You always think they can’t stoop any lower . . . .
U.S. to Expand Rules Limiting Use of Profiling [of terrorists/Arabs/Muslims (anything that smacks of Islam)] by Federal Agents
The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender, and sexual orientation [WHAT?] in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.
The move addresses a decade of criticism from civil rights groups that say federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counterterrorism investigations [gee, now why would that be?] and Latinos [gee, now why would that be?] for immigration investigations.
The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race [Islam is not a race. And now that that fact is beginning to dent the consciousness of the country, they change the definition of “race”], not religion, ancestry, or other factors. Since taking office, Attorney General Eric Holder has been under pressure from Democrats in Congress to eliminate those provisions. “These exceptions are a license to profile American Muslims and Hispanic-Americans,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said in 2012.
President George W. Bush said in 2001 that racial profiling was wrong and promised “to end it in America.” But that was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. After those attacks, federal agents arrested and detained dozens [! Oh the horror!] of Muslim men who had no ties to terrorism [beeeeecause there was reason to believe they were possible terrorists at the time, maybe?]. The government also began a program known as special registration, [Really? There is no link to that bit of info. Not saying it didn’t happen, I’d just like the proof] which required tens of thousands of Arab and Muslim men [and yet, as much as I study this subject I don’t remember ever hearing this before. Maybe I’d know what it was by another name] to register with the authorities because of their nationalities.
“Putting an end to this practice not only comports with the Constitution [what part? Where it says “Don’t Protect US Citizens,” maybe?], it would put real teeth to the FBI’s claims [because the DOJ says it has to say that] that it wants better relationships with religious minorities,” said Hina Shamsi, a national security lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.
It is not clear whether Mr. Holder also intends to make the rules apply to national security investigations, which would further respond to complaints from Muslim groups. “Adding religion and national origin is huge,” said Linda Sarsour, advocacy director for the National Network for Arab American Communities. “But if they don’t close the national security loophole, [yes, well why not just write it off with a stroke of Hussein’s now famous pen?] then it’s really irrelevant.” Ms. Sarsour said she also hoped that Mr. Holder would declare that surveillance, not just traffic stops and arrests, was prohibited based on religion.
The argument she’s making is: DON’T TOUCH ISLAM IN ANY WAY, FOR ANY REASON, NO MATTER HOW RELEVANT, OR REASONABLE, OR LOGICAL. By removing any form of surveillance, that allows any radical Muslim/Islamic (because that’s who she’s talking about, but you could fill in the blank with your favorite name here) gang/organization at any time, to run rampant with guns, swords, fire, computer hacking, nuclear bombs, dirty bombs, hatch plots to invade, attack, slaughter, blow up, any place, building, office, transportation (air, land, sea) center, shopping mall, city block, military base, electrical grid hub, etc., etc., etc., when it wants, successfully, every doggone time. Why even bother to have a national defense system? Why not just say, Hey, It’s our national policy to trust and never verify.
I seriously doubt that there’s ever been such irresponsible thinking on the part of any government entity charged with upholding the country’s laws, and de-teething its enforcers.
The Justice Department has been reviewing the rules for several years and has not publicly signaled how it might change them. Mr. Holder disclosed his plans in a meeting on Wednesday with Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, according to an official briefed on the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conversation was private. Mr. de Blasio was elected in November after running a campaign in which he heavily criticized the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk tactic, which overwhelmingly targets minorities and which a federal judge declared unconstitutional. The mayor and attorney general did not discuss when the rule change would be announced, the official said. A senior Democratic congressional aide, however, said the Obama administration had indicated an announcement was “imminent.”
The Justice Department would not confirm the new rules on Wednesday night but released a short statement saying that the mayor and the attorney general discussed [you know, I can see a big confab of American mayors having a big sit-down with the DoJ, shouting out ideas for how to run cities better and how the DoJ can help, but I can’t think of any reason why Holder and deBlasio should sit down in a private meeting and have this kind of chat. I sure could be wrong, but it feels creepy] “preventing crime while protecting civil rights and civil liberties.”
In the past, Mr. Holder has spoken out forcefully against profiling. “Racial profiling is wrong,” [And since it isn’t working anyway, because Islam isn’t a race, he’s figuring out how to make Islamic profiling wrong.] he said in a 2010 speech. “It can leave a lasting scar on communities and individuals. And it is, quite simply, bad policing – whatever city, whatever state.”
Officials in the Bush administration made similar statements, however, which is why civil rights groups have eagerly waited to hear not just Mr. Holder’s opinion, but also the rules he plans to enact.