Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., said he switched his initial “yes” vote to “no” after being shown Justice Department documents asserting that terrorists have communicated over the Internet via public library computers.
Now, the example stated did not include anything that we in the real world like to call verifiable facts, mind you. It was a statement from the Justice Department (who have *never* lied before) claiming that some people who are closely related to Al Qaeda have used public library computers for some messages at some time in the recent past – location and dates unlisted. And these records were not subpeonable prior to the Execrably named USA PATRIOT(Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act? Oh, wait…
Without [PATRIOT Act], investigators can get book store and other records simply by obtaining subpoenas or search warrants. Those traditional investigative tools are harder to get from grand juries or courts than orders issued under the Patriot Act, which do not require authorities to show probable cause.
Oh, that troublesome probable cause. Yeah, we want to get rid of that requirement. Instead, every time the long arm of the law is employed to invade privacy and search through records, we just need to have a promise from Ashcroft et al that they really need to do it. Yep, that’s all. That Constitution sure is a pain to have around, isn’t it?