Saturday, December 31, 2005

Why isn't Sweeney troubled by the Patriot Act?-- Letter to the Editor at TimesUnion.com

From the Letters to the Editor:: "Why isn't Sweeney troubled by the Patriot Act? First published: Saturday, December 31, 2005

As if to punctuate the Times Union's point that 'the threat to civil liberties' posed by the Patriot Act doesn't seem to trouble Republican Rep. John Sweeney, the Times Union reported on Dec. 17 that the National Security Agency has been spying, without warrants, on American citizens. Will Mr. Sweeney protest? The record suggests otherwise.

Mr. Sweeney has never once criticized Patriot Act provisions allowing the government to search our homes without warrants, secretly demand our library records and read our e-mail. Mr. Sweeney has had years to speak out against President Bush's insistence that he can label any American citizen an 'enemy combatant' and put that citizen in jail forever -- strictly on his say-so. Yet the Clifton Park Republican hasn't uttered a word of criticism.

Traditional conservatives have always opposed the expansion of government power. Mr. Sweeney apparently sees nothing wrong with giving this Republican administration the unrestricted power to intrude into our most intimate private affairs.

Conservatives backed a world war and a cold war to fight 'all power to the state' ideologies. Now President Bush and pliant congressmen like Mr. Sweeney are busy imposing the same thing on Americans.

MICHAEL BLAINE
Jefferson"

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