Saturday, December 17, 2005

Get real about the PATRIOT Act: Take a page from the Founding Fathers

Congress is still playing patty-cake as it pretends to keep the public safe from terrorism.

The Senate's defeat of the USA PATRIOT Act shows that the majority of senators believe that our nation's security and intelligence services are greater threats to public safety than are the terrorists.

For a serious concept of a PATRIOT Act, lawmakers should study what the Founding Fathers - the real patriots - did when they fought to create and protect our great democracy.

They cracked down on immigration to filter out those who would subvert the new nation.

They told enemies of the new republic - Tories - either to sign loyalty oaths or be expelled from their state.

Massachusetts passed a law that identified 300 Tories, disposessed them of their property, ordered them to leave the commonwealth immediately, and warned that if they ever returned, they would be hanged.

That's a serious way of ridding a democratic society of those who would subvert and abuse it. It's something for the public to consider today - and compare it to the embarrassingly tame half-measures the US has taken so far against terrorists and their supporters here.

1 Comments:

Blogger A superfluous man said...

Well said. I like the historical example. It's a service you have done to distill the issue so clearly.

12:09 PM  

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