Continue the Patriot Act

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Adam's Apple, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Preserving the Patriot Act
    By Frank J. Gaffney Jr., The Washington Times
    December 13, 2005

    The proverbial rubber is about to meet the road. This week, the U.S. Congress will determine if the U.S.A. Patriot Act--the most important domestic security legislation since September 11, 2001--will be re-enacted in slightly weakened form or allowed to lapse in a number of its key provisions.

    Since the consequences of the latter would be manifestly detrimental to the War for the Free World, legislators opposed to the Act have offered to extend it for a short period--a gambit they hope will allow them to dumb it down still further. But make no mistake: Additional delay and more negotiations will not improve either the bill or the national security. To the contrary, they likely would jeopardize both.

    That would be particularly true if the Patriot Act's most vociferous critics on the Left and their less numerous (and most unlikely) bedfellows on the Right get their way. They tend to characterize the Act as an assault on the basic freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights and have sought far-reaching changes in the tools it provides law enforcement to detect and prevent terrorist plots inside the United States.

    In reality, the Patriot Act is an eminently sensible overhaul of the government's antiquated counterterror arsenal, an overhaul that reflects the realization we cannot hope to fight a 21st-century war using 20th-century legal instruments.

    Consider two elements critics have most insistently demanded be repealed: (1) the so-called "library records" provision (Section 215) and (2) the authorization of what have been derided as "sneak-and-peek" search warrants (Sec. 213).

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