I have mentioned this issue before in a previous post, but I really need to say something about it again. This is a point that the “war on terror trumps everything” neo-cons really need to meditate on, long and hard. President-elect Obama is friend and associate to known terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. He is now going to be in charge of enforcing the Patriot Act, which certain advocates said was necessary to protect us all from terrorists. But protection is not accomplished by creating vulnerabilities like this. As the old blues song puts it, “It ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.”
Never pass a law, especially a law involving compromises on our civil rights, without knowing who the next president will be. This is a variation on a point made by John Rawls, the legal theorist. Design your ideal society without knowing where in that society you will be born. And I would say, create your federal agency, and the rules governing it, without knowing if you are going to be the investigator or the investigatee.