So the ACLU doesn’t really like FBI Director Robert S. Mueller’s proposed new guidelines for investigations, fearing that the relaxed rules could open the door to politicized spying and other such perfidies. As interest groups tend to do, the ACLU emailed its take to editorial boards around the country, hoping to persuade opinion-leaders of the virtues of the civil-libertarian position. Now, most editorial writers are able to absorb such emails without firing off unhinged responses to their authors. But the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz is not most editorial writers.

Below, please find Rabinowitz’s restrained, sensible, professional rejoinder to a group of total strangers.

From: Rabinowitz, Dorothy [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxx.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 3:43 PM
To: [ACLU]
Subject: RE: ACLU: Proposed FBI Guidelines Will Allow Racial Profiling and Spying on Innocent Americans

INNOCENT AMERICANS WERE KILLED BECAUSE WE DID NOT HAVE A PROPER–EXTENSIVE– SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM.

Journalistic diligence requires me to note that the surveillance infrastructure the U.S. had in place before September 11 collected communications detailing the forthcoming attack, and were unfortunately not translated until September 12. It also requires me to note that Rabinowitz, a grown woman, crafted the above missive in blue font.

Crossposted to The Streak.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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