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The Tentacle


August 24, 2004

Hypocrisy From The Three Blind Mice and Others

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., NY), Rep. John Conyers (D., MI), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D., VA) all banded together to protest the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conducting undercover operations on groups planning disruptions of the Republican National Convention in late August/early September.

Reps. Nadler, Conyers, and Scott (sounds like a sleazy law firm) have done what all bonehead political types are prone to do. They have widely opened mouth and deeply inserted foot. They claim (in a high-profile press conference) that the FBI is unduly restricting the rights of assembly and speech regarding people who would protest against the Convention.

Reps. Nadler and Conyers are quoted as fearing that the FBI's "heavy-handed" tactics would discourage good citizens from gathering to participate in legitimate policy debates and protests.

I have two problems with this silly political posturing. First, where were Reps. Nadler, Conyers, and Scott (Okay, maybe they sound like a bad folk music act from the 60's) when the FBI conducted undercover operations on groups planning to protest the Democratic Convention last month?

They probably assume that no one in their right mind would even consider protesting the actions of a Democrat, hence no investigations were necessary. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

There were a series of threats that were fully investigated, and on the recommendation of security experts, protestors were herded into a fenced enclosure beside the Fleet Center to keep convention delegates safe. Not what I would call free and unencumbered expression!

Second, did any of these esteemed congressmen bother to ask for a classified briefing prior to their press conference? The FBI lead Special Agent is quoted saying that the only active investigations are related to the threat of an actual terror event, citing a bomb threat to media vehicles as an example.

I don't know about you, but blowing up other people's trucks is not a form of legitimate political expression, at least not around here. United States congressmen demean the world's foremost criminal investigative body (the FBI) when they impute a political motive to work that is not only essential to protecting convention goers, but also essential to protecting all citizens.

National Democratic Party apparatchiks are also assailing the decision of New York City officials to deny a permit to gather on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The party was behind a move to organize a 200,000 person rally in the park as a counter-demonstration.

City officials (predominantly Democrats) expressed concern over damage to the grasses and fields. Whatever they're reasoning, New York City officials get to make the call. Everyone else is a bystander, including the civic-minded protestors who now have to scramble to locate a suitable venue for their protest.

Taken together, it would appear that the Democratic Party perceives two standards of conduct. One applies to their events, and a stricter and more critical standard is applicable for Republican events.

Today's Most Blatant Hypocrisy Award goes to none other than Senator John F. Kerry. Senator Kerry announced in remarks last week that President Bush is encouraging hateful speech to be used by surrogate groups. The esteemed presidential candidate suggests that if President Bush does not actively denounce these groups, he is guilty by association, and that America deserves better from a President.

What about Michael Moore? What about billionaire George Soros and MoveOn.org? How stupid does Senator Kerry think the American public really is? Only a fool would fall for the idea that whenever a Democrat-backed organization attacks President Bush (calling him a liar, accusing him of allowing the 9/11 attacks to occur, questioning his patriotism for serving in the National Guard), it is issue-oriented campaigning, while any attack on Senator Kerry is unfair, un-American, and unbecoming of the President.

Maybe Congressman Nadler and the others should focus on the work facing the Congress, and leave the investigation of criminal conduct to those who know the subject so much better.



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