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politik: abandonment issues

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You know, I was pretty sure it couldn't be just me... Of course, change now is surely too little, too late. This is a blatant copy from my copy of today's Cato e-mail:



"BOISE, Idaho--Even here, in a bedrock Republican state in the heart of the conservative Mountain West, a lot of people think Attorney General John D.
Ashcroft has gone too far," according to The Washington Post ( ). "'Ashcroft wants
more power,' said state Rep. Charles Eberle (R-Post Falls), who has drafted a resolution critical of the Patriot Act. 'What a lot of us in Idaho are
saying is, 'Let's not get rid of the checks and balances.' ... People out here in the West are used to taking care of themselves. We don't like the
government intruding on our constitutional rights.'"

In "Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Preserving Our Liberties While Fighting Terrorism" ( ), Timothy Lynch,
director of the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice, writes that "government officials typically respond to terrorist attacks by proposing
and enacting 'antiterrorism' legislation. To assuage the wide-spread anxiety of the populace, policymakers make the dubious claim that they can
prevent terrorism by curtailing the privacy and civil liberties of the people. Because everyone wants to be safe and secure, such legislation is
usually very popular and passes the legislative chambers of Congress with lopsided majorities. As the president signs the antiterrorism bill into
effect, too many people indulge in the assumption that they are now safe, since the police, with their newly acquired powers, will somehow be able to
foil the terrorists before they can kill again. The plain truth, however, is that it is only a matter of time before the next attack.

"This cycle of terrorist attack followed by government curtailment of civil liberties must be broken—or our society will eventually lose the key
attribute that has made it great: freedom. The American people can accept the reality that the president and Congress are simply not capable of
preventing terrorist attacks from occurring. Policymakers should stop pretending otherwise and focus their attention on combating terrorism within the
framework of a free society."


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