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A curious gap

By {screen_name}
The political class is all atwitter over the latest revelation that the feds, which is to say the National Security Agency, running a data-mining operation on phone-calling patterns in hopes of isolating terrorist activity. Never mind that none of the political class was upset when the Clintons were doing even more during peacetime (when, as it happened, there really was a war on, but Bill just had other, um, things on his mind) with Echelon, an operation in which the NSA actually listened in on conversations. The most recent program has Congress, even reliable Bush backers, running for cover. But it doesn't have the public worried. More people would appear to be upset if the NSA was doing less. How this disconnect — the politicians being unclear that there is a war on while regular folks seem pretty sure of it — will play out in November isn't exactly clear, but the political implications are secondary. If the political class is unclear on the point that that there really is a shooting war on, it can't be trusted to ensure the nation's security. And we have seen what happens when the political class forgets its prime duty. Remember Sept. 11? Anyone?