Sunrise, Sunset

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Some central features of the USA Patriot Act included sunset provisions: If Congress doesn't revisit and reauthorize them at the end of 2005, they'll no longer be law. Now D.C. Republicans, led by Orrin Hatch, are trying to repeal the expiration clauses.

[Via Is That Legal?]

NEXT: Habeas Schmorpus

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  1. Freedom, once lost, is rarely regained and oppression, once formalized, is rarely repealed. How many times do we need to learn this lesson?

  2. These items were sold as temporary necessities during a period of emergency, not as permanent new policy. All the pro-USAPatriot press pointed to earlier wartime intrusions of civil liberties, later repealed, as evidence that this act did not, despite containing long-time wish list items, represent a permanent new policy.

    Gee, I wonder if Jonah Goldberg wrote anything about his dog today?

  3. I think it was B.Franklin (or maybe it was T.Jefferson?) who wrote, “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security, deserve neither.”

  4. I might not have it quite right, but if I recall correctly witholding taxes from paychecks was a temporary war measure which started in 1944 43?

    Um, that temporary measure hasn’t ended quite yet. I fear the same for this Patriot crap. (They way I heard it was that Patriot II would repeal the sunset provisions. Maybe they figure they can sneak this in on its own).

    Nah, I bet Jonah will write something about squirrels.

  5. I’m not sure the wartime repeals of freedoms where a good idea even though they were really temporary. Problem is, after every war we’ve had the power of the federal government has grown, even if it recinded the most obvious takings of liberties.

    There is a fundamental difference this time, however, that is really scary and is probably at the same time the reason they are already talking about repealing the sunset clause. In the case of conventional wars, it is very clear when the end occurs; somebody representing one of the governments involved surrenders or negotiates a truce. Game over. However, in this ‘war on terror’, when would we ever consider it won? There is no obvious victory or end and we can never be totally safe, ever. This is a very serious logical problem with concepts about ‘temporary’ government powers in this context and should be getting a lot more attention in the press than it does.

  6. This is serious! Time for us to phone and email our reps and senators and tell them not to repeal
    the sunset provisions of the Patriot act and not to pass the Kyl-Schumer measure. Our freedom may
    well depend on our fighting back. These restrictions could be used against legitimate dissent. If history is a guide they most likley
    will be. Even if you trust Bush think about a Nixon or a Clinton with these powers. The ideas of liberty are fun to debate but sometimes the preservation of liberty requires action. Also lets
    post in other places and call talk radio. Fight back friends of freedom! Make our voice heard!

  7. The election of 2004 is coming (if not pre-empted by another warlike adventure). Are you going to vote for anyone who supports the PATRIOT Act (or Son of PATRIOT), or who thinks that repeal of the sunset clauses is a good idea? Are you going to vote for anyone who says that he or she thinks it is OK to send our military to foreign lands in order to “liberate” them in undeclared wars? Are you going to vote for anyone who supports a faux-war, such as the War on Terrorism or the War on Drugs, which isn’t a declared war, has no definite ending, and which requires you to give up more and more of your freedoms (and forfeit more and more of your labor and resources) with each passing day?

    If your answers are “no,” then it is likely that you won’t be voting for ANYONE with a “D” or “R” by their names. And if you don’t vote for candidates for the two big parties, will you bother to vote at all?

    It is vitally important that you vote this year and next, and that your votes accurately reflect not your perception of a horserace or your long-time party affiliation, but your actual wishes for how we should move forward as a nation. From where I sit, it is time to toss the authoritarians of all parties and persuasions out onto the street. In so many ways, they have led us far away from the sensible path suggested to us by the people who originally fought and died to make ours a free country. They have broadcast false visions that, if followed, will lead to our impoverishment, perhaps even our eventual enslavement. Other nations have gone down that path, to empire and ultimate dissolution. That story has been told. Let’s write a new and different one. You get to write a piece of that with your vote in these critical years. Don’t waste your chance.

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