Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Devils and Angels: Reupping The Patriot Act

After procedurally and accidentally wrecking the Patriot Act in the House of Representatives a week and a half ago, our friends in the US Senate wanted to make sure that our government could continue spying and violating your Fourth Amendment rights.  The vote was not even close.  

And that is what this does.  Our Congressmen do not live in the real world, or the one that respects our Constitution.  The parts of the bill most valued by our Senate include the clauses allowing for roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones, permits the government to seize records and property in "anti-terrorism operations" without a warrant or court order (with the non-judged law enforcement bureaucrat being the final arbiter of what constitutes terrorism), and allow surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen engaged in "terrorism" (without court oversight) who may not be part of a "recognized terrorist group" (group that our State Department calls terrorists, not the ones we subsidize in the Colombian military, or Hosni Mubarak's security detail, naturally).

In a sea of evil, in which our own lawmakers conspire to destroy our rights and our way of life, there is not much good that can come of it.  Well, there were a few angels, a few decent people.

Here they are.  The twelve good members of the US Senate.  And yes, dear members of the right-wing left and libertarians, your beloved Senator Rand Paul is with the angels.

Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Brown (D-OH)
Harkin (D-IA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Lee (R-UT)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murray (D-WA)
Paul (R-KY)
Sanders (I-VT)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)

As for the rest of the members of the world's greatest deliberative body I suppose warrants and cause with legal and court oversight, the bedrocks of our criminal justice system for over two centuries, need not apply.  To those 86 enablers and defenders of our increasingly Praetorian state, shame on you and what you have done to our Constitution.

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