The biggest impediments to fighting terrorism are politically correct barriers to gathering intelligence that liberals routinely seek to erect.

Do you really care if the Patriot Act gives the feds the right to check your library borrowing (something they aren’t in the least likely to do unless you are suspected of being a terrorist) if it also means that they have the right to probe internet usage in public libraries by real terrorists?

New York Post columnist Deborah Orin has a chilling report on a Clinton appointee, former U.S. Attorney for New York Mary Jo White, who tried to get the rules governing intelligence sharing between various U.S. government agencies changed. She was ignored:

President Bill Clinton’s team ignored dire warnings that its approach to terrorism was ’very dangerous’ and could have ’deadly results,’ according to a blistering memo just obtained by The Post.

Then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White wrote the memo as she pleaded in vain with Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick to tear down the wall between intelligence and prosecutors, a wall that went beyond legal requirements.

Looking back after 9/11, the memo makes for eerie reading — because White’s team foresaw, years in advance, that the Clinton-era wall would make it tougher to stop mass murder.

’This is not an area where it is safe or prudent to build unnecessary walls or to compartmentalize our knowledge of any possible players, plans or activities,’ wrote White, herself a Clinton appointee.

’The single biggest mistake we can make in attempting to combat terrorism is to insulate the criminal side of the house from the intelligence side of the house, unless such insulation is absolutely necessary. Excessive conservatism…can have deadly results.’

She added: ’We must face the reality that the way we are proceeding now is inherently and in actuality very dangerous.’

The White memo is particularly eerie in light of recent allegations that the preening 9/11 Commission ignored information about the wall in compiling its report.