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Abuse of power?

Who would have thought that the government might take increased powers obtained in the wake of 9/11 and applied them to non-terror cases? Hard to believe, isn't it?

Unfortunately, the article fails to distinguish between what seems like reasonable uses of these laws:

In one case prosecuted this year, investigators used a provision of the Patriot Act to recover $4.5 million from a group of telemarketers accused of tricking elderly U.S. citizens into thinking they had won the Canadian lottery. Prosecutors said the defendants told victims they would receive their prize as soon as they paid thousands of dollars in income tax on their winnings.

Before the anti-terrorism act, U.S. officials would have had to use international treaties and appeal for help from foreign governments to retrieve the cash, deposited in banks in Jordan and Israel. Now, they simply seized it from assets held by those banks in the United States.

...and unreasonable extensions:
A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months.
And then there are the silly complaints:
And Muslim and civil liberties groups have criticized the government's decision to force thousands of mostly Middle Eastern men to risk deportation by registering with immigration authorities.
The only people who "risk deportation" are those who are here illegally, so why on earth would "civil liberties groups" complain about this? And the people who "risk deportation" are exactly the people the law in question was designed to target, so how does it fit in with the theme of the article? Yes, non-terrorists who overstay their visas will be deported along with terrorists who do, but the law doesn't distinguish between those for obvious reasons: it can't. Terrorists rarely wear nametags.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 15, 2003 10:24 PM.

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