Michelle Malkin on the Patriot Act

Michelle Malkin offers a tribute to Viet Dinh, who, as an Assistant Attorney General specializing in Constitutional law, was the principal architect of the Patriot Act:
“Opponents of the Bush administration’s homeland defense and immigration enforcement efforts complain that the war on terror has eviscerated civil liberties and constitutional rights. They have falsely portrayed the Patriot Act as allowing the feds to spy on library patrons without a warrant or criminal suspicion — a lie perpetuated by the truth-challenged New York Times.
“They have hysterically compared the detention of illegal aliens from terror-friendly countries to the World War II internment of Japanese. And they have likened Ashcroft, Dinh, and the Justice Department to the Taliban and Nazis. Never mind that the courts have so far upheld every major initiative and tactic from keeping immigration deportation hearings closed, to maintaining secrecy of the names of illegal alien detainees, to allowing use of the Patriot Act surveillance powers.”
Michelle notes that Dinh’s perspective on security exemplifies the values of classical conservatism: “Dinh is refreshingly unapologetic and to the point in response to the alarmists: ‘The threat to liberty comes from Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, not from the men and women in blue who work to uphold the law.’ Drawing on Edmund Burke’s theory of ‘Ordered Liberty,’ which argues that liberty cannot be exercised unless government has first provided civil order, Dinh observes: ‘I think security exists for liberty to flourish and liberty cannot exist without order and security.'”
The Trunk and I have participated in public debates on the Patriot Act, and have been amazed at the low level of the criticisms leveled against the Act. So far, I have not encountered a critic capable of even specifying a particular section of the Act to which he objects.


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