Thursday, April 07, 2005

Debate over the PATRIOT ACT

I am pro-America and I support efforts to stop terrorism. However, I have always been opposed to the PATRIOT act. I think it is too broad and does not do much of anything to stop terrorists. Above, I linked to an interesting article from Julian Sanchez of Reason Magazine.

Here's an excerpt from the article that sums up some of my feelings on the issue:

What's striking is how weak the case for the PATRIOT Act's vital necessity as an anti-terror measure appears even when we focus on the Department of Justice's handpicked examples, as provided in their "Report from the Field." Law enforcement's proud displays of PATRIOT's effectiveness involve drug interdiction, computer hackings, child pornography, gambling, and a variety of other crimes notable for not being terrorism.

The few uses of PATRIOT to foil ostensible terrorist plots aren't particularly impressive either—certainly in none of those cases does it seem as though the delay that greater judicial oversight might've imposed would've been an insuperable obstacle. DOJ cites the likes of the Lackawanna Six or the "Virginia Jihad" group, also known as the "paintball terrorists." In other words, as Slate's Dahlia Lithwick puts it "disaffected bozos who watch cheesy training videos, admire their fine Gold's Gym selves in the mirror, and try to take grandiose trips abroad."

Indeed. Further, it continues the government's attacks on the 4th Amendment.

I think we don't need most (if any) of the provisions in the law. It was knee-jerk legislation that was understandable when it was enacted the month after Sept. 11 - but it was a bad law then, and it's a bad law now.

Kid Handsome


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