Wednesday, September 16, 2009

As Terrorism Evolves, So Must Our Tactics for Preventing It | Faith Freedom International

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    • But there is no criminal case until a crime has been committed. That is the rub. Law enforcement bodies do not prevent crime except as a by-product of catching people who commit it and putting them in jail. Their mind-set is the solution of crime after it has occurred. Your local police department will not prevent your murder. It will solve it after you are dead. That might satisfy society’s need to provide some modest form of security to those who survive but it is cold comfort to the victim.
    • That is why the FBI is particularly unsuited to take on the responsibility of interrogating terrorists and preventing terrorism. If the object of your work is to find out who did what to whom so you can present sufficient evidence to a court to demonstrate that a crime has been committed, you have all the time in the world to bond with someone who might have the information you seek. There is no urgency. If you can otherwise hold him, you can take as long as you want to see if you can tease information out of him that will help your case.
    • Intelligence gathering, in contrast to law enforcement, is calculated to develop information that enables us to anticipate events before they occur. It is intended to determine what enemies are planning and to disrupt those plans even if we cannot prove, to a legal certainty, that the plans would ever have been carried out. That is the difference between the function of the FBI and that of the CIA. The FBI can act only on information that is so concrete that it would withstand the scrutiny of a federal judge charged with enforcing Constitutional norms. The CIA is not similarly constrained. Nor should it be.
    • In the first place, of course, foreign nationals operating in foreign countries are not entitled to American Constitutional protections. In the second, in questioning them, we are less interested in what they have done than we are in what their comrades intend to do. The object of that sort of interrogation is not what the FBI is organized or trained to do. But it is what the CIA was, as a matter of organizational culture, intended to do.