Saturday, December 24, 2005

Nuclear Monitoring of Muslims Done Without Search Warrants

By David E. Kaplan

In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.

While I hate government snooping of any kind, just as a matter of principle; I think it not wise to go off the deep end on this situation, until we know a lot more about it.
Being no lawyer, I cannot speak to the legality of radiation detection without a warrant, but this really does seem a no- brainer from a laymen's point of view.
While I don't see why warrants could not be obtained, after the fact, even, for searches of private property involving something like suspicion that someone might be readying a dirty bomb for detonation somewhere, I can't get real worked up about radiation detectors being employed anywhere any time.
If this is, indeed, all they are doing; radiation detection, I say, carry on.
However, I am not so certain that they should only be monitoring mosques.
What about monitoring Pat Robertson's Church, studios, homes...what have you. Isn't he the one who suggested nuking the State Department?
Is anyone monitoring the Aryan White Brotherhood or other organizations who raise hatred and bias to a hideous art form?
Why aren't all the religious whack-jobs in this country being monitored for radiation? They are all crazy enough to cause some major catastrophe, if for no other reason than to have something horrible happen so that they can blame the "Libruls" who want to curb the (un)Patriot Act.
Not all Muslims are terrorists, just as not all Christians and Jews are terrorists. But some are!
Some so-called followers of each of the Abrahamic traditions seem to have gone way off the deep end.
I say monitor the religiously insane, I don't care who they are.
Here's why:
There is a very old joke that probably every psychologist, psychiatrist and clinical social worker has heard, at least once, and usually before they finish Abnormal Psych. 101. It goes something like this:
If a patient says to you; Doc, I keep hearing the voice of the Devil telling me to kill my neighbor, keep him in session and keep talking to him. He can probably be dissuaded from such a delusion, at least until the Haldol kicks in..
However, if he tells you that God is telling him to kill his neighbor;  call the cops, 1013 him and do your duty to warn, because he is gonna do it. 
This old joke (psychiatric parable if you will) has stood the test of time, because it contains a very basic truth. People commit far more hideous crimes against their fellow human beings in the name of God than in the name of Satan, or whomever.
Self-Righteousness is powerful fuel for all manner of indecency, cruelty and criminal actions.
So, monitor away, but monitor all of the religiously insane.
In the mean time, we will keep an eye on this revelation. We have probably not heard the whole truth about it yet.


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