Cigars in the Sand

Commentary, Notes and Pictures from my time in Iraq

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Farmer by genetics, Lawyer by training, currently "vacationing" in Iraq and advising the Iraqi government on border security issues. Before moving to Baghdad, I served in the White House as Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council. I can be reached at opusxryanathotmaildotcom.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

More Patriot Act Rebuttal

Instapundit also says:

"I think that government officials who abuse their authority ought to be subject to punishment, and to lawsuits. And it's very hard for me to take "antiterrorism" legislation lacking such safeguards seriously."

Well then. Professor Reynolds should take the Patriot Act seriously. Section 223 specifically provides a cause of action against the government for overreach:

"Any person who is aggrieved by any willful violation of this chapter or of chapter 119 of this title or of sections 106(a), 305(a), or 405(a) of the Foreign Intelligence surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) may commence an action in United States District Court against the United States to recover money damages."

There's also a provision for administrative discipline, which Professor Reynolds also champions.

When I left the Administration in July, not one cause of action under these provisions had even been filed (to my knowledge).

Senator Feinstein, D-CA, wrote the ACLU and requested information about alleged abuses: "'I have never had a single abuse of the Patriot Act reported to me. My staff e-mailed the ACLU and asked them for instances of actual abuse. They e-mailed back and said they had none.' "

Let's debate the Patriot Act on the facts, not the hyperbole.