Liberty Takes a Body Blow

  • Washington Post: A Panicky Bill. One of the mysteries of the bill is why it reduces the healthy oversight of the courts at critical junctures. Have they, and the constitutional standards they enforce, really stood in the way of law enforcement? This is panicky legislation that, in seeking to reduce one set of dangers, unnecessarily creates another.

  • Wired News: Terror Act Has Lasting Effects. After the president signs the measure on Friday, police will have the permanent ability to conduct Internet surveillance without a court order in some circumstances, secretly search homes and offices without notifying the owner, and share confidential grand jury information with the CIA. Also exempt from the expiration date are investigations underway by Dec. 2005, and any future investigations of crimes that took place before that date.

    This is a sad day. I fear it’s only the beginning of our loss of liberties, however.

    The Bill of Rights is all about assuming some risk in return for liberty, without which we are not America. Congress plainly would rather abandon the Bill of Rights than take the chance of being blamed when the next terror attacks occur.

    I have great faith that the vast majority of police are honest and honorable. But there will inevitably be some who use these new powers in abusive ways. Who watches the watchers? Who polices the police? No one, it seems. Is this really the America we want?


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