While discussing whether our so-called national security apparatus has grown too large and unwieldy in the aftermath of 9-11 on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asks Brit Hume if he thinks Americans' civil liberties are in jeopardy. Naturally, Hume says he's not concerned and actually goes so far as to say that we've responded really reasonably to the attacks on 9-11 because hey, at least we're not locking people up in Japanese internment camps like we did during World War II.
I think Hume might feel a bit differently if he were say, a member of a Muslim mosque, an ACLU lawyer representing a terrorism suspect, someone who found themselves placed on the no-fly list for no good reason, or perhaps one of the people who were unfortunate enough to find themselves swooped up without a trial and thrown into Gitmo and tortured. But Hume is no Maher Arar. As a resident hack at Fox "News", he doesn't feel he's got anything to worry about, so it's all good, people. Just go about your business and don't worry about that pesky data mining they're doing or how much of your personal information they're collecting. Nothing to see here. Move along.
WALLACE: Brit, in the wake of 9-11 with some of the legal structure, the counter-terrorism architecture that was created with warrantless wiretaps and Patriot Act, there were critics who said that our civil liberties were in jeopardy. Do you see any sign of that's happened?
HUME: Well, I think there's always... you have to be vigilant about that, but what I think is striking about it is how... you know, I don't think any, very many Americans to speak of have any worry about their civil liberties. I mean we're... speech is as free as it's ever been, except for political correctness and that's not a function of the war on terror. Debates are as robust as ever.
I have no worries about my multitudeness (sic) communications on the Internet or anywhere else being supervised by some government official somewhere. I just don't worry about that very much and I don't think most Americans do. I think vigilance is reasonable about such things, but what's striking about this is how little we've done.
When you think about World War II and we were, you know, we locked up Japanese in prison camps. Nothing like that has happened. Nothing on that scale, nothing of that kind.