Trust Us: The PATRIOT Act Saves Lives
As a former senior executive of the FBI, responsible for terrorist financing, the investigative initiatives I oversaw were direct beneficiaries of the USA PATRIOT Act. Make no mistake about it; the PATRIOT Act facilitates investigative success. The ultimate beneficiaries of such success are the American people. Why is it that certain members of the House and Senate choose to overlook this basic fact? After all, isnÃ¢€™t ensuring our safety and security a paramount responsibility of our elected officials? ItÃ¢€™s disheartening that select legislators continuously cast skepticism toward the integrity of the FBI, CIA and other agencies in respecting our civil liberties in deference to the desire of terrorists, who seek to exploit our very freedom by attempting to conduct heinous acts of terrorism against us.
While I’m generally supportive of the PATRIOT Act and think it among the least intrusive of the post-9/11 measures in terms of our civil liberties, it would be helpful if Lormel would shed more light on what successes, exactly, stemmed from the act to judge whether the tradeoffs here are worthwhile and whether some provisions are more important than others.
Moreover, charging that congressmen who are concerned about civil liberties are “defer[ing] to the desire of terrorists” is an outrageous poisoning of the well. And the idea that the FBI and CIA do not merit the slightest bit of “skepticism” with regard to their concern for the civil liberties of Americans is absurd. All people and organizations who are dedicated to the pursuit of a goal have a natural tendency to push the envelope in their quest to achieve it. Surely, this is doubly true for a goal so important as safeguarding the country from terrorists.