As tempting as it may be to impute sinister motives to the current administration in Washington, I cannot bring myself to join those whose knickers are all in a bunch over the Verizon data-collection revelations. Count me in the sanguine camp, where I enjoy the good company of John Yoo, Andy McCarthy, and the editors of the Wall Street Journal.
As a small player in the government-security apparatus, I am aware of the potential for overreach, for tyranny to come creeping in on cat’s feet. But my role in the apparatus also affords me a glimpse at the dangers we face, which are every bit as great today as they were on September 11, 2001. The president applauds himself for the absence of “large-scale” terrorist attacks since he took office, but this comes as small comfort to the victims of Boston or Fort Hood.
Of this we are certain: There are people living in the United States right now, many, many of them, who are no less committed to jihad than the Tsarnaev brothers or Nidal Hassan. If computerized analysis of telephone and Internet traffic can identify them and thwart their aims, I see it as a small price to pay. President Obama has declared an end to the War on Terror, but the terrorists haven’t ended their war on us.
— Jack Dunphy is an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. “Jack Dunphy” is the author’s nom de cyber.