The Justice Department is considering letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups.
Law enforcement officials say the proposed policy would help them do exactly what Congress demanded after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: Root out terrorists before they strike.
Yes, we all know just how successful the doctrine of prevention has worked out so far–hey, how is that crusade to forcefully spread democracy across the Middle East going?
Currently, FBI agents need specific reasons — like evidence or allegations that a law probably has been violated — to investigate U.S. citizens and legal residents. The new policy, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press, would let agents open preliminary terrorism investigations after mining public records and intelligence to build a profile of traits that, taken together, were deemed suspicious.
Among the factors that could make someone subject of an investigation is travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, access to weapons or military training, along with the person’s race or ethnicity.
Critics say the presumption of innocence is lost in the proposal. The FBI will be allowed to begin investigations simply “by assuming that everyone’s a suspect, and then you weed out the innocent,” said Caroline Fredrickson of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Oh, come on. Who needs actual, y’know, specific ‘evidence‘ that illegal activity is occurring, when everybody knows that those swarthy Arabmuslimdarkies (especially the ones who dare to rack up frequent flyer mileage) have pure, undistilled terror flowing through their steely veins 24/7? (What? ‘IRA’ stands for ‘Indo-Republican Army’. Srsly.)
Update: Also see I Need To Calm Down, Threat Level, and, representing the silly side of Blogtopia’s *cough* main street, Tammy “everybody knows” Bruce and Allahpundit, who wonders if we should “[b]e on the lookout for English-speaking caucasians with light-colored eyes“.