posted on May, 19 2005 @ 11:26 AM
Intersting. I sent an alert on this article, via the relevant button on the voting section.
I'm not one for hysteria, and I don't think that the original Patriot Act was the world destroying Fascist Blueprint that others think it is.
Regardless, it was passed in a hurry, with a lot of reckless Congressmen stating that they hadn't even had time to read it. Anything concerning
civil rights should receive attention and be debated in the public arena.
This new measure seems moderately reasonable, at least it has some good safe guards:
Recipients could challenge the subpoenas in court and the Bush administration would have to report to Congress twice a year exactly how it was
using this investigatory power, the aides said.
This is disconcerting:
Eight expiring sections of the law that deal with foreign intelligence investigations would become permanent, they said.
The Patriot Act is an emergency act, its not supposed to be something permanent. Of course, the Patriot Act is mostly just a set of ammendments and
corrections to other laws, so some of those provisions becoming permanent isn't of itself 'wrong'. I suspect however that making some provisions
permanent on their own can be used later on, people will reason 'well, parts of it have already become permanent, that sets a precedent for making
other parts permanent, and goes against any idea that the Act itself was temporary'
So, too, would a provision that authorizes wiretapping of suspected terrorists who operate without clear ties to a particular terrorist
As disturbing as it is, there doesn't seem to be any way to get around it. These networks are complex, sophisticated, and dangerous. They have to
be stopped. Thats why the Patriot Act is supposed to be temporary, to deal with this specific and current jihadist threat. It shouldn't become part
of the standard way of doing things.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other administration officials have been adamant that the expiring provisions become permanent, with few
There's simply no reason to make these things permanent. The issue is fighting the bin ladin et al terror networks. Not dealing with unknown future
threats of all types. There has to be a limit. Patriot is questionable to begin with, but pragmatism forces having some leeway for the time being.
If the government can't defeat the enemy in the field and at home, then it doesn't deserve
these powers in the first place.