Another PATRIOT Myth Exposed

The Inspector General at the Justice Department recently conducted an in-depth examination of the PATRIOT Act and found no evidence that anyone had the civil rights violated due to the PATRIOT Act. The report found 17 cases of civil rights violations involving the Justice Department, none of which had any relation to the PATRIOT Act.

For all the arguments against PATRIOT, there seems to be very little evidence that any of these arguments were true. By the ACLU one would think that dissenters were being rounded up in the streets and sent to Gitmo, but that simply isn’t the case. Of course, that won’t stop the usual cries from the special interests, but it shows how exaggerated their arguments are. If there are substantive problems with the PATRIOT Act, the atmosphere of hysteria that has surrounded it is decidedly unhelpful in rationally making a set of laws that preserves civil liberties while effectively combatting the very real threat of terrorism.

7 thoughts on “Another PATRIOT Myth Exposed

  1. How about Jose Padilla?

    Oh, I get it. It’s about the definition of “anyone”. If you don’t define Jose as a person, it’s a “depends on what the meanog of ‘is is’ question.”

    also liked the bit where you sequed from “none of which” to “very little” in one paragraph.

  2. In other news, Gov. Schwartenegger concluded his investigation into his own groping behavior, after finding that he was absolutely not guilty of any groping whatsoever.

    Gosh, what a surprise. Man, what a great idea – take the agency with a vested interest in being found innocent of wrongdoing and put them in chage of the investigation! That way we’ll know for sure that nothing bad is ever happening anywhere!

  3. How about Jose Padilla?

    He wasn’t held under the PATRIOT Act, he’s being held as an enemy combatant – and his case is now under Supreme Court review.

    The Office of the Inspector General is expressly designed for investigating the Justice Department and is completely independent within it. But none of that matters, Ashcroft came up with the PATRIOT Act, so it simply must be bad, and who am I to stand in the way of such partisan bashing with such inconvenient things as facts or evidence?

  4. Until someone – anyone – comes up with a real, not imagined, abuse under the PATRIOT Act, intelligent people are not going to worry about it. I’m still waiting for a real example. Jose Padilla? Please,.

  5. http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/05/22/ashcroft.patriot.act/

    This is a CNN story from last year that discusses both the effectiveness of the Act (not very) and the number of people detained “in secrecy” (presumably without access to counsel, which violates Miranda) and this graph:

    “The report said fewer than 10 FBI field offices have been involved in investigations of individuals attending mosques, and in only one case was it not part of a specific criminal inquiry.”

    In one case it was not part of a specific inquiry when agents of the government observed someone because of MOSQUE ATTENDANCE?!!

    Abuses of the Act are not the only reason to discuss it. It’s effectiveness versus its costs is a perffectly legitimate area of discussion. Increased intelligence is not always the answer: quite often what’s needed is better vetting of the existing intelligence. When looking for a needle in a haystack, you want a metal detector, not more hay.

  6. First off if the government has the freedom to intercept our email whats next? OUR PHONE LINES
    OUR HOMES when will they stop I, bet there reading this as I, write it and saying Bravo team go. Whoever thinks the patriot ACT is in anyway a benefit to society in the war against Terrorism, must not think privacy is important at all. Well thats all I, have to say except ” BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.” George Orwell 1984