Back in May, The New York Daily News reported that Trump wants to keep his authoritarian backing band if he becomes president, and is cutting “secret deals” with many of his friends and advisers so that they’ll join him in the White House. There was speculation that Chris Christie received such a deal in exchange for his endorsement. Meanwhile, 9/11 nostalgist Giuliani has been rumored to be locked in as President Trump’s director of homeland security, and he’s been acting like it.
Giuliani is the perfect choice for this position in the Trump administration, which is one way of saying he is the most troubling choice, outside of, say, Geert Wilders. Giuliani, who shares Trump’s affection for Vladimir Putin, spied on Muslims in New York City mosques after the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1994. That decision was widely derided for being a blatant violation of civil liberties, but Giuliani has increasingly leaned into it of late. During the RNC he told Republicans that he ordered the program “so [he could] keep track of good ones and the bad ones.”
Now Giuliani is proposing a radical expansion of that program that violates even more civil liberties. On Wednesday, he said that he thought that people on the terror watchlist should be be forced to wear electronic tags so the government can track them. “I would think that’s an excellent idea,” he said. “If you’re on the terror watch list, I should you know you’re on the terror watch list. You’re on there for a reason.”
While the terror watch list is certainly Orwellian, it’s not omniscient—not everyone who is on it is on it “for a reason.” It is, instead, an incredibly flawed terror prevention tool that many people are on for no apparent reason at all. But this is in keeping with Giuliani’s track record. A mediocre mayor who happened to be in office when 9/11 happened, he’s an accidental national security “expert” with only one method of terror prevention: When in doubt, surveil Muslims.