Tony, Tony, Come Around Liberty's Lost & Can't Be Found

St. Anthony preaching to the fish,
fresco in the basilica of St. Anthony, Padua. 
See a better photo (with a cute little crabby and all kinds of other fish!) here.

It's the feast of St. Anthony. Legend has it he once preached to fish, exasperated by the heretics who wouldn't listen to him. That's about how I feel reading this.

I was out of the country when the NSA story broke and am not fully caught up on the news so I have only a provisional opinion, but I am not among those who sees the NSA spy program as necessarily horrible -- presuming that they really are only collecting externals like #s, not listening to actual conversations. I am inclined to believe that's true because: "ain't nobody got time fo' that." Plus, I think if you're going to engage in civil disobedience, you stand and face the consequences like a man (I'm thinking of civil rights protestors, and protesting pro-lifers being dragged off to jail), you don't flee to Hong Kong -- so I can't muster great admiration for Mr. Snowden, who seems determined to let terrorists know how to evade us.

So I was inclined to reserve judgment until reading more but then there's the story linked above:
Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.
Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.
If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.
The bureau didn't even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.
One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn't monitored, red flags didn't go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.
We're listening to Gramma's calls but not checking in the places we're most likely to find Islamist ideology? So much for the "all this spying is to keep us safe" argument. One is forced to the provisional conclusion that all this spying is for the purpose of the Chicago Machine's criminalizing disagreement. (I'd be interested to know how they used the Romney campaign's communications, wouldn't you?)

As the Official Cartoonist of Wheat & Weeds tweeted days ago:
St. Anthony, pray for us!