, my final vote was against the five-year renewal of the Patriot Act. I didn’t do that out of blind allegiance to the folks calling for it, but rather I wished our government would conduct “trend analysis” rather than blanket surveillance.
What do I mean by trend analysis? It’s exactly what law enforcement does every day, and what troops in combat do utilizing gathered intelligence — you focus on the leads you acquire. Now, the word “profiling” has been completely demonized, but it is actually trend analysis. I concur with the decision made by the federal appeals court today, but I have an even more pressing question — what does that mean to the enemy?
Yes, the enemy I’m not afraid to name: militant Islamic jihadists — not radical because they’re simply following the precepts and guidance of Mohammed in the Medina-forward phases of Islam – 622 AD to today.Groups like the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) (and have they made a statement condemning the jihadist attack and the ISIS claim, or even the fatwa issued against Pam Geller? Because if so, I’ve missed it) scream racism and offense when there are targeted surveillance programs aimed at the Muslim community in America. As a result, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled the program — just as he did “stop and frisk” and look at what’s happening with shooting crimes in NYC.
My concern is this: sure, we all want our personal liberties — but what do they mean if you’re dead? What we cannot allow our guard to completely drop at such a critical moment when we face an enemy so emboldened that they are recruiting and building a network right underneath our noses.And having the FBI Director state his agency is tracking ISIS related cases in 49 out of 50 states is rather eye-opening. As we reported, ISIS claimed this week they have fighters at the ready in 15 states.
So what is the policy solution? We don’t want the NSA to conduct surveillance. We cower when stealth jihad groups complain and bring lawsuits against surveillance programs — heck, we even have liberal progressive socialists who are complicit. Islamapologists refer to others as “Islamophobes” when they present the facts and seek to alert this nation about a clear and present danger.
All the while, the enemy just sits back and laughs, watching us tie ourselves in knots while they grow in numbers and spin their web of savage barbarism — waiting for the opportune moment.
You see, we have to be right every time. They only have to get it right once. However, if you truly ponder where we find ourselves — they are winning. They are winning because we had the intel on the Tsarnaev boys – and did nothing.
We knew who Nidal Hasan was – and did nothing. And now we’re being told that all indicators were that the two jihadists were known to be heading to Garland Texas. As NBC reports, “Three hours before gunmen attacked an anti-Prophet Muhammad event in Garland, Texas on Sunday, the FBI sent a bulletin to local police with a photo of one of the shooters, Elton Simpson, noting that he was “interested in the event,” FBI director James Comey said. At the time, the FBI had no reason to believe that Simpson intended to attack the event, Comey told reporters Thursday. Nor did the agency know that Simpson was already on his way there. Comey also said that he does not believe that the police officer who shot Simpson and the second gunman, Soofi Nadir, was aware of the bulletin. Thank God the Garland police officer did something.
Let me explain, if acts of terrorism were being conducted by white senior citizens above the age of 65, I would recommend we conduct surveillance on senior citizen centers.
When I was a commander in Iraq, we knew that late night ambushes and IEDs were being laid by jihadists on motorbikes in late hours emanating from certain palm grove areas hidden from view. In my Area of Operations, we put a curfew on motorbikes and increased surveillance in designated palm groves and large compounds in those areas. That is what we call trend analysis.
In America we have an issue with militant Islamic jihadists — Minneapolis is a large recruiting area. We know they’re using social media — based on this tren
If you want the attacks and recruiting to stop, then stop allowing this enemy to infiltrate. Lone young men and women fitting a certain trend who seek travel overseas to Europe, especially connecting to Turkey, should be pulled aside. Anyone of a specified demographic matching evident trends seeking reentry into the United States with questionable passport entries should be pulled aside.
And mosques where Islamic jihadists have frequented along with their leaders should be kept under focused surveillance. We cannot just sit back and do nothing. And the American Muslim community must come to realize there are consequences. We must stop with the cowering and appeasement.
Any organization listed in the 2004 Muslim Brotherhood strategic memorandum written by Mohammed Akhram in 1991 should be kept under surveillance and their “demands” should NEVER be met — such as the Muslim Student Association’s coercion in canceling the screening of “American Sniper.”
None of what I say here is unreasonable. And as my dad, Buck West, would say, “Son, a hit dog will holler.” Those screaming the loudest and protesting the most are the ones complicit and have something to hide.
No, we don’t need to cast a wide net on the American public — we know who the enemy is, and where they are. We just need the intestinal fortitude to go after them!