Let the fear mongering begin!

In a recent post, Brad suggested that the politics of fear would figure heavily in discussions related to PATRIOT Act reauthorization.

Cato’s Julian Sanchez notes that the fear mongering (and outright lying) has begun. After noting the status of several proposed reforms, coverage of them by the news media, and their prospective effects (or lack thereof) on a recent, high-profile investigation he summarizes:

I think it’s telling that opponents of common-sense civil liberties safeguards don’t seem to think they can make their case without wildly misrepresenting the facts about both investigations and the changes legislators have actually proposed. They have to make it sound as though people are trying to eliminate important investigatory powers altogether—which nobody is arguing for—because it’s awfully hard to argue against reasonable and carefully crafted privacy protections if you’re honest about what they actually entail. And isn’t it a little rich that a network [Fox News] that is forever warning us that we’re on the verge of descending into fascism should be so hostile to any suggestion that there ought to be some moderate limits on government surveillance? I’d have thought having a Democrat in the White House might make it acceptable to care about the scope of executive power to spy on Americans again.



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