Does the civil-rights card trump everything else in American political life? For some outfits like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, that certainly seems to be argument they’re making. The hijacking of the civil-rights movement by other special-interest groups is shameful enough — they’re using the struggle for African-American equality as a club with which to beat American society into unconsciousness, if not acquiescence — but in this instance, it redefines chutzpah. From my New York Post column today:
Of all the rights we cherish as citizens of the United States, the most important right is one that’s somehow become controversial since 9/11 — the right to self-preservation.
What else to make of a recent spate of stories criticizing the New York City Police Department for the imagined outrage of keeping surreptitious tabs on the city’s large and occasionally restive Muslim population through a network of undercover agents and informants?
The NYPD doesn’t talk about its Counterterrorism or Intelligence units much, but they’re the envy of the feds, especially the bumbling CIA and the FBI:
Ten years after the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history — an attack conceived, plotted, planned and executed by Muslims explicitly in the name of their religion — the NYPD is supposed to apologize for taking necessary and prudent steps to protect the city?
The department doesn’t publicly discuss the measures taken by its crack Counterterrorism Unit, widely regarded in the intelligence community as superior to anything the CIA or the FBI can muster. A spokesman for the police department denies the existence of the “Demographics Unit.”
But so determined is the CTU to prevent another attack that the department has effectively adopted the Israelis’ motto — Never Again. And it means it.
Fiercely independent from, and at times disdainful of, the feds, the CTU stations officers in, among other places, London, Hamburg, Tel Aviv, Toronto and with Interpol in Lyons, France. It also routinely sends investigators to the war zones, ruffling the feds’ feathers — and with good reason. Far more extensively than the CIA, it recruits and employs officers fluent in Middle Eastern languages like Arabic and Farsi, many of them from as far away as … Queens and Brooklyn.
Naturally, the suicide cult that is the modern Left is jumping up and down about this, but to their credit the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg have basically told them to shut up and sit down:
This may come as a shock to CAIR and the NYCLU and the rest of the whiners, but not everything is a civil-rights issue — and if some surveillance focuses on ethnicity, it’s for a very good reason. “Prejudice” or “Islamophobia” has nothing to do with it…
Lincoln put it best: “Are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated?” he asked. Or, as the late Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson famously said, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”