Thursday, June 16, 2005

books and crooks

The House decided to ditch part of the Patriot Act: they think that tracking your library records and bookstore purchases might be a bit much. You might recall that the last time this was voted on, the Republicans violated numerous rules of decorum and at least bent a few laws by keeping the vote open indefinitely until they could pressure enough people to change their vote. They only allowed the vote to go through when they were assured it would fail. This year a weaker version was proposed (it still grants the FBI the right to track computer use in libraries) and 38 Republicans crossed the line to the sane side, incurring the wrath of their fellow party members who basically told them the usual, i.e. if you don't toe the line the terrorists have already won.

It's still got to go through the Senate, though, and the White House has threatened to veto any legislation that shrinks the Patriot Act. This administration's dedication to the democratic ideal brings a tear to my eye.


Blogger thrashor said...

Assistant Attorney General William Moschella said that bookstores and libraries... 'should not be carved out as safe havens for terrorists and spies, who have, in fact, used public libraries to do research and communicate with their co-conspirators.' I find this simultaneously rediculous and frightening.
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