16 December 2005

Patriot Act will be filibustered

Patriot Act II has been stalled in the Senate. With a vote of 52-47, it can and will be filibustered.

Patriot Act I had been passed so that its provisions would expire at the end of 2005. Many parts of the act - allowing searches of library records with a secret warrant, for example - smacked of a police state, not a democracy. If American troops are dying overseas to "protect and spread" democracy, we cannot afford to have a police state right within US borders.

Patriot Act II is an attempt to make Patriot Act I permanent. W and the Republicans, despite claiming to be "small government" conservatives who cut government to the point of being unable to respond effectively to Katrina, want to enlarge government where it should stay small - messing in private lives of citizens. This bothers even conservatives, such as Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, an NRA conservative, and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

I hope that politicians continue to remember that protecting America means protecting its freedoms, not compromising them in the name of security. It's bad enough that Amtrak is running its trains on a "Papers Please" basis, requiring photo IDs of all passengers - as if the presence of an ID can prevent terrorist attacks (it doesn't).

Bill Clinton was supposed to use the Y2K crisis to usher in a police state and make George Orwell's 1984 a reality. Now, five years later, W is making it happen. He must be stopped.

MSNBC article