Saturday, December 17, 2005

More Free-Floating Hostility

A few quickies about recent events, then I'll zip up and head out...

Patriot Act: wow. Wow. I completely did not expect the Senate to engage in a game of brinksmanship with the White House. I'm on the Senate's side on this one - we need to ensure that our civil liberties won't be violated while these powers are still in their relative infancy, else we're just inviting abuse.

Speaking of abuse, the President's wiretaps: This is just scary. Not in this specific instance, per se, since I'm relatively certain it was only used on people one could reasonably suspect of terrorism. It may have even helped foil a plot against the Brooklyn Bridge. The problem is this: how much do we trust this administration, and subsequent administrations, with the power to listen in on any international conversation they want without significant judicial and Congressional oversight? Shouldn't we define and limit the warrantless wiretap now before it starts being used as a political tool?

Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) gets the "dumb quote of the day" and a SUYM Award nomination for this quote (bottom of page): "I want my security first. I'll deal with all the details after that." Details like, say, a justice system. Lott does raise the interesting question: how much are we willing to sacrifice to remain secure? Discuss.

1 comment:

Mike said...

To jumpstart discussion, I will simply quote Benjamin Franklin in a manner people are no doubt tired of by now: "He who would sacrifice liberty for security deserves neither." So I guess Trent can't have his cake and eat it too.

(Incidentally, I'm curious how the strict constructionists, with such a blatant illustration of "the intentions of the founding fathers", feel about the erosion of our freedoms in the name of security.)