Man Without Qualities

Friday, June 14, 2002

What Was That II?

A prior post noted that "[t]he general infatuation with Agent Rowley and her memo seems to be lifting like the spell of a toy craze , [although that] doesn't mean Agent Rowley is a bad person, or has nothing true or interesting to say".

The prior post obviously referenced blogs opposing the cult of Agent Rowley personally. But that post should not be read as an endorsement of the substance of Agent Rowley's memo, notwithstanding the assertion that her memo has things "true or interesting to say." Some of the people expressing skepticism or outright disagreement with the substance of Agent Rowley's analysis have been cited here, including Kaus, Taylor, Ann Coulter, Turley, Reibling (see also many interesting cites), Romerstein (in substance - although published before Agent Rowley wrote here memo), and, of course, FBI Director Mueller in his Congressional testimony.

As some commentators have pointed out, the media cult of Agent Rowley is largely independent of the substance of her memo - and, in fact, may require liberals to ignore most of her memo and Congressional testimony, since she is advocating "reforms" intensely hostile to the views of civil rights groups. Perhaps I missed it, but no self-proclaimed civil liberties group, such as the ACLU, seems to have endorsed Agent Rowley's construction of FISA or its evidence requirements - so in that quarter, at least, there is no infatuation to dissipate.

Indeed, the ACLU hilariously attempts to exploit Agent Rowley ("As Agent Coleen Rowley so courageously noted," [ACLU Representative] Romero said, "the FBI's inability to properly analyze the relevant data it had was a result of a breakdown in communications, not a lack of law enforcement powers."), while ignoring the fact that Agent Rowley thought she had enough evidence for a FISA warrant because she believes a person's refusal to allow his property to be searched is evidence that it should be searched in obtaining a FISA warrant, and that a person's general association with foreign Islamic groups is enough evidence of his being an "agent of a foreign power" - views violently at odds with that of the ACLU and most "civil liberties groups."

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