Thanks TIME, I can always count on you for the American Fascist perspective
Civil libertarians are in a state of despair. "People don't realize how damaging it is to a democratic society to allow the government to warehouse information about innocent Americans," says Mike German, national security counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Or do they? In all the examples of diminished civil liberties, there are few, if any, where the motivating factor was something other than law and order or national security. There are no scandalous examples of the White House using the Patriot Act powers for political purposes or of individual agents using them for personal gain. The Justice IG report released Thursday, for example, examined some 50,000 National Security Letters issued in 2006 to see whether the FBI misused that specialized kind of warrantless subpoena. The IG found some continuing abuse of the power, but blamed it for the most part on sloppiness and bad management, not nefarious intent. In a press release accompanying the report, Fine said, "The FBI and Department of Justice have shown a commitment to addressing these problems."