Far from evoking government and media outrage, the revelations -- which include the new shocker that the White House itself has funneled "drug war" money to the NYPD spying apparatus -- have generally inspired reactions ranging from disbelief and denial, thence to a spirited defense of state abuse of power. and finally to the demonization of those who dare to tear away the fabric of government secrecy. Erstwhile "liberals" seem to be generally okay with paramilitary thugs grossly overstepping their Constitutional bounds and geographical jurisdiction to conduct surveillance on an entire group based entirely on its religious beliefs. The hate speech of Islamophobes is no longer all that shocking. Politicians who last year were merely non-committal about the building of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan are now daring to be blatant.
Chief among them is one of the most powerful Democratic leaders in the country: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. He has mounted a vigorous defense of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his spy program. Chuck is being championed in the pages of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post as a defender of freedom. It is fine, Schumer says, to single out Muslims for a sweeping surveillance program, as long as you don't single them out on the basis of their religion. Yes. He really did say that. Here are his exact words:
“There is nothing wrong with the NYPD collecting and assessing publicly available information from New York, New Jersey, the other 48 states or around the world in the effort to prevent another terror attack like 9/11. In fact, it is widely understood that the NYPD’s actions have kept us safer. Looking at public information and following leads is perfectly acceptable as long as any one group, in its entirety, is not targeted based only on its religious or ethnic affiliation.”
Schumer's blanket statement that the NYPD spy program "has made us safer" is going unchallenged by the mainstream media. The New York Daily News has published an editorial lauding Schumer and blasting anybody daring to tar and feather the NYPD. The News takes great umbrage, not at state-sponsored civil rights violations, but at the Peabody-award winning Associated Press.
Finally (gushed the News editorial) after weeks of innuendo, half-truths and distortions that have depicted the NYPD as spying on the city’s Muslim communities, an elected official has spoken the truth....There’s no there there, said Sen. Chuck Schumer of reports that the department’s Intelligence Division invasively monitored New Yorkers based on their religious beliefs.....And here is what the rabidly anti-Muslim Post is saying about Chuck the Hero: