Freedom Fry

Look at that freedom fry! A collection of political hotlinks and original articles.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The P.A.T.R.I.O.T.

10:48 AM

Keep America Safe AND Free.A series of articles today from the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune concerned me quite a bit for a couple of reasons. This New York Times article talks about known terror suspects being able to purchase firearms quite easily, which is a disturbing notion to say the least. The Chicago Tribune article talks about the possibility that terrorists may try to gain access to intelligence agencies and could actually pull it off. I readily admit that both these possibilities are frightening and require immediate attention and constant vigilance, but what ticked me off when I was reading the respective publications was the smaller headline below each one: "Push to strengthen PATRIOT act." What's irritating about this is not that the government wants to handle the situation more aggressively, but that they insist on using an obviously outmoded act to enforce a draconian system of policing that has yet to show any concrete results. In the case of the firearms, a clear alternative would be to amend existing gun laws, and in the second case I would assume that a far more efficient method of finding rogue applicants to intelligence agencies would be greater integration between intelligence agencies. It seems, however, that the administration isn't that committed to handling this problem dynamically. That's disconcerting. One of the major reasons the terrorists managed to evade law enforcement and intelligence was because, clearly, all the concerned agencies were using static policies that focused on the wrong tactics. As we have seen with the Patriot act, more harm than good occurs when you are not coming up with innovative solutions and the cost is greatest for the American public. Countless civilians have been arrested and interrogated for things that aren't as significant as trying to buy weapons or enter an intelligence agency. However, rather than tout reform, the administration seems keen on maintaining an opaque [Misha's Note: and it's that opacity that I hate], obsolete agenda.

It's time that over-worked and understaffed agencies like the local Police departments, Immigration, and other such organizations are strengthened and fine tuned. Using the PATRIOT act is simply another way of avoiding the essential debate of how to protect the American people AND their way of life.

In other news....

Bush's appointee to the U.N., John Bolton, is another prime example of how stubborn and outdated Bush is. One could argue that Bush is a visionary president who has remodeled the Middle East, among other things, but that's based primarily on shuffles, as I call them, rather than actual movements. In this Slate article it is apparent why Bolton was the wrong choice and how committed Bush is to being spiteful and condescending. Rather than promoting solutions, he'd rather keep on with his "the U.N. is irrelevant" crap. Sounds like more of his "it's broken and I'll fix it...with this band-aid" B.S. Can we get some real vision and leadership please? This beta version-Presidency sucks.


Misha Cohen said...

Regarding the "UN is irrelevant" crap:

What's up with that? Don't people want a unified and peaceful world? The reason we started the UN was to create a democratic institution that would bring peace to the world, after two world wars. What kind of institution would you prefer, Mr. Bush? This is a United Nations! Please reform it and get rid of corruption (including our own), but why start from scratch?

3:48 AM  

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