In addition to the Phoenix memo, Bush critics have resurrected Minnesota-based FBI agent Coleen Rowley's May 2002 memo complaining about legal barriers to searching terrorist suspect Zacarias Moussaoui's laptop and residence. The duplicity of civil rights absolutists attacking the FBI for upholding the probable cause standard in this case is simply stunning.
While they heap praise on Rowley for her post-Sept. 11 analysis, Richard Ben-Veniste, Jamie Gorelick, and the other finger-pointing blabbermouths on the 9-11 Commission refuse to credit the Bush administration for its use of immigration law to detain Moussaoui in mid-August 2001 (he had violated the terms of the Visa Waiver program). This unheralded enforcement decision before the terrorist attacks quite possibly saved thousands of lives. Transcripts of interrogations with al Qaeda's purported operations chief, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, released three weeks ago reveal that Moussaoui was training for a post-Sept. 11 suicide mission on the West Coast.
At the time Moussaoui was detained, the Justice Department had no evidence he had done anything illegal other than overstay his visit to the U.S., a transgression that is routinely pooh-poohed by liberals and other open-borders advocates as a "minor" or "technical" immigration violation that shouldn't be punished.
Unsurprisingly, when Attorney General John Ashcroft acted decisively to detain more than 1,200 potential Zacarias Moussaouis after Sept. 11 he was lambasted by Democrats, the ACLU, minority groups, and, yes, the New York Times editorial board, which attacked Ashcroft's "extreme measures" (Nov. 10, 2001) against illegal alien detainees who were merely "Muslim men with immigration problems" (Sept. 10, 2002).
Like the boy who cried "wolf," the liberals who cry that the Bush administration "didn't do enough" to fight terrorism should be dismissed as sniveling children stuck in an indulgent world of make-believe.