March 9 2007

Really…this is surprising?

It seems an audit was done of the FBI’s use of the Patriot Act in investigations and, gee, guess what, it was abused. I am all for fighting terror, but, as I have quoted before…

“They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin

The Patriot Act was passed in an air of panic, and has always had a sense to me of closing the barn door after the cows got out. It wasn’t thought through, the powers to broad, and some of the things it considered were just insanely trivial. And so no, I am not surprised some of the powers it granted law enforcement have been mishandled. It doesn’t sound like the powers were intentionally abused, but it sure seems like they weren’t handled properly. To give these sort of powers to agents not properly trained in their use was just a horrible lapse in judgment on the part of the government.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit to having run afoul of the Patriot Act. My crime? My family/business had too many checking accounts. We had to condense and it was a huge pain, but yes, we are evil people having too many different checking accounts. It’s true. I’m a horrible person.

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