October 24, 2006

H&C-Cheney2.jpgH&C-Cheney1.jpg In an Orwellian, sycophantic moment extraordinaire, Sean Hannity asks Vice President Cheney if he's "as surprised as he is that the country is so divided" and, given the all-consuming nature of the terrorist threat, if we should "even be debating the Patriot Act and NSA wiretapping".

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The way conservatives & Republicans distort the Patriot Act/NSA Wiretapping debate disgusts me. Democrats & liberals (and even some Republicans ) don't oppose the Patriot Act because they're "soft on terrorism" or because the "don't understand the nature of the wold we live in" as some right-wingers repeatedly suggest. The problem is that it egregiously curbs civil liberties.

There has to be a delicate balance struck and Patriot Act doesn't respect that. Whether it's the provision that allows federal agents to poke around library/medical/business records or the so-called "sneak-and-peek" powers that allow warrantless searches of homes, there are ways to effectively fight terrorism without destroying the bill of rights.

On top of all that, when the President signed into law the bill which renewed the Patriot Act back in March, he issued another "signing statement" making clear that "he did not consider himself bound" to comply with various reporting provisions. So not only does the Act significantly curb civil liberties, but the President has even reserved the right to keep how it's being used from the Congress -- one of the deal-breaking provisions that got the renewal passed in the first place.

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