Wall St. Journal, To The Editor:
In “The Paranoid Style,” (op ed. May 15), Michael Mukasey attacks Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who disseminated Edward Snowden’s bombshell, as “paranoid” because Greenwald is more worried about NSA collection of metadata than he is about terrorism. Mukasey may be right that Greenwald fails to grasp the threat from Islamic terrorists. However, Mukasey misses the bigger point with his calming re-assurance that the NSA database can only be “searched to determine if a suspicious phone number overseas … has called or been called by a number in the U.S.”
Bill Clinton reportedly had thugs gather information on and intimidate women who threatened to reveal his sexual improprieties. And Democratic operatives listened in on phone calls of Speaker Newt Gingrich. Under Obama a politicized IRS, protected by the politicized Attorney General’s office, has gone after Obama’s enemies. Dinesh D‘Souza, who made a movie critical of Obama, faces a dubious prosecution for alleged improper campaign contributions.
In THE TAXMAN COMETH, the main character wonders why there’s no word for the opposite of paranoia, i.e. if you think no one is out to get you when they really are. The closest term he can come up with is “oblivious.” “Oblivious” describes Mukasey’s sanguine re-assurance that we have nothing to fear from NSA spying. We’re supposed to sleep well knowing the data will never be used for anything except catching terrorists. People like Obama, Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, and the Clintons would never use this data against their adversaries.
Hitler and Stalin only dreamed of such Orwellian technologies. But don’t worry about totalitarianism, Judge Mukasey; it can’t happen here. Uh-huh.