Why Collect So Much Information if Obama Refuses to Use It Against Terror?

Why Collect So Much Information if Obama Refuses to Use It Against Terror?

Yesterday America learned that the U.S. government is gathering information on our phone calls and can follow our every keystroke. We are reassured that the information is to stop terrorists. And yet the government fails to stop terrorists when it has information about them, because President Barack Obama refuses to understand that our enemy is radical Islam and the agencies he directs follow his disastrous lead.

As Mark Levin observed yesterday in an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, Russian intelligence had contacted the U.S. and warned our government directly about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The FBI interviewed him directly and decided to close the file. How would more information have helped stop the Boston Marathon bombing when the law enforcement agencies that had been provided information did not or could not act?

On Sep. 11, 2012, President Barack Obama was informed that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was under attack. Warning signs had been detected by U.S. intelligence but had been ignored. And yet even when told about the live threat to U.S. diplomats, President Obama failed to act and the directors of several national security agencies failed even to speak to each other that night. How would more information have helped?

The creation of the mammoth Department of Homeland Security was meant to promote the sharing of information across government agencies after the intelligence failure of the first 9/11. And yet those agencies failed to share information necessary to stop the Christmas Day bomber from boarding a flight in 2009. President Obama criticized his own government’s failure–then proceeded to repeat it, over and over.

A correspondent to Breitbart News writes in frustration: “The FBI and NSA were reading [Nidal] Hassan’s emails to [Anwar] Al Awlaki and monitoring his phone calls and didn’t think he was a threat at Ft. Hood. The FBI was also monitoring the phone calls of the Times Square bomber and didn’t do anything. So much for the value of phone call and email monitoring. Check the old news clips on these stories. It’s all there.” 

The problem is that President Obama does not want to believe that radical Islam is at war with us. He told the nation last month that “this war, like all wars, must end,” promising to repeal–not refine–the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Al Qaeda. And yet he has increased the federal government’s snooping–dramatically. What use is that information, if it will not be used against terror?

And then comes a reminder of which information the government has been most interested in: information about Tea Party and conservative groups, information about individual activists in the conservative movement, information about the prayers of pro-life groups–information, in other words, about its political opponents, who have been treated since the beginning of the Obama administration like the real national enemy.

Kimberly Strassel observes of the IRS scandal–which now seems almost quaint in the context of Verizon and Prism–that President Obama set the tone from the beginning with vicious rhetorical attacks on conservative non-profit groups and their donors, calling them “a threat to our democracy.” Meanwhile, the Obama administration missed real threats–blind to the danger its own behavior poses to our democratic republic.


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