Thursday, January 04, 2007

Good Article on Abuse of Power

I feel strongly that the Patriot Act is in fact unpatriotic and that our government has used terrorist and "it's for the children" to slowly remove our freedoms. This article is a good example of the abuse of power in our country.

It's a shame because when I was younger I thought the FBI and their ilk were the good guys, now I'm not sure.


  1. While I am opposed to the Patriot Act, I'm wary of using Gerry Spence as a source of attack. Spence is not the most lucid of people, and he's clearly working his own agenda in this article, namely pushing his own book. I mean, if this were the fascist leaning society he claims, Mayfield would hardly have gotten $2 mil out of the FBI for its screw-up of his case. He also clamis Mayfield was arrested on a charge that could have resulted in the death penalty, which the article writer lets go without contest, but then later in the article it is stated that Mayfield was arrested on a material witness warrant. There's no charge at all in a material witness warrant, so obviously there was no death penalty charge against the guy. It's stupid shit like that the hurts legitimate arguments against the extremes of the Patriot Act.

    Lets not forget, too, that this isn't exactly new. We've gone through these moments of paranoia before. The Alien and Sedition Acts of the John Adams administration, not to mention the more recent FBI activities under J Edgar Hoover, come to mind. Worse was Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpus during the Civil War. However, every time this sort of thing has occurred, there's been a backlash that put an end to it. That's what's happening now against the Patriot Act. In fact, it's occurred more quickly this time than in a lot of the previous instances.

    Fortunately, our federal republic is a very resilient thing. The Founding Fathers structured the thing in such a way as to restrict the extremes of either a president or a vox populi. It's a wonderful balancing act they came up with, which was further strengthened by the 14th Amendment.

    So, it's funny that you thought the FBI were the good guys when you were a kid. I mean, when you were a kid was one of the high points for FBI excess. Not that the public knew that at the time.

  2. Y'know, regardless of Spence's veracity on certain points, that's still a damn frightening article! Secret warrants, breaking in while the people weren't home, etc.

  3. Thomm - I think my admiration for them may have been based on the old TV show - appropriately named - The FBI. Also as you said the abuse of power and the tales of J. Edgar were unknown at the time.

    I wasn't born a skeptic or cynic, it has been a learned behavior based on a lifetime of observation.

    Plus as a kid I just wanted to shoot guns, that hasn't really changed, just in Maryland it is too laborious to own a firearm.