Today Michelle Malkin wrote about her recent experience with an apparently agenda-driven Wall Street Journal reporter. Consider:
Several times, [Wall Street Journal media reporter Joe]Hagan asked leading questions about the blogosphere’s “conspiracy theories” regarding Joel Hinrichs. Several times, I stated clearly that I did not subscribe to any conspiracy theories–and that most of the blogs covering the story didn’t either. I explained that unlike the MSM, most of the blogs I have linked to were simply trying to find out the truth about the strange incident–and that meant keeping open the possibility that Hinrichs meant to commit murder and that he may have been swayed by extremist Islamic views.
There are a few folks out there who are absolutely convinced that Hinrichs was part of an organized terrorist plot. I made crystal-clear to Hagan I was not one of them. I don’t know what the truth is. I do know that Hinrichs tried to buy ammonium nitrate several days before the bombing, and that his bomb contained TATP, the same substance used by shoe bomber Richard Reid, and that the warrant used to execute a search of his apartment is sealed, and that the investigation of Hinrichs’ death is being led by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. I also know that an Oklahoma City television station reported that Hinrichs regularly attended a mosque, and that despite claims that the report is erroneous, the TV station is standing by its reporting.
What I stressed to Hagan was that several freelance Islamists have committed acts of violence in the U.S.–the LAX El Al Muslim gunman Hesham Hadayet, for example, and the Beltway snipers–and the MSM has done a lousy job of exploring their Islamist influences.
She makes a compelling argument, and I sympathize, but she stumbles into the same agenda-driven intellectual hole occupied by Mr. Hagan with her strategy for dealing with Islamist terror. She does not spell it out in this entry, but in the entry that immediately follows, she offers this challenge to the nonsensical legislation put forth by Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka, which clarifies “the political and legal relationship between Native Hawaiians and the United States.” Consider:
And I would add my observation about the “diversity” crowd’s unabashed support for racial profiling in every kind of domestic policy–housing, education, government contracting, etc.–except where homeland security is concerned.
Except where homeland security is concerned. That little exception holds the crux of the fallacy in trying to set a winning strategy in the war against Islamofascist terrorists. As I wrote previously, racial profiling may be useful, but it won’t catch every terrorist. In that entry I mentioned how racial profiling would’ve (likely) failed to stop Mr. Hinrichs, but in her examples today, Ms. Malkin mentions the Beltway snipers. I’m sure I don’t need to recite the basic facts of that case, but I remember it vividly, having lived in the D.C. area at the time. (Ms. Malkin lives in the D.C. area, so I’m sure she does, too.) The snipers may have identified as Muslims, but racial profiling, which invariably means young men of Middle Eastern descent, would not have snared those two, as both are black.
As further indication of the flaw in profiling, the snipers drove a blue sedan with a hole cut behind the rear license plate. In the beginning of the killing spree, eyewitness reports indicated a large, white truck was seen speeding from the scene of one of the murders. The national focus for the next three weeks became a large, white truck. No one looked for a blue sedan until competent police investigation and citizen tips in Tacoma, Washington led to the eventual capture of the snipers. But eyewitnesses also reported seeing the blue sedan leaving the scene of at least one of the early murders. How much quicker might the case have been solved had we not profiled the large, white truck?
Police and intelligence gatherers are trained to do a job. They generally do it very well. Relying on something so easily mistake-prone (racial profiling), one gets a false sense of security. That is not what we need in police work. I’d rather trust intelligence info, detective work, and the field instincts of a police offer dealing with suspicious activity. We’re going to win the domestic portion of the war against Islamofascist terrorism because we have those three capabilities. That’s the lesson we’d be wise to remember every time someone promotes racial profiling as essential to the war against Islamofascist terrorism.