Hoping to thwart terrorists, Washington is on the verge of enacting - quickly - the most sweeping changes in law enforcement in a generation - changes that will touch the lives of almost every American. [...] "Maybe that will make us feel safer," says Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who opposed the amendment. "Maybe. And maybe what the terrorists have done made us a little bit less safe. Maybe they have increased Big Brother in this country."
You know, I'd been keeping track, or trying to, of what Congress had been doing since the attack. And the provision allowing searches of computers somehow completely slipped past me. Wonder how much else has just sneaked through and we won't find out about it until far too late.
The provisions of the various laws are both appalling and baffling. For example, what use will education records generally be? Is there a Terrorism 101 major at colleges that we're not aware of? I can imagine that at some point in making certain types of cases, the government would jump up and say, "Ah-HA! You took chemistry and biology in college! You knew how to make this bomb!" To which many people could respond, "Those were required courses. I had no choice about taking them if I wanted to get my liberal arts degree."
The opposition to the various provisions is rather impressively broad. I can't imagine that this will make much difference, although it might give Congress some impression that perhaps they should consider things a bit more. But when the FBI and CIA sit there and say, "If you don't do this, we can guarantee that there will be more such attacks," especially right after such an attack, Congress isn't likely to sit there and think calmly, Well, there will be more of these attacks no matter what we do, and making laws that compromise the basic principles of the country are perhaps not the best way to go about preventing them.
12/19/2001: vive la france
12/19/2001: princess, redux
12/19/2001: yemen and rumsfeld
12/18/2001: you're NOT in the army now
12/18/2001: interesting donation
12/18/2001: shame on winn dixie, indeed
12/18/2001: saudi princess
12/17/2001: new resolve
12/17/2001: a victim of the attack ... yeah, right
12/17/2001: polluters ho!