John Kerry, demagogue, security derelict, or both

Yesterday, I noted John Kerry’s propensity to criticize President Bush over tactical military decisions, including ones that he himself had supported. Last night, Kerry showed that this prospensity extends to domestic law enforcement. Specifically, Kerry attacked the president’s implementation of the Patriot Act because the Inspector General thinks that in two cases the administration acted illegally in its efforts to combat domestic terrorism. Under a Kerry administration, one must assume, no anti-terrorism law enforcement activity would ever be found by a reviewing body to go to far.
One must also assume that Kerry “has a plan” to prevent such findings. There is, in fact, an approach that might keep the Inspector General happy in all instances. It’s the pre-September 11 approach, wherein Justice Department lawyers veto all law enforcement recommendations from the field that sound controversial.
Is this what Kerry has in mind? With most politicians, one could be confident that it is not, and that the politician is demagoguing the issue. Kerry too may be demagoguing — that practice has become a staple of his campaign. Yet Kerry’s instincts when it comes to protecting this country are so bad that one cannot be sure.


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