Osama Bin Laden Is Dead; Long Live Osama

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I encourage everyone to check out Sarah Abdurrahman's utterly horrifying tale of being detained, along with the family, at the border. Adburrahman's family was held for six hours. The detention included being held in the cold, being handcuffed, and subjected--repeatedly--to a full body-search. To this day they have no idea why.  

 
We are six years into the Obama administration and with each report of profiling, with each report of unaccountability, with the scuttling of the Democrats 2008 national security platform, the horrific success and mad genius of 9/11 becomes clearer. Our defeat is bipartisan and broad:
 
The NSA inspector general, in the letter dated September 11, detailed 12 investigations that found the NSA's civilian and military employees used the agency's spying tools to search for email addresses or try to snoop on phone calls of current or former lovers, spouses and relatives, both foreign and American. 
 
In one instance, a military member queried six email addresses of a former girlfriend, an American, on the first day of having access to the data collection system in 2005. 
 
 In another instance, a U.S. government-employed foreign woman suspected an NSA civilian employee, who was her lover, of listening to her phone calls. An investigation found the man abused NSA databases from 1998 to 2003 to snoop on nine phone numbers of foreign women and twice collected communications of an American.
Its true that in times of war civil liberties take a hit. But this war has the potential to last as long as someone, somewhere is claiming the mantle of Al Qaeda. It looks like our next mayor is going to be the progressive Bill De Blasio. But for all the noise made about Stop and Frisk, I've heard very little about shutting down the infamous Demographics Unit, which basically spies on Muslims for the hell of it.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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