Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Thought the Patriot Act Was Evil

Apparently it is only evil when a Republican is in the White House. Obama Supports Extending Some of Patriot Act - ABC News
Another expiring provision, Section 215, is the so-called "library provision," which allows investigators to obtain business records with approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
I seem to remember Democratic campaign ads that painted the Library Provision as the first step toward setting up a police state. I guess a Democratic police state is better than a Republican one.

But that is the primary difference between liberal and libertarians.
Liberals think that when a government program isn't working it is because the right people aren't in charge.

For example - when in 2000, the existence of the Echelon electronic surveillance program came to light (Clinton was in office), the New York Times called it "a necessity."
We all know how they reacted to the Patriot Act. (I wonder, is there legislation making its way through Congress to repeal the hated Patriot Act, and I just haven't heard about it?)

Echelon spies on all US communication. The Patriot Act was supposed to be targeted at specific threats. I don't like the provisions of either all that much.
So why was Echelon OK? Was it because Clinton was in office? Why was the Patriot Act horrible then, and worthy of extending now? Then it was Bush; not it's Obama. (If you can find another difference, let me know.)

Libertarians would say that a non-working (or questionable) program should be eliminated. And if the Obama Administration thinks that the Patriot Act has done some good, shouldn't they say why, or are they just reading the polls? (Which appear to show a nearly 60/40 split.)

Is that leadership?

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