Posted on | September 10, 2011 | 27 Comments
Front page, The Washington Times, Sept. 12, 2001
Ten years ago, I covered a press conference in D.C. and wrote an article that appeared in The Washington Times:
war on drugs for
Letter calls for grilling Bush nominee
By Robert Stacy McCain
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A broad coalition of conservative and civil liberties groups wants assurances that the Bush administration’s war on drugs will respect constitutional rights and the privacy of citizens.
Bringing together such diverse groups as the American Civil Liberties Union and the social conservative Eagle Forum, the ad-hoc Coalition for Constitutional Liberties has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to question President Bush’s top drug-policy nominee on issues of electronic surveillance and other law-enforcement tactics that they say violate citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights.
In a letter to the committee, the coalition led by the Free Congress Foundation asks that John Walters — nominated as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy by Mr. Bush — be questioned during confirmation hearings today about his views on how “drug policy drives government surveillance and invasion of privacy.”
“As a taxpayers’ group, we don’t like the idea of paying the government to abuse our rights,” Robert Fike of Americans for Tax Reform said at a press conference yesterday announcing the coalition . . .
The story went on from there, but I don’t know whatever happened to the Coalition for Constitutional Liberties and I frankly doubt anyone paid any attention to that article because it was published on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
That morning, I was awakened by my wife, handing me the phone. It was my brother Kirby calling from Georgia. “Turn on Fox News,” he said. “A plane just hit the World Trade Center. It’s a terrorist attack.”
Still half-asleep — my workday didn’t usually start until noon — I stumbled into the living room and stared at the TV showing smoke pouring out of the WTC tower, but I couldn’t believe terrorists were responsible. Maybe, I told my brother on the phone, it was some kind of accident. “No, Stacy, it’s terrorism,” Kirby insisted.
I hung up the phone still unconvinced, and was thinking about going back to bed when the second plane hit. Obviously, this was no accident, so I decided to get ready for work. While I was still in the shower, one of the WTC towers fell, and then the second, and in the meantime we learned that a third plane had hit the Pentagon.
By the time I got to the office, they were already putting the finishing touches on a special early edition of the paper and the rest of the day was lost in a blur of work. What I do remember, however, is when the TV news that night showed crowds of Muslims dancing jubilantly in the streets, celebrating this attack on America.
Those ugly little scenes are seldom mentioned nowadays, but are burned into my memory. Say what you will, I know who the enemy is.
Not so with Georgetown Law professor David Cole, who apparently decided to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9-11 by demanding that Obama pursue war-crimes charges against Bush administration officials. Donald Douglas at American Power writes:
Behold the mind of the progressive left on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. For radical progressives, it’s America that’s the problem, not the fanatical killers who continue to wage war against us.
I’m sure all those terrorism concerns are just phantoms conjured up by worry-warts and over-excited bureaucrats. But I spent Saturday night watching 9/11 documentaries and so it’s kinda creepy to think about boarding a plane in a few hours.
Nevertheless, there’s a CNN/Tea Party Express debate Monday night in Tampa, and I’m flying down Sunday to cover it.
And there’s absolutely nothing to worry about, right? Right?