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Sunday, November 06, 2005

For a change of pace, here's something far weightier and disturbing...

As I was surfing today, I ran across this story about something I've never even heard of, National Security Letters. Apparently, this is something that was enacted circa the 1960s or 1970s, and affords the FBI barely checked powers to gather information on individuals without their knowledge or consent. Until John Ashcroft's appointment to the office of Attorney General of the United States, this was apparently quite rare, but under the Patriot Act and his directives, this is far mor commonly used, and some would argue abused, today. For more information, please click on the link above. As for me, I was under the impression that we, as citizens of the United States of America, had certain rights. I wonder if the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America ring any bells to those who engage in these fishing expeditions. Frankly, I see this as bad law, bad policy, bad for the nation, and a true victory for the terrorists those who use this claim to attempt to protect us from. However, America is not just a nation, not just a blob on a map. The United States of America is an idea, and anything that allows that idea to fade and be betrayed is a true victory for the terrorists, one far longer lasting than any act of evil they commit. It is for that reason that I applaud the ACLU's opposition to the laws and policies that enable this. For over two centuries, grand juries and subpoenas have been more than sufficient to achieve this end. This, however, has far too much cost for too little gain.

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