Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Whew - what a relief!

According to an AP report for January 28, the Justice Department has investigated charges that the Justice Department has abused civil rights or civil liberties under the Patriot Act and has found the Justice Department not guilty.

Well, that certainly turned me around. George, I'm all yours now!

But sadly, there is a nagging doubt. I wish I could rid myself of this vestige of anti-Bush - er, I mean anti-American, well, it's all the same thing anyway, isn't it - anyway, this remaining taint of "objectively pro-terrorist" feeling. You see, the incidents specified in the article were all about government agents accused of things like verbal abuse or unnecessary force or a case where a guy waved his badge around because a gas station attendant told him they were out of paper towels. None of them had to do with actions taken under the rubric of our glorious Traitor - damn, I guess I need to increase my medication - I mean Patriot Act of course.

Which appears to mean, for example, that the people who have been arrested for refusing to confine their free speech to out-of-sight, out-of-mind "free speech zones" created by local police under orders of the Secret Service were not, according to DOJ, having their civil liberties affected - because agents acted under the color of law.

But wait, I mean.... Wasn't that the point? I mean, things like threatening people and trying to bully them with your badge and physically abusing them - they were wrong before, yes? Nothing to do with the Act, yes? Isn't the complaint actually that the provisions of the Tra- dammit it, Patriot - Act, the new powers to secretly search, snoop, and spy, are themselves violations of civil liberties? The secret arrests, the hidden detentions, the "enemy combatant" stances, aren't they the issue?

Isn't this smug, self-satisfying "investigation" just a bureaucratic dodge intended to justify continued pressure on unapproved political expression? Isn't -

I'm backsliding! Help me, George, help me!

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