Terrorizing the Bill of Rights

'Why Should We Care? It's Only the Constitution'

This "sunset" is illusory. In the long-term war against terrorism and its largely invisible soldiers, some of them among us, can you imagine legislators tempering this assault on the Constitution four years after it overwhelmingly passed the bill? They want to keep being reelected.

In taking this dodge, Wellstone went on to say to his colleagues fearful of having their patriotism questioned: "It is critically important that each and every one, every senator and representative, monitor the use of new authorities provided to the law enforcement agents to conduct surveillance. We're going to have to monitor this very closely." I do not think there was any applause.

Russell Feingold, left alone, said that the new law "goes into a lot of areas that have nothing to do with terrorism and have a lot to do with the government and the FBI having a wish list of things they want to do, whether it be getting into people's computer use," medical records, or other areas not related to terrorism. Next week: what some of these dangerous areas are.

Related Stories:

"Coming Soon: A National Wiretap Warrant" by Nat Hentoff

"The New McCarthyism: Liberty Is a Fragile Thing" by Nat Hentoff

"Technology and Its Discontents: Cyber-libertarians, Technologists, and Congress Wrangle Over Electronic Privacy Issues During Wartime" by Brendan I. Koerner

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