The surveillance scam

Cato Institute
by Timothy B. Lee

02/08/08

Why are today’s Democrats less concerned with civil liberties than Republicans were a decade ago? Democratic leaders would doubtless point to the 9/11 attacks. Those attacks have certainly contributed to a changed political climate, but they don’t justify Congress’s panicky reaction to the president’s demands. Congress had already expanded eavesdropping powers several times since 9/11. Congress approved new wiretapping authority with the Patriot Act in 2001, and approved further expansions later in 2001 and in 2002, 2004, and 2006. If the new powers the president was seeking weren’t urgent enough to include in those revisions to the law, it’s hard to believe they were an emergency in August 2007. Moreover, the powers Congress granted last summer are far broader those sought by the Clinton administration in 1996...

//www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9185


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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