Skip to comments.Preserving freedoms
Posted on 11/24/2004 1:14:00 PM PST by Ed Current
You know something's seriously askew when we Second Amendment conservatives keep finding common cause with the American Civil Liberties Union. But, folks in Washington just keep ignoring basic constitutional freedoms when setting policy. And, in this case, two heads regardless of how much they may disagree the rest of the time are better than one.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Three years ago, on October 26, 2001, President Bush signed into law the USA PATRIOT Act, overwhelmingly passed by Congress with only Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) lodging a vote against it. Although the legislation was enacted as a means of improving and aiding our governments ability to protect against further terrorist attacks, it was almost immediately denounced by communities and groups for its potential threat to civil liberties. According to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, "355 communities, four states, and hundreds of organizations including the American Library Association and the National League of Cities have registered their opposition to sections of the Act and to what they see as a general erosion of civil liberties since 9/11."
The Rutherford Institute voiced its concerns about the Patriot Act early on and was also one of the first legal organizations to produce an extensive analysis of the mammoth legislation, entitled Forfeiting "Enduring Freedom" for "Homeland Security": A Constitutional Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 (PDF). In addition, when Attorney General Ashcroft embarked on a nationwide tour in defense of the Patriot Act and launched his Life and Liberty website, TRI offered a point-by-point response to Ashcrofts statements: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Terrorists: A Rutherford Institute Response to Attorney General John Ashcrofts "Patriot Act" Tour and Website (PDF). John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, offered his own blunt assessment of the Patriot Act in his commentary, The President Is Wrong: The USA Patriot Act Should Be Terminated. As well, an April 2004 legal feature asked Do We Need the Patriot Act?
Since the passage of the Patriot Act, The Rutherford Institute has also operated Operation Eroding Freedom, a weblog that documents the status of civil liberties since 9/11. Through the regular "blogging" of news items relating to civil liberties and the Patriot Act, OEF functions as an important resource for developments regarding your rights.
It seems unlikely that government support for this controversial legislation will wane anytime soon, given the fact that President Bush and his lead opposition Sen. John Kerry have expressed their wholehearted support for it. But as the more than 300 communities across the country have demonstrated, we must continue to challenge threats to and violations of our civil liberties.
I can just see the million moms converge on Oprah as she states, "Well, if you can't beat 'em, may as well join 'em," while presenting everyone with a compact S&W .357.
Sucks that we cannot post the whole editorial. It's good.
Thanks for the ping...this will happen folks...in the name of protecting us. All the while, our borders and border laws will remain virtually non-existent to you if you are a non-citizen attempting to enter via Mexico.
Actually, both things are correct. It does strengthen our hand against terrorists in a number of ways, notably by tearing down the wall that prevented intelligence and law enforcement agencies from talking to each other. We had many of the pieces of information about 9/11, but we couldn't put them together because of this prohibition.
OTOH, it does provide sweeping new surveillance powers against Americans that are potentially very dangerous. While there is no record that this Administration is abusing these powers, they are easily abused by someone who wants to do so. Take the Klintoons, for example. We know what they were able to do to their enemies BEFORE the Patriot Act. Imagine Hitlery as President armed with these new powers. That, my friends, is a SCARY prospect!
And that is exactly why these new powers must be repealed and any renewal of the Patriot Act must be sharply limited to a few key areas. NEVER give powers to your friends that you wouldn't want your enemies to use, because eventually your enemies will be in a position to use them.
Take sneak-and-peek. This is a danger to civil liberties. A corrupt Administration like the Klintoons could start using it against ordinary Americans, especially since the Act provides that if you tell a judge that you need this for something "related to a terrorist investigation," the judge effectively cannot say no under the provisions of the Patriot Act. So you can get your warrant to do sneak and peek against anyone -- Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, Ann Coulter, Al Franken, you, me, your minister, whoever happens to have offended the White House today. Then these folks will simply be declared "enemy combatants" and whisked away, never to be heard from again.
Remember, the Klintoons are totalitarians at heart. Do you want people who are enamored of totalitarianism wielding these powers? Then it's better for the government not to have them.
A national drivers' license is another devout wish of the totalitarian left. "Your papers, please." National ID cards are the stuff of totaltiarian tyrants, not a free republic.
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