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Jewish World Review Jan. 5, 2006/ 5 Teves, 5766

Ann Coulter

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Why we don't trust you with national security | It seems the Bush administration — being a group of sane, informed adults — has been secretly tapping Arab terrorists without warrants.

During the CIA raids in Afghanistan in early 2002 that captured Abu Zubaydah and his associates, the government seized computers, cell phones and personal phone books. Soon after the raids, the National Security Agency began trying to listen to calls placed to the phone numbers found in al-Qaida Rolodexes.

That was true even if you were "an American citizen" making the call from U.S. territory — like convicted al-Qaida associate Iyman Faris who, after being arrested, confessed to plotting to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge. If you think the government should not be spying on people like Faris, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

By intercepting phone calls to people on Zubaydah's speed-dial, the NSA arrested not only "American citizen" Faris, but other Arab terrorists, including al-Qaida members plotting to bomb British pubs and train stations.

The most innocent-sounding target of the NSA's spying cited by the Treason Times was "an Iranian-American doctor in the South who came under suspicion because of what one official described as dubious ties to Osama bin Laden." Whatever softening adjectives the Times wants to put in front of the words "ties to Osama bin Laden," we're still left with those words — "ties to Osama bin Laden." The government better be watching that person.

The Democratic Party has decided to express indignation at the idea that an American citizen who happens to be a member of al-Qaida is not allowed to have a private conversation with Osama bin Laden. If they run on that in 2008, it could be the first time in history a Republican president takes even the District of Columbia.

On this one, I'm pretty sure Americans are going with the president.

If the Democrats had any brains, they'd distance themselves from the cranks demanding Bush's impeachment for listening in on terrorists' phone calls to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. (Then again, if they had any brains, they'd be Republicans.)

To the contrary! It is Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer who are leading the charge to have Bush impeached for spying on people with Osama's cell phone number.

That's all you need to know about the Democrats to remember that they can't be trusted with national security. (That and Jimmy Carter.)

Thanks to the Treason Times' exposure of this highly classified government program, admitted terrorists like Iyman Faris are going to be appealing their convictions. Perhaps they can call Democratic senators as expert witnesses to testify that it was illegal for the Bush administration to eavesdrop on their completely private calls to al-Zarqawi.

Democrats and other traitors have tried to couch their opposition to the NSA program in civil libertarian terms, claiming Bush could have gone to the court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and gotten warrants for the interceptions.

The Treason Times reported FISA virtually rubber-stamps warrant requests all the time. As proof, the Times added this irrelevant statistic: In 2004, "1,754 warrants were approved." No one thought to ask how many requests were rejected.

Over and over we heard how the FISA court never turns down an application for a warrant. USA Today quoted liberal darling and author James Bamford saying: "The FISA court is as big a rubber stamp as you can possibly get within the federal judiciary." He "wondered why Bush sought the warrantless searches, since the FISA court rarely rejects search requests," said USA Today.

Put aside the question of why it's so vitally important to get a warrant from a rubber-stamp court if it's nothing but an empty formality anyway. After all the ballyhoo about how it was duck soup to get a warrant from FISA, I thought it was pretty big news when it later turned out that the FISA court had been denying warrant requests from the Bush administration like never before. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the FISA court "modified more wiretap requests from the Bush administration than from the four previous presidential administrations combined."

In the 20 years preceding the attack of 9/11, the FISA court did not modify — much less reject — one single warrant request. But starting in 2001, the judges "modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for court-ordered surveillance by the Bush administration." In the years 2003 and 2004, the court issued 173 "substantive modifications" to warrant requests and rejected or "deferred" six warrant requests outright.

What would a Democrat president have done at that point? Apparently, the answer is: Sit back and wait for the next terrorist attack. Also, perhaps as a gesture of inclusion and tolerance, hold an Oval Office reception for the suspected al-Qaida operatives. After another terrorist attack, I'm sure a New York Times reporter could explain to the victims' families that, after all, the killer's ties to al-Qaida were merely "dubious" and the FISA court had a very good reason for denying the warrant request.

Every once in a while the nation needs little reminder of why the Democrats can't be trusted with national security. This is today's lesson.

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JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of, most recently, "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) : The World According to Ann Coulter". (Sales help fund JWR.)

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