April 9, 2007
Patriot Games
By Perry Willis
Today's Downsizer Dispatch . . . Please share with concerned friends . . . Subject: Repeal the Patriot Act Politicians excel at “the fine art of crisis creation.” Time and again they create policies that fail. Then they exploit those failures to grab more power, and then, almost inevitably, they fail again, only on a larger scale. It's a vicious cycle and a cancerous death-spiral to our liberty. 9-11 and its aftermath provide a perfect example. In truth, the federal government already had all the power and resources it needed to prevent the 9-11 attack. It knew who the terrorists were and what they were doing in advance, but Big Government still failed to protect us. The follow-up was predictable. Government officials exploited their own failure to . . . * launch a fraudulent invasion of Iraq, * erect a huge new bureaucracy in the form of the Department of Homeland Security, * saddle the American people with the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act. Notice the pattern? Failure leads to new powers that lead to new failures . . . * Iraq is a disaster. * The Department of Homeland Security is a mess. * The REAL ID Act is a nightmare. * And the Patriot Act is being abused, According to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice . . . 16% of searches conducted under Patriot Act provisions violated FBI and Justice Department regulations. Many of these searches may have been conducted illegally. The FBI has seriously underreported the number of “national security letters” it has issued. Only 8,500 letters had been issued prior to the passage of the Patriot act, but that number skyrocketed to 39,000 in 2003 and 47,000 in 2005, and the FBI only informed Congress about 9,254 of these letters. Meanwhile, there is no evidence that we've been able to find that any of this has helped protect us from anything. The reports of the Inspector General, to which we have provided links on the Background page for this campaign, make sobering reading, not so much because of what they reveal about government wrong-doing, or even incompetence, but because they make it clear how impossible it is to manage and regulate bureaucracies as large and powerful as the FBI. When will we learn? Big institutions are inefficient institutions, and power is inherently corrupting. Big Government should be smaller. It should have less power. It might do better if it focused more. It isn't the abuse of power that's the problem; it's the fact that we've given government the power to abuse! We must work to take away that power, and return Big Government to a human scale – a manageable size. We should repeal the Patriot Act, because it is a power to abuse. Please urge Congress to repeal the Patriot Act. And please consider making a contribution to further our work. You can do so here. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer. Jim Babka President, Inc.
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