Stretching the Bill of Rights
Back in NY for 9/11. Saw the start of the candle light vigil last night. Interesting lead story on NYTimes today.
President Bush called today for a significant expansion of law enforcement powers under the USA Patriot Act, using the eve of the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist acts to say that his administration was winning the war on terrorism but that "unreasonable obstacles" in the law impeded the pursuit of terror suspects. [more]
The quickest way to getting more tools into law enforcement's hands is to institute a completely transparent process allowing anyone (e.g. the ACLU) see how these things are used in practice along with an annual review and renewal. No one, not even Conservatives, trusts this administration to use these new powers judiciously, so they need to show us everything. They have squandered their benefit of the doubt.
Saddam, 9/11, Americans and their Beliefs
the fact that 70% of Americans believe that Hussein had something to do with 9/11 to anti-Arabism and "peoples' willingness to embrace the idea of collective guilt". I think that in a country where 77% of us believe in angels
, 38% believe "believe that ghosts or spirits can come back and communicate with the living"
, 45 percent of American adults take the Bible’s story of creation literally
, etc. etc. I'd say that believing that Saddam helped out Osama is relatively reasonable.
Interesting plot to humiliate bad lawyers like Hogan and Hartson
Tim Russert's Street Cred
Today, speaking to Sec. Colin Powell, Tim Russert said
The Europeans know that. Don’t they have us over a barrel? The French, the Germans can say, “You called us Old Europe. You dissed us. And now you’re asking for our help. Well, then you have to turn this over to the U.N. or we’re not sending troops and you can stay there as long as you want but you can’t afford to.” (emphasis mine)
Yes, that's right Tim Russert, we did dis Old Europe. We should have given them mad props. I wonder how Dick Cheney would have responded