"People are just not quite willing to accept these tradeoffs, particularly when they are ineffective," the AP quoted him as saying.
I thought that idiocy all faded away in the couple of years after 9/11, when abuses by the FBI, Homeland Security and other new domestic intelligence agencies made it clear that giving law enforcement agencies the ability to ignore the Constitution was a really really bad idea. Especially when the same politicians are tacitly threatening to blame those same agencies for the next attack if they weren't able to prevent it.
Given the opportunity to break the rules and the threat of Really Bad Things happening to their country and career if they didn’t take advantage of every bit of leeway, what else would they do?
Despite several public scandals, Congress has been unsuccessful in pressuring the Justice Department to estimate how many people have had their phone calls, bank records or emails monitored without a warrant.
The story noted a recent AP investigation revealing the New York City Police Department had created a secret police unit responsible for secretly monitoring "daily life inside Muslim communities."
It's actually surprising there wasn't more abuse of the special powers the Bush administration gave Homeland Security and the FBI to demand private phone, bank, financial and other records from the companies we buy them from while requiring that none of them warn us it was happening.
A lot of us apparently didn't learn that lesson, though the court cases go on to back up the stodgy old Constitution against the hot new willingness to do whatever digital or physical violence is necessary to anyone but us personally to keep the bogeyman in his closet.
In 2009 a federal judge threw out (for technical reasons) a case filed by the ACLU to stop warrantless wiretaps by the NSA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is arguing another right now, also against the NSA.
Acceptance of the idea that any electronic communication could be eavesdropped upon without a warrant or any other legal supervision is just one straw on this particular camel's back.
According to the survey, a disturbing number of our fellow citizens are willing to accept violations of all kinds of rights in the name of safety: