Truth and Eavesdropping/Visa rejection

Defenders of the Patriot Act and the Bush administration's response to terrorism, a response they feel is justified to include eavesdropping, visa refusal, imprisonment and interrogation without judicial revue, have argued that opponents (like the American Library Association) are being alarmist. Opponents go on about possible abuses -- the occasional, mistaken infringement on civil rights when these intelligence/law enforcement tools are necessary in our dangerously changed world.

In the Oct. 16 New Yorker, George Packer outlines how those tools have been abused for political reasons with little relevance to terrorism: revoking visas to a group of seventy-five South Korean farmers and trade unionists opposed to a free-trade agreement or a Sri Lankan hip-hop singer, whose lyrics were deemed sympathetic to the Tamil Tigers. Such abuse seems to have been pretty much standard procedure for the Bush admininstration. By the way, Mr. Packer's The Assassin's Gate, his account of our gravitation toward the war in Iraq, is superb.

And while I'm on the war in Iraq and politics -- that same issue of The New Yorker has a fine profile of Christopher Hitchens. Which unfortunately is not online. Get a copy, if you can.

October 20, 2006 11:18 AM |



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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on October 20, 2006 11:18 AM.

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