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Politics astound me.

Attorney General Ashcroft was in Minneapolis today, giving a speech to law enforcement officials promoting the Patriot Act. I got to hear a part of it on the radio just now.

One of the things he said was that the Patriot Act is protecting the civil rights of citizens.

That is such blatant bullshit, I almost choked.

The roundabout thinking is that the Patriot Act helps capture terrorists, and since the terrorists are captured, the terrorists do not get the chance to abuse the civil rights of citizens. Never mind that the powers granted specifically in the Patriot Act have been used on citizens not tied to terrorism. One specific case had a guy who had a meth lab get accused of terrorism on a Weapons of Mass Destruction clause, simply because the chemicals he was using were dangerous. By the broad definition of the law, you could be considered a terrorist because you have a large concentration of gasoline (a known explosive) in your car, or if you have acetone (nail polish remover) or paint thinner in your basement.

By Ashcroft's measurement, the methods used in the Patriot Act have already been granted to law enforcement to help convict organmized crime and drug kingpins, and it mereley extends those powers to help fight terrorists.

Blatant bullshit. A straight out-and-out lie.
Here's an analysis from the EFF.

Ashcroft also maintains that the Patriot Act is directly responsible for there not being any terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the last two years.

I'm certainly not pro-terrorist. But Ashcroft really pisses me off.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
fairoriana
Sep. 19th, 2003 10:37 am (UTC)
You don't have to be "pro-terrorist" to find Ashcroft freaky-scary. If he takes away our civil rights to protect us from terrorists, then I would say that the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were highly successful in ruining American rights and freedoms. Which would just encourage more terrorist acts to see how restrictive they can make our society...
magicmarmot
Sep. 19th, 2003 10:41 am (UTC)
I have disagreed with Ashcroft for a long time now on just about everything, but actually hearing him spout bald-faced lies was infuriating.

I'm tempted to start an "Ashcroft for President" website, but I'd probably get arrested as a terrorist.
magicmarmot
Sep. 19th, 2003 10:43 am (UTC)
"Suspend the Constitution: vote for Ashcroft!"
"We don't need no steenking warrants!"
"The only Civil Right you need: Ashcroft 2004!"
fairoriana
Sep. 19th, 2003 10:47 am (UTC)
Oooooh... that would be great! You've heard of the TIA (Total Information Awareness -- aka Big Brother?) I heard an NPR article the other day about a guy who's creating a TGA -- Total Governmental Awareness. It will aggregate information about the government from various sources, and allow people to post stuff. The NPR commentator asked the guy if he thought the Feds would be watching him, and he said of course. And it struck me. We Americans are starting to be ever so slightly nervous about criticizing our government or expressing our opinions. You just said it. What a horrible thing.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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