My feelings towards Johnny would best be expressed by a succession of bovine bowel movements.
- Elbert McDoolihan
Whoda thunk it? Ron Paul, who no one will ever accuse as being the poster boy for political moderation and freethinking, is attacking Chairman Ashcroft for his fervent support of the USA PATRIOT Act.
Mr. Ashcroft is an administrator, not a legislator. It is not his job to write laws or say what the law should be. His job is to execute the laws passed by Congress. It is not his place to chide Congress or the American people for not supporting his viewpoint. He certainly should not be spending taxpayer money to lobby for his political positions.
Mr. Ashcroft complains that the Patriot Act is misunderstood. But it’s not the American public’s fault nobody knows exactly what the Patriot Act does. The Act contains over 500 pages of detailed legalese, the full text of which was neither read nor made available to Congress before it was voted on- which by itself should have convinced members to vote against it. Many of the surveillance powers authorized in the Act are not clearly defined and have not yet been tested. When they are tested, court challenges are sure to follow. The Act’s complexity is even more troubling when we consider how powers given to the Justice department today might be abused by future administrations.
It is clear, however, that the Patriot Act expands the government’s ability to monitor us. The Act eases federal rules for search warrants in some cases; allows expanded wiretaps and internet monitoring; allows secret “sneak and peek” searches; and even permits federal agents to examine library and bookstore records. On these grounds alone it should be soundly rejected.
This has GOT to be the first lucid rant I've ever read or heard from Rep. Paul. It's comforting to know that even some Conservatives think the USA PATRIOT Act goes too far. Of course, given that Conservative Republicans value the herd mentality above virtually all else, Paul's opinion will likely be passed off as the rant of someone on the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, which isn't actually all that far from the truth. Nice try....