Monday, November 21, 2005

PATRIOT Act: "Time is of the essence"

For an informative update on what the heck is going on in D.C. with the PATRIOT Act, check out the 11/18 post on the National ACLU's Reform the PATRIOT Act Blog.

Also, check out the great editorial in the Lebanon Daily News last Saturday regarding PATRIOT Act reauthorization.

And, as always, please CALL your elected Senators and Representatives. It is particularly important to target Senator Specter, Senator Santorum, and Congressman Weldon.

Let's keep it up--the pressure actually appears to be working!!

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so you know, even though all the new postings on this blog don't generate any where near the commentary Intelligent Design stirs up, I for one, and I'm sure many other, appreciate getting updates on important issues like the Patriot Act.

PS: Starting last week, when I checked my mailbox and found the eagerly awaited envelope from the ACLU, I can now proudly call myself a "card carrying member" of the ACLU. The blog here is what inspired me to finally join.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, you guys must be blushing:-)

The blog is great...thanks for the links.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I followed the first link and was surprised to find there was actually something one of my senators, Sununu, was doing for which I felt I should e-mail him a thank-you message. Doesn't happen very often with me and the Republican senators I'm stuck with in NH. :)

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actively support the ACLU in most of its work, but your opposition to the Patriot Act concerns me somewhat. The whole idea of the bill is to grant unusual emergency powers to our government to pursue terrorists. The giving up of some small degree of basic rights as Americans is implicit in this--or the powers would not be considered "unusual."

Basically, learning how to work the American system of rights, freedom, and governance to one's advantage is part of terrorist training. Our best chances of catching them come when they no longer have the ability to effectively "work the system."

Prior to 9/11, I believe that any potential or actual terrorists who were caught in plans to kill Americans looked forward to getting out on bail, fancy Beverly Hills attorneys who would defend for publicity, a good chance to get a quick acquittal, and an opportunity for an all-expenses-paid luxury airline flight back home to Yemen.

When I look at my four-year-old son sleeping innocently and in peace at night and think that some terrorist would gladly slit his soft little throat just for the fun of it and for no other purpose than to make a political point, some part of me appreciates the Patriot Act and Gitmo. As a parent, there is something comforting, satisfying, and full of basic justice knowing that this guy is sequestered without trial, perhaps for the rest of his life, in a place that is a psychological and physical state of living hell every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every month of every year. I don't like George Bush even one little bit, but he can torture these guys until the cows come home for all I care.

I know you do not appreciate those words, and they do indeed come from someone who really does appreciate and support the ACLU on most things, especially the Dover Panda Trial.

Best wishes to you and yours at Thanksgiving, and you shall have my continued love and support on most issues.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give up a little of this freedom this year...a little of that freedom next year...pretty soon, no freedom left at all.

It's true that with liberty comes risk, but the alternative is so much worse.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone who isn't paying much attention to what's going on writes (bold mine): As a parent, there is something comforting, satisfying, and full of basic justice knowing that this guy is sequestered without trial...

What do you mean "this guy"???

Oh, that guy! The one who you already know is an evil terrorist because, well... ummm... because someone picked him up in a sweep and, well, he looked awfully guilty?

The big point you're totally missing, because in your mind you've already convicted these people, is that WITHOUT CHECKS AND BALANCES there's no way to know whether or not the people locked up in Gitmo and God knows where else actually belong there in the first place!!!

Am I getting a bit emotional here? You bet! How can you say you "actively support the ACLU" and be this f*cking clueless about these most basic protections of liberty and the mechanisms needed to prevent unilateral abuse of power by the executive branch of the government?

As it stands now, the president can simply, by fiat, declare a person an "unlawful enemy combatant"... and that person disappears into a legal black hole, with no way to fight that declaration, no way for anyone to demand proof be offered, no way for anyone to even know for sure there's a person who's being held or for what reason.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As a parent, there is something comforting, satisfying, and full of basic justice knowing that this guy is sequestered without trial, perhaps for the rest of his life, in a place that is a psychological and physical state of living hell every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every month of every year."
Hope her four year old doesn't one day end up at an anti-war rally or join a peace group or he may have his little throat slit (real slowly) by an American with the right to do so because of supporters just like her/him.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew my comments on the Patriot Act and Gitmo would not win friends and influence other people here, and I understand your perspectives. Under most other conditions and circumstances, I really am an ACLU supporter and would be with you on this one. However, I am not an idealogue who tows to some "party line" on every issue that comes along.

Some unusual governmental authority is necessary to deal effectively with the terrorist issue. The Bush administration could put the whole country under marshal law to deal with terrorist issues, but I do not think any of us here would go for that fix, especially considering how whacko this administration is on other things. It occurs to me that the Patriot Act is the lesser of two evils in an evil time that requires difficult choices. I wonder how many of us might be willing to offer ourselves up for unjust incarceration if we knew that doing so would save the lives of 100,000 innocent people.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous tradealoan said...

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5:46 PM  

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