I did it again. I always ask myself “Why do you subject yourself to this?” and then I go and do it again.
What is “it”, you may ask? Why, “it” is listening to NPR. Why is it such a big deal? Because I tend to get a bit, ahem, exercised when listening to NPR for extended periods of time.
This morning, I was listening to Juan Williams interview FBI director Robert Mueller. Williams asked Director Mueller a question to the effect of “Are your agents violating people’s civil rights by way of applying the Patriot Act?” (I can’t get to the interview from work, as our proxy doesn’t like NPR’s feed for some reason). Mueller replied (and I’m paraphrasing here): “We’ve been sending all our new agents to the Holocaust Museum to let them see what happens when a government starts to violate its constitution”. Oh. My. Goodness.
I practically shouted at the radio “I can’t believe you just said that!” I really, truly, and in all ways cannot believe that the man primarily responsible for domestic counter-terrorism operations compared the Patriot Act to the Holocaust. I mean, we all know that ordering a roving wiretap is the step right before donning knee-length jackboots, brown shirts and armbands emblazoned with John Ashcroft’s fearsome visage, right? Next thing you know, FBI agents will be breaking in to Ms. Patterson’s 8th grade reading class and hauling her off to a “Political Correctional facility” for deigning to teach a section on Tuck Everlasting, My Brother Sam Is Dead and other “banned” books that somehow make it into the NJEA’s reading list on a yearly basis. I, personally, am looking forward to turning my neighbor in for laughing out loud at a Tony Auth cartoon. All hail Über Führer Bush!
Perhaps he was just trying to curry favor with Williams. Perhaps he truly feels this way; I don’t know. In either case, I am in shock and disbelief. It says dire things about the future of the FBI if they’ve made such idiocy into a policy.