The Patriot Act - in action
Thank former President George W. Bush for what didn't happen. Another terrorist attack. Or two. Because of the wrongly maligned--by liberals--Patriot Act.
A Washington Examiner editorial explains.
Patriot Act helped foil New York terror plot
The arrest and indictment of Najibullah Zazi on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction was made possible by the "roving wiretaps" allowed by the Patriot Act, which was signed into law in 2001 by President George W. Bush. "All the layers of defense President Bush set up after Sept. 11 are working," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., pointed out. The Patriot Act caused plenty of controversy, but it was key to the Bush administration's successful eight-year counterterrorism strategy that focused on disrupting terror attacks and thereby preventing the deaths of more Americans here at home.
Even the FBI's investigation into the 24-year-old airport shuttle driver began on Bush's watch. Agents tracked the Afghan native (and legal resident of the United States) when he traveled to the tribal areas of Pakistan last year, where he was allegedly taught how to make bombs by al Qaeda operatives. Nine pages of handwritten formulas for homemade explosives, fuses and detonators were later found on his laptop, e-mailed from an Internet account originating in Pakistan, court documents charge. This is exactly the kind of foreign communications the Patriot Act was designed to intercept. (snip)
Also indicted in the subway bombing plot was Queens imam Ahmad Wais Afzali -- who warned Zazi in a call intercepted by the FBI around Sept. 11 that he was under investigation, thus forcing officials to speed up the arrest. Again, this wiretap is exactly the kind of domestic communication the Patriot Act was designed to intercept in the effort to prevent new bloodshed.
The ACLU and the New York Times will probably defend Zazi's right to privacy; more important than the lives of thousands who could have been killed by his explosives. And more important than admitting George W. Bush was right.
Meanwhile, thank you President Bush and others who helped pass the Patriot Act.