Then, it should duly defend him — pro-bono — and with the same single-minded focus it reserves for the rights of terrorists and other monsters so that they can live another day to recruit, rile, maim and murder. It seems civil libertarians who would sooner die at their hands than oppose their demonic deeds.
For instance, take Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born leader of al Qaeda’s extremists in Yemen, and mentor to foiled Christmas Day “knickers bomber” Umar Abdulmutallab and aspiring Times Square terror goon Faisal Shahzad, both of whom would have killed masses of innocent people if their despicable plots had been successful. Don’t forget, too, al-Awlaki’s poster boy, Fort Hood butcher Maj. Nidal Hasan, charged with killing 13 Americans last November in Texas.
The Union has well proved its allegiance to al-Awlaki by filing a lawsuit in August for the radical Muslim cleric to stop federal authorities from targeting him outside the international zone of conflict. Are we supposed to wait for al-Awlaki’s earliest convenience to put an end to his blood-soaked desires?
Harsh times beget harsh reactions, as witnessed last Saturday when a seemingly average American train conductor was driven to temporary insanity by the looming prospect of a mosque near the site of 9-11 — a day of mass carnage that cannot be swept under the rug. For that we have radical Islam and its tight-lipped moderates to thank.
It remains to be seen if the American Civil Liberties Union, the self-professed guardian of our freedoms, will put Fenton to the same pedestal it did neo-Nazis in 1977, when it defended their right to march through Skokie, Ill.,where one out of every six Jewish citizens was either a Holocaust survivor or a direct descendant of one. The Union won that case in court, but lost 30,000 of its members who fled the organization in disgust.
So far, the “advocacy” group has kept mum on the misguided Koran-torcher, just as it did when New York Times reporter Judith Miller was imprisoned in 2005 during the Central Intelligence Agency Plamegate investigation, and when its own member, Wendy Kaminer, traced the group’s abject hypocrisy in her 2009 book, “Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity and the ACLU.”
At this critical juncture in American history, we need to know if the American Civil Liberties Union is the champion of our inalienable rights it so deafeningly claims to be or just another aging, toothless tiger.
At press time — nine days after the Koran burning — there are 17 references for al-Awlaki on the group’s Web site, and 48 more for Nazis, but not a single one addressing the Derek Fenton debacle. A call to the group’s New Jersey chapter was not returned by press time.