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There are a number of provisions of the PATRIOT Act that I find objectionable, including the authority to snoop through our library records without a warrant. That said, University of Chicago Law Professor Geoffrey Stone and Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman have both made the important point that at least the PATRIOT Act was debated and passed by Congress, most of it twice (the first time just after Sept. 11, and then recently when most of it was renewed), and has been subjected to scrutiny by the courts on several occasions since then. The real danger comes from the executive branch activities that have not been authorized by Congress or (until recently) reviewed by the courts: military tribunals, wholesale data mining of our domestic phone records and international financial transactions, secret CIA prisons abroad, extraordinary rendition, and eavesdropping on international telephone calls. What I don't understand is where the old-time anti-government conservatives are hiding -- if the Clinton administration had done a tenth of what the Bush administration has done, he would have been impeached (again) long before now. Instead, we have the President, Vice President, and their aides crying "treason" and threatening to prosecute The New York Times (and why aren't they threatening the Wall Street Journal, which also published the story about data mining SWIFT transactions?). For the Steve Chapman column, go here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-0607060080jul06,1,4385099.column?coll=chi-news-col -- jrcchicago, 7/6/06, 9:42am

The Patriot Act was created to establish a set of laws that would empower the government to protect its citizens. During every major war intelligence played a major role in shaping the outcome. However, recently people allow emotion to over rule common sense and national security. The Patriot Act is a wartime doctrine and conservatives understand this and support this administration in this effort. The Patriot Act has “sunset” clauses built into it to provide safeguards for civil liberties after the threat is no longer great.

History teaches that if we turn our backs on evil that one day it will find us. The Patriot Act enables the government to safeguard our country from further attacks from abroad. To undermine a President while in time of war is treason.

The New York Times is given great protection and privilege under the First Amendment of the Constitution, which they treat as the only “valid” part of the document. They often forget about Article VIII, Section II which states “that adhering to the enemies of the United States, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

While it is true that the original PATRIOT Act had sunset provisions, when the Act expired, Congress made some relatively minor changes and enacted it permanently. Yes, intelligence in time of war is important. So is maintaining the checks and balances between the branches of government, especially checks on the executive which virtually always overreaches in times of war or crisis. Which of these programs would conservatives have approved under the Clinton administration? Data mining in our phone records and international financial transactions? Warrantless eavesdropping on our international telephone calls? Secret prisons? Have we descended so far into pure partisanship that we can no longer see the wrongs perpetrated by members of our own party, only those committed by the other side? jrcchicago 20:04, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

During the times of war it may seem that the Executive Branch may overstep its bounds however, it is only executing the power given by the Constitution as Commander in Cheif. There are balances in government and it is up to the third branch of government to provide that balance as recently exercised by the Surpreme Court. Being a conservative myself, I would have not begrudged Clinton on any of the programs listed by jrcchicago. Infact, the eavesdropping program has gone on since Carter. I've yet to understand though where the NY Times falls into the balance of power. It would seem any program that Congress is made aware of ends up front page news.

Independants Edit

This article talks about the possition of the two parties, but what about independants? They do represent 1/3 of the voting population. Why are they not represented here?

Feel free to post your perspective! Chadlupkes 03:44, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
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