Savor the silence of America's self-serving champions of privacy. For once, the American Civil Liberties Union has nothing bad to say about the latest case of secret domestic surveillance -- because it is the ACLU that committed the spying.
Last week, The Washington Post reported on a new Justice Department inquiry into photographs of undercover CIA officials and other intelligence personnel taken by ACLU-sponsored researchers assisting the defense team of Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the report, the pictures of covert American CIA officers -- "in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes" -- were shown to jihadi suspects tied to the 9/11 attacks in order to identify the interrogators.
The ACLU undertook the so-called "John Adams Project" with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers -- last seen crusading for convicted jihadi assistant Lynne Stewart. She's the far-left lawyer who helped sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted 1993 World Trade Center bombing and N.Y. landmark bombing plot mastermind, smuggle coded messages of Islamic violence to outside followers in violation of an explicit pledge to abide by her client's court-ordered isolation.
The ACLU's team used lists and data from "human rights groups," European researchers and news organizations that were involved in "(t)racking international CIA-chartered flights" and monitoring hotel phone records. Working from a witch-hunt list of 45 CIA employees, the ACLU team tailed and photographed agency employees or obtained other photos from public records.
And then they showed the images to suspected al-Qaida operatives implicated in murdering 3,000 innocent men, women and children on American soil.
Where is the concern for the safety of these American officers and their families? Where's the outrage from all the indignant supporters of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, whose name was leaked by Bush State Department official Richard Armitage to the late Robert Novak? Lefties swung their nooses for years over the disclosure, citing federal laws prohibiting the sharing of classified information and proscribing anyone from unauthorized exposure of undercover intelligence agents.
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero refused to comment on Project CIA Paparazzi and instead whined some more about the evil Bush/CIA interrogators. Left-wing commentators and distraction artists are dutifully up in arms about such "inhumane" tactics as blowing cigar smoke in the faces of Gitmo detainees. But it's Romero blowing unconscionable smoke: