Wednesday, July 09, 2003

debunking the PATRIOT act 

I've read two really interesting posts by Orin Kerr on the subject of the PATRIOT act on Volokh today (via The Corner), they can be found here and here.

Orin is right dead on about how absurdly hysterical everyone left of center in the USA is over the PATRIOT act. While i'm certainly a huge proponent of individual liberties, as Ben Franklin says "they who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security" (Amitai Etzioni clarifies this severly misquoted phrase for me, via google) i'm really hard pressed to understand why people are so fearful of the PATRIOT act.

A professor of mine last semester summed her feelings up like this, "there are always going to be terrorists, so why not just give me back my freedoms." While my summation doesn't do that intelligent woman any justice, it does highlight my favorite criticism of PATRIOT act criticizers. "Tell me exactly what you've lost" I ask. The real intelligent ones should knock me down in an instant, but it hasn't happened yet. While I have no knowledge about the real change in criminal procedures due to the PATRIOT act, neither do its accusers! Why? Because most people aren't criminals who're being watched by the government. The PATRIOT act hasn't impinged on their liberty one bit.
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