Gore calls on President Bush to repeal Patriot Act.

Which is kind of like asking the wolf to repair the hole in the chicken coop fence, but I appreciate his taking the stand none-the-less.

Wired News: Gore to Bush: Rescind Patriot Act

“They have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, ‘big brother’-style government—toward the dangers prophesied by George Orwell in his book 1984—than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of America,” Gore charged in a speech.

Gore, who lost the disputed 2000 presidential election to President Bush, brought many in the crowd of 3,000 to their feet Sunday when he called for a repeal of the Patriot Act, which expanded government’s surveillance and detention powers, allowing authorities to monitor the books citizens read and conduct secret searches.

He said terrorism-fighting tools granted after Sept. 11, 2001, amount to a partisan power grab that has led to the erosion of the civil liberties of all Americans.

The Senate minority leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, said Monday that while he’s not ready to support repealing the Patriot Act, he is skeptical of the way it’s been used by the White House and said there is “a lot of concern about the assault on civil liberties.”

The Bush administration, he said on the NBC’s Today program, “created this campaign to bolster their standing in the polls, to bolster their political support around the country. They used these devices, to a certain extent, to intimidate people, to recognize that perhaps using this as a vehicle was a way to enhance their own standing.”

Gore chided the administration for what he said was its “implicit assumption” that Americans must give up traditional freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists.

“In my opinion, it makes no more sense to launch an assault on our civil liberties as the best way to get at terrorists than it did to launch an invasion of Iraq as the best way to get at Osama bin Laden,” Gore said.

Or as Benjamin Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

17 thoughts on “Gore calls on President Bush to repeal Patriot Act.

  1. Oh my! I actually agree with Gore on something? *shivers* This prole doesn’t very much like the Patriot Act…sometimes (key word sometimes)Marxism makes a lot of sense…

  2. Does anyone have any stories about how the Patriot Act has personally infringed on their liberty?  Does anyone know anyone whose rights have been infringed upon?  In past wars industries were nationalized, consumer goods were rationed, and people had to give up some of their freedoms.  I

  3. Since the Patriot Act is 342 pages of legal gibberish, I pulled up a synopsis on the Civil Disobedience web site.  They say:

    The USA PATRIOT Act (“Patriot Act,” “USAPA”) affects several civil liberties and many of the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The right to privacy, the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, Seventh Amendment, and the Eighth Amendment are specifically violated. Arguments could be made for more as well

    • Can someone show me where there is a “Right to Privacy” guaranteed in the Constitution? 
    • I don’t understand how freedom of religion, speech, or the right to assemble are affected by the Patriot Act.  How are they affected?
    • I can see some 4th Amendment issues (unreasonable searches and seizures)
    • The 7th Amendment starts with these words:
      In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved
  4. I think this is one of those issues where it comes down to where we, as a society, want to draw the line.  Complete individual liberty could be as threatening to society as complete state control over individuals.

    Personally, though, I fall on the same side as Eric.  Primarily because to do otherwise is only rational if you have a government that is looking out for your interests.  I don’t believe the philosophy of the people running our govt is beneficent.  I tend to see in their actions condescension, active hostility, and a non-stop struggle to accrue additional control over the general public.

    I don’t think it’s an accident that we have, in general, a dramatically undereducated populace.  Politics has become a dirty word, and people are allergic to real debate.  As a people, we’ve turned over the reins to Michael Moores and Ann Coulters. 

    There’s no way in hell I would tell that Canadian guy who got deported to Syria and tortured for ten months before he was released that he should “suck it up.”  Apparently, he was innocent enough that they finally released him.  Now THAT surprises me.  I believe it’s entirely possible that if he had no family, and if his case had received no media attention, that he would be taking a dirtnap about now.

    The govt. makes mistakes all the time—innocent men are freed from prison due to DNA, but you can’t give them back the time they’ve lost, or, more importantly, undo the psychological damage that comes from living in an environment like that.

    And you can’t “untorture” someone either, after you find out they really didn’t do anything.

    And yes, the govt will inevitably trample on some individual rights when they go about their business—but that doesn’t mean that we, as a people, should make it ever easier for them to do so, and remove all consequences for doing so.

    On another note, (and I realize this post is just exploding), there is a huge potential for private abuse of the PA.  Businesses and private individuals are also given unprecedented levels of protection from prosecution if they violate someone’s rights, as long as they do so under the belief that they’re uncovering a possible terrorist threat.

    The other day, a telemarketer called us at 7:30 am and my wife yelled at him and then hung up on him.  He called the cops and reported “screaming” at our residence.  Needless to say, my wife was already at work when the cops came knocking, but I got the telemarketer’s message loud and clear. 

    You don’t think individuals might use the PA for similar purposes?

    Nah, I say, let judges do their jobs—let them evaluate for probable cause and then authorize searches and wiretaps.  I doubt they’d turn down too many of them.

  5. Mild Bill, I’ll say it again: your mind is not your own, the Service took it away from you. I was going to respond to your ridiculous question but just couldn’t find the energy to do so.

    You said:
    “I lived and worked on military bases for many years. When you enter a military installation, there is a sign that says they are allowed to search you and your vehicle AT ANY TIME while you

  6. A true patriot would do everything they can to cripple and kill this act because it is counter to everything our fathers and grandfathers fought wars to protect. Everything WE served in the military to protect MildBill.

    I may be a traitorous liberal but I love my country enough to work against those who would destroy it. Both foreign and domestic.

  7. MB, I’m afraid I don’t see any real problem with Eric’s flaming left wing logic.

    Three thousand people dead, all at the same time is a tragedy, no doubt.  But more importantly, it’s a DRAMATIC tragedy—the kind of tragedy that can be used.  And it is being used.  It’s being used to funnel more and more money into military and police operations.  In terms of the problems confronting this nation, increasing the military budget so dramatically is like putting a tourniquet on a cut finger—and not being able to spare a bandaid for the gut wound.  The govt. may be perfectly healthy, but I think the American people are about to go into shock. 

    And your personal experiences with relatively upstanding members of law enforcement do not necessarily extend to the rest of the American citizenry.  I’ve been in court and heard police officers tell blatant lies.  I’ve worked for the California Dept. of Corrections, and I’ve seen the way the PIO’s “spin” the incidents where prisoners were used for target practice at Pelican Bay.

    Putting a bunch of guys in uniform, arming them, and then telling them that they’re the “good guys” seems to create some dangerous psychological effects.  And I’m not talking about just the military here, where there are plenty of grunts who just want to do their bit and get out.  I’m talking about cops and correctional officers. 

    The last thing we need, as a society, is to be so “grateful” for the “protection” we’re receiving that we don’t ever question how that protection is provided. 

    I think the analogies that you’re drawing between being pulled over by the police, and the provisions of the patriot act are a bit unbalanced.  In one, the police can search your car and delay you for a few minutes.  In the other, they can deport you to another country to be tortured.

    And telling a police officer that he doesn’t have the right to detain you may be pointless, and risky, but it’s not on the same level as personally demanding to inspect a nuclear silo. 

    Again, it’s a question of where you draw the line—some 2nd amendment freaks think they really are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to stockpile RPGs.

    I hope you’re just trying to be inflammatory, MB, (and I can understand why, as things have gotten a little slow with the absence of DB and Hires *sigh*  Was it something we said?) but I get the feeling that you draw the line pretty darn close to where our new govt. would like to draw it.

    And I say that if we, as a people, don’t insist that the line be moved back to a “reasonable” place, well, we’ll get the government we deserve—
    as we so often do.

  8. Oh, sorry for the double dipping, here, I just wanted to give a shout out to the librarians.

    Yeah, you know who you are, and I love you guys!  Woot!


  9. I will touch on my faulty left wing logic in a second, but This just jumped off the screen at me:

  10. “super intelligent mice”

    Pinky: What are we doing tomorrow Brain?
    Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the world!

    (Now THAT is a threat to national security!)

  11. “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero

  12. How profound.  I’ve always liked Cicero.

    But who are the traitors?  Those leftist pinkos who would risk the infiltration of our great nation by the “evil ones” by insisting on the sanctity of their own individual freedoms?

    Or the people who would destroy individual liberty by by eliminating all that America stands for, in order to protect what America stands for?

    Hmmmm.  Without context, even Cicero is relative.

  13. And if you are calling me a traitor I will snap the plastic $1.59 made in Taiwan flag off of your vehicle and shove it so far up your ass it will tickle your brain. You can accuse me of a lot of things but never question my love of country. I love it enough to hold the government accountable for their actions, to suffer the scorn of false patriots rallying around their corrupt party leadership, and work to fix the broken bits.

    I certainly hope you didn’t come here to make baseless and offensive accusations. If not accept my apologies for the preceding, if so pray you never make the mistake of accusing me of treason in earshot.

    If I refer to myself as a traitor it is in mocking reference to scum like Ann Coulter or Bill O’Reilly and their warped venomous world view. I can do that because I know it is untrue.

  14. I see it as a corrupt government’s desire to create a gestapo style control over the populace while giving the means an honorable title to make it most palatable. Still, a steaming bowl of shit is only that, no matter what you call it. So Mild Bill, you can have my serving too. I won’t be consuming it willingly.

    Reminds me of the work by those guys who come up with those ridiculous names for our various invasions like Operation Dessert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle etc.

    When I mentioned you had to give up your civil liberties (while being paid to do so) it doesn

  15. Today while I was watching Now with Bill Moyers on PBS, one of his guests (a Republican Congressman) was explaining how the Bush Administration, not wanting to face a fight over Patriot II is tacking hundreds of amendments onto hundreds of bills going through Congress in an effort to sneak them through. Apparently this is not all that uncommon a way to do business on the hill, makes me real proud. If the Act is so benign why all the underhanded tricks? If it is a good thing for America then let Americans read it, digest it, and then let their representatives know how they want them to vote on it!

    If the Patriot Act II is such a good thing why are they so damn afraid to let it be judged on its merits? Do not let this continue without a fight! Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel about this particular poison pill. Please do not wait until the next election before you decide to get political.

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