So, the New York Times started a kerfuffle before Christmas by headlining the top-secret wiretapping of Americans whose phone numbers were found on captured al Qaeda cell phones and laptops. As Ann Coulter pointed out, the newspaper reported on the NSA’s activities as if that were a bad thing. Now we discover that a majority of Americans, and even a majority of Democrats, agree with Ann Coulter on that point. Pollster Scott Rasmussen asked this question last week:
Should the National Security Agency be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States?
Pajamas Media has the blogosphere roundup and analysis.
But even before Rasmussen published the results of his poll, James Taranto over at the Wall Street Journal had highlighted the fact that all the hand-wringing over at the New York Times and the Democratic leadership only served to underscore the point that, far from being in the mainstream, their views on protecting the civil liberties of terrorists at the expense of American lives and security makes them wacko left-wing extremists instead of centrists (my words, not his). Democratic strategists are even calling the Patriot Act, which the Senate has refused to make permanent, “good legislation.”
This is just as I suspected. If a president with a D behind his name were doing the exact same things President Bush has been doing, there would not have been a peep of protest. That makes the anti-war protesters hypocrites, as well as the New York Times. Clinton waged war; a war which was not so intimately tied to American national security, and there were no anti-war protests anywhere. Thus today’s protesters are not anti-war, they are anti-something else, and are just calling it anti-war to dupe everyone. (Possibly they are anti-American national security?)
The New York Times did not spill national security secrets on the front pages, even though Clinton wiretapped too. Does that mean that we can now say that people like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter (and their listeners, and readers) are the true mainstream, true centrists instead of the wacko right-wing extremists the New York Times claims they are? I think so.