January 26, 2009, - 11:07 am
Barbarians Inside the Gate: ACLU Lawyer Was Bush National Intelligence Lawyer for 2 Years, Top Secret Clearance
By Debbie Schlussel
President Bush bent over backward so far for the civil liberties of extremist Muslims, it looked more like he was bent over forward. Given this, I guess it should be no surprise to learn that, for the last two years, the lawyer for Bush’s National Intelligence Director, Mike McConnell, was and continues to be former ACLU lawyer Tim Edgar.
He says he’s alarmed by some of the things he’s seen in his job but can’t comment to the media (on the record) about it. Don’t kid yourself, though. This guy has top secret security clearance, and he was a big critic of government surveillance of Muslim suspects. If you think he hasn’t told his ACLU and Muslim pals what our intelligence agencies are doing, I have some land where the Twin Towers once stood to sell you. He meets regularly with them on your dime.
Tim Edgar, lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, never imagined he’d be Tim Edgar, lawyer for the director of national intelligence. Many in the intelligence establishment certainly never thought that Edgar, one of their community’s fiercest critics, would be a co-worker.
Edgar now works for Mike McConnell, the outgoing director of national intelligence, as a civil liberties officer. With a top security clearance, Edgar reviews classified intelligence programs to ensure the mandate to root out terrorists is balanced with the need to guard people’s rights and privacy.
So, does Edgar feel there are proper controls on the government’s warrantless surveillance program and other initiatives launched under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which he derided at the ACLU as “a massive tool for secret surveillance?” Does he still think the Justice Department, overseen partly by his boss, the intelligence director, is “quick to label people as connected to terrorism and slow to clear them?”
Edgar prefers to keep his opinions inside the government now. “If you go tell Congress, the press, whatever, ‘Boy, they had this really lunatic idea, at this horrible office over here and we stopped them’ . . . that’s obviously not going to engender (colleagues’) trust.”
Translation: Of course, he still has his ACLU-bred, far-left opinions on how to (not) protect America. He just doesn’t want to repeat them at this point, lest one of these idiots who gave him this job catch a brain cell and realize Edgar shouldn’t be there.
The intelligence director’s office is one of eight departments and agencies required by law to have civil liberties officers, though not all have complied. Edgar, who pushed for the requirement as an ACLU lawyer, stands out because of his high profile in the civil liberties world. “I was surprised to be offered the job and maybe surprised that I took it,” he says. McConnell’s invitation in 2006 signaled a commitment to civil liberties, he adds. “It was better to have someone like me in this position.” . . .
Edgar meets regularly with civil liberties groups and organizations representing Muslims, South Asians and other groups who fear their rights are threatened by the war on terrorism.
“We have to maintain a level of trust and confidence with all of those outside constituencies . . .” he says.
Uh, no we don’t. We have to maintain a level of fear and respect with those “constituencies” (which are really enemies bent on our destruction, living on our soil). They are laughing at this “trust and confidence” our idiotic government gives them.
Flashback to 1941: Wouldn’t it have been great if we hired the German-American Bund’s lawyer to oversee the activities of the OSI and regularly meet with German and Japanese sympathizers and spies?
Edgar says his office has had notable successes. Among those he can discuss, he cites . . . his office’s involvement in setting new guidelines for what sort of information the FBI can collect on people with suspected terrorist ties before opening a formal investigation.
Wow, he made it that much tougher for an already politically correct FBI to identify and investigate terrorists. Give him a (Cuban) cigar.
But he still sees much to change: “If I wasn’t alarmed by some of the things I’m looking at, I wouldn’t be doing my job.”
The alarm is that we hired the enemies’ lawyer and let this inmate run our intelligence asylum.
Bush may be gone, but the idiocy of whom he hired and what he did over the last eight years keeps on giving (in addition to giving us Barack Obama). This guy is still there, and I’ll bet he stays on for the Obama administration.
On the other hand, now that his boys are in, he may feel his infiltration and weakening of America is now in even more “capable” hands.
Don’t you worry, though. Once Mr. Edgar leaves (and makes a bee line back to the ACLU), there’s really nothing stopping him from using all he learned at the Office of the National Intelligence Director . . . on behalf of Islamic terrorist defendants.
We have rules requiring former officeholders and government officials to wait before they become lobbyists, but there’s no waiting period for them to go back to representing terrorists.