Is the PATRIOT Act Worth Saving?

According to a new report by the Inspector General, the PATRIOT ACT is still useless. That’s right: still. We pretty much already knew it was designed more to make us feel safe than be safe, but years after its initial ratification, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find any reason at all to keep it around:

FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.

We already knew this. We really did. The TSA garbage we put up with every time we’re at the airport is the same way. We know it’s not actually helping. But it’s still getting funding. We are still paying for it. It’s crazy. We’re paying the civil government to harass us constantly and invade our privacy.

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The PATRIOT ACT needs to die. It has not effectively helped the civil government crack one case. But that’s just the insult to the injury. Even if it had been useful to crack a case or two, would its rampant and manifest abuses be worth it?

I don’t think so. There are plenty of times in the course of justice where the righteous have to delay the execution of judgment for the sake of the unmolested law. Yes, that restrains those in power from making rash judgments with quick consequences. I fail to see why anyone thinks that’s a bad thing. Kill the PATRIOT Act.


from Last Resistance

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