Johnathan Turley writes that, well, maybe not so much.
While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.
These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.
The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.
Company like Syria, China, Cuba, Pakistan, and Iran. You know, free countries.
Read the entire thing.
If Rand Paul is successful (or doesn’t cave), we might just have 7 hours of freedom overnight tonight.
The Senate voted to end debate on the measure, but Sen. Paul, a Kentucky Republican, is insisting the Senate debate the measure for a full 30 hours, which would extend beyond the midnight expiration. Mr. Paul’s tactic is procedural: By not agreeing to a request for unanimous consent to yield back debate time, he can insist the debate continues until 7a.m. Friday, past the midnight expiration of the provisions. Mr. Paul, a libertarian who opposes the Patriot Act, could change course and allow a vote before the provisions expire.
Little steps, I guess. The Patriot Act is unconstitutional. The Patriot Act has yet to catch a terrorist; mostly drug users and people who failed to fill out forms properly. Here’s to Senator Paul holding tough and going against his party to bring attention to freedom.
One of the very few great things that could have come out of Democratic control of Congress and the Obama Administration would have been rolling back the Patriot Act. They say they are for protections from invasions of privacy, that violating civil liberties was a ‘failed policy of the Bush Administration.
Well, don’t hold your breath, they reauthorized it without significant changes. Showing again this is about power and control, and neither party is really interested in giving any of that up.
What’s most frustrating? In committee, there was bipartisan agreement to scale it back a bit.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., noted that the bill with privacy protections had been approved in committee by a bipartisan majority. He said the measure “should be an example of what Democrats and Republicans can accomplish when we work together, but I understand some Republican senators objected to passing the carefully crafted national security, oversight and judicial review provisions in this legislation.”
But they couldn’t get it through the entire body.