Need help with a defense of the Patriot Act


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Mulliga
October 11, 2005, 12:57 PM
Need some help for a debate - does anyone here have any links or pages with defenses of the USA PATRIOT Act? I've been assigned to argue in support of the Patriot Act.

(NOTE: I posted this in APS but I figure more people read L&P here on THR.)

Thanks in advance.

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Derek Zeanah
October 11, 2005, 01:01 PM
<shivers> No help here.

I'd become a statist, assume the feds can do no wrong in the quest to Rid The World Of Terror and Make The World Safe For Our Children. "If you've got nothing to hide..." and all that.

Breaking a "law" is evil, and exposing that evil is righteous. Make references to tin-foil hats and accuse your opponents of revisionist history if they try to impeach based on prior bad acts.

<shivers>

Stickjockey
October 11, 2005, 01:01 PM
Like APS, good luck finding much support for USAPATRIOT here. Not really well-liked. Sorry.

R.H. Lee
October 11, 2005, 01:03 PM
If you do happen to come up with a credible defense, please let us know.

CentralTexas
October 11, 2005, 01:22 PM
"1984" to the class?
CT

fourays2
October 11, 2005, 01:48 PM
there is no defense

Nehemiah Scudder
October 11, 2005, 02:02 PM
Just say that it's to get rid of the illegal aliens.

Cellar Dweller
October 11, 2005, 02:36 PM
1. The Shill method: anyone against the PATRIOT Act must have something to hide or at least be anti-American, anti-apple pie, anti-NASCAR, anti-Mom, etc.

2. The Statist method: the ends justify the means...without the PATRIOT Act planes would be crashing into cities daily, all food and water would be poisoned, dirty bombs, plagues, Tower of Babel, locusts, etc.

3. The Legislative/Mission Creep method: everything is already a law already on the books somewhere ; the PATRIOT Act ties them together on a Federal level so criminals can be charged with something related to terrorism/anti-USA no matter how tenuous...and allows new approaches to old problems (application of RICO, suspending Bill of Rights for certain "select" cases/individuals).

4. The Esteemed Member of Congress method: "I haven't read the text, but it was important to give law enforcement the tools they need to fight terrorism."

MasterPiece Arms.com
October 11, 2005, 03:02 PM
Cellar Dweller's ideas allow you to complete the assignment without becoming a tool of evil. Self respect is UNDERrated.

The "patriot" act is based on so many evil principles and lies that it would not be hard AT ALL to "argue in favor" of it in some debate class, and still be able to TRUTHFULLY claim that you're representing the "pro patriot act" side. Hey, it's not you're fault that the american public is so stupid that it bought the world's WEAKEST (and contradictory) arguments sold to it by a den of thieves.

Most days, I honestly just cannot believe that Bush and his water carriers (who freaking knew better when Klinton proposed the same sh#t after OKC, but have turned their brains off in the name of loyalty to an evil president, and an even MORE evil control system) actually say the things they do to justify that ungodly abomination.

My senator (Orrin-water carrier-principleLESS-closet leftist-closet statist-Hatch) sends me letters telling me how concerned he is about protecting liberties :barf: . He crossed the line years ago from stupid naivete to knowing conspirator. I was at a republican BBQ a month or so ago, and gagged at all the sheep who were wearing his button :cuss: , but I digress.

Mulliga
October 11, 2005, 03:10 PM
I'm aware most everyone here either abhors it or at the very least has serious issues with it. I count myself in that camp, too.

However, if you really felt that strongly about it, you'd basically have to call for an impeachment of President Bush as well as the entire federal government.

There must be some legitimate reasons why people support it, otherwise there wouldn't be much of an argument.

Dean C
October 11, 2005, 03:14 PM
Mulliga,

Is your instructor punishing you?

Seriously, as you try to come up with a good defense, you will soon find yourself using double talk, contradictions and misleading statements. If your successful, your audience will spot the flaws and you might even win a few over to our side. In any event you'll get a decent grade for trying.

dean

rick_reno
October 11, 2005, 03:38 PM
Do a search on Senate and House speeches, also dig up what Ashcroft might have said. Very little of it is true - but it should provide you the material you're looking for.

Augustwest
October 11, 2005, 03:53 PM
However, if you really felt that strongly about it, you'd basically have to call for an impeachment of President Bush as well as the entire federal government.

I'd be the first one on that bandwagon, 'cept that just as I didn't think lying in court about gropin' interns was a high crime or misdemeanor, I don't think GW's lying in his oath to preserve and protect the Constitution meets that test either.

Doesn't mean they aren't all a buncha vile statist piggies tho...

There is no defensible argument in support of the Act, IMO. So if I had to defend it, I'd use the same tired, deceitful arguments the Bush admin has about keeping us all "safe."

MasterPiece Arms.com
October 11, 2005, 04:11 PM
However, if you really felt that strongly about it, you'd basically have to call for an impeachment of President Bush as well as the entire federal government. Talk about throwing red meat in my cage. Are we talking about the SAME federal government that has systematically perverted every inch of the constitution, ESPECIALLY the interstate commerce clause, so as to gain every illegal power in the book?

Could you please tell me what arm, tentacle, shred, or dropping of that federal tyranny is constitutional? Of COURSE the entire federal government should be impeached (I prefer the phrase shut down)! Not to MENTION the script reader in chief, who, is clearly the third most evil and destructive president (only behind F.D.R. and L.B.J.). My first act as president after closing 99% of fedgov, would be to order remaining employees (who would no longer be employed for life with annual cost of living raises) to wipe all databases and records of "social security" numbers. The assets of the so called "federal reserve" would be seized, and U.S. marines would be escorting every creature at the UN building out of the country. Iraqi oil would pay back every dime we've blown over there, then we'd leave. Control of education would become local again.

Granted, I'm so hard core that I have the courage to admit that the ANTI federalists were clearly correct and the federalist founders were awesome but incredibly naive (if we're too scared to use hindsight and tell the truth then what good are we).

There must be some legitimate reasons why people support it, otherwise there wouldn't be much of an argument. :what: :what: :what: Where, (besides government school, I know from experience) did you learn to give the benefit of the doubt to the mob, especially in this case, a public that has been heavily dumbed down and manipulated since F.D.R.? After almost a century of specialized conditioning, the american public supports things every day (in the name of patriotism) that have no legitimacy whatsoever.

RealGun
October 11, 2005, 06:11 PM
DOJ page on the subject (http://www.lifeandliberty.gov/subs/u_myths.htm)

Might as well get the defense from the source.

Standing Wolf
October 11, 2005, 06:26 PM
There must be some legitimate reasons why people support it, otherwise there wouldn't be much of an argument.

I'm not sure "more government" counts as a legitimate reason, but...

bg
October 11, 2005, 07:36 PM
Seriously, as you try to come up with a good defense, you will soon find yourself using double talk, contradictions and misleading statements
However if you should ever decide to run for office, at least the big one,
you'll see this tactic has gotten more than one politico from out behind
the eight ball on different campaign runs. ;)

Crom
October 11, 2005, 07:41 PM
Can't defend the indefensible.

ZenMasterJG
October 11, 2005, 07:41 PM
I wouldn't do it. I've never outright refused to do a debate, but i've been told to write papers arguing one side of somthing and found it just so abhorrent and wrong that i just wrote the other side. (I've also played up arguments to the point of aburdity, to show how dumb they really were, effectivly arguing the opposite of what it seemed like i was writing. Thats a SURE way to really P.O a professor though ;) )

pax
October 11, 2005, 07:52 PM
(I've also played up arguments to the point of aburdity, to show how dumb they really were, effectivly arguing the opposite of what it seemed like i was writing. Thats a SURE way to really P.O a professor though
I've done that, and would do that in this case.

It's a fine art, though, and you can take it as a given that no matter how overstated, overblown, obviously sarcastic, and downright stupid your argument is, there will be at least one fool in the room who will buy it hook, line, and sinker ... and will come up to you afterwards, enthusiastic and grateful, to thank you for your insights!

(That's almost worse than just holding your nose and playing it straight.)

pax

Mulliga
October 11, 2005, 08:01 PM
Found some stuff, mostly the Pres and Gonzalez/Ashcroft talking it up. I'm going to play it straight - since I want to be a lawyer, I'd better learn how to "defend the indefensible." ;)

ZenMasterJG
October 11, 2005, 08:02 PM
Oh no! We have a lawer in our midst! RUN!

:D

pax
October 11, 2005, 08:02 PM
since I want to be a lawyer, I'd better learn how to "defend the indefensible."
Wow.

I'm glad you added a wink-smiley to that.

But see my sig.

pax

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you. -- Nietzsche

Derby FALs
October 11, 2005, 08:34 PM
"Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001"

The name says it all. :eek:


HERE (http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/) is the bad. Be prepared to defend the Act against these...

Attorney General Ashcroft Speaks About the Patriot Act (http://www.lifeandliberty.gov/subs/speeches/a_ashcroft_081903.htm)

Crom
October 11, 2005, 08:49 PM
Defending the indefensible - Lesson 1: You expand the subject and make it really complicated. Then you argue pedantically about the expansions, betting that your audience will soon get bored and lose interest. ;)

artherd
October 11, 2005, 09:14 PM
Greater governmental control is good because it lets me open up a bunch of other federal agencies such as the TSA, and the DHS. Patriot Act lets me sieze the bank records of my competitiors and quash them!

MORE POWER FOR ME AND MY CRONIES!

Zedicus
October 11, 2005, 09:48 PM
Defending the WHAT? :scrutiny: :cuss:

mmike87
October 11, 2005, 10:29 PM
Sorry, buddy. You've already lost this debate!

I don't think there is any defense of the Patriot Act that isn't total hogwash. Just MHO.

Hawkmoon
October 11, 2005, 11:15 PM
There can be no cogent defense for a blatant assault on the Constitution. I think you should just say that and concede the debate.

Oldtimer
October 12, 2005, 08:06 AM
When I first heard of the "Patriot Act", I thought:
"Hey, how wonderful! They're going to approve of 'profiling'! They're going to close the porous borders! They're going to clamp down on the hundreds of thousands of foreigners that have over- stayed their work visas!". UH, what we got was "secret courts", "hear-say" enough for "stealth" searches (without a valid warrant), etc.

Then, when the "Homeland Security" branch was set up, I figured that I'd qualify for becoming a member of the "Home Guard"....and maybe even get a "Homeland Security" firearm issued to me! After all, I'm a combat vet AND spent 31 years in law enforcement! OOPS! "Homeland Security" didn't even come CLOSE to the government trusting us citizens!

About the only thing that I can say that's positive is....I have nothing to hide and, so far, I don't think that the "Patriot Act" has had any adverse effect on me....YET!

solareclipse
October 12, 2005, 09:43 AM
It is impossible to defend something that stomps over basic human rights, the constitution and half the amendments.

RealGun
October 12, 2005, 10:39 AM
I think one would have to do some reconciling if claiming to believe in the rule of law and being smug in dismissal of the Patriot Act. There are pros and cons, so I suggest one tasked with advocating the Patriot Act try to assume the role of law enforcement.

afasano
October 12, 2005, 06:15 PM
I can't help you either, if you think about it the patriot act has become the new "for the children" of the 21st. century. Remember when the clintons wanted support for something they would say it was "for the children".

Sewerman
October 13, 2005, 08:27 AM
Masterpiecearms is dead on. I read somthing in enemies foriegn and domestic the other day that i think is completely true "America is at that dificult stage: Its too late to fix it working within the system but too early to start shooting".

AirForceShooter
October 13, 2005, 09:30 AM
when I hear the term Patriot Act I hear the sound of boots coming toward me.

AFS

Major Beer
October 13, 2005, 09:54 AM
is the Patriot Act permanent? i forgot if congress got around to that.

but how do we fix the problem? hope we elect an non-corruptable group of leaders? the leadership has already insulated itself - look at Sandy Berger - slap on the wrist and an affordable fine (for his pay role) for stealing / destroying secret gov't documents.

there also needs to be a change in our education system - politics / history seems to be taught poorly to turn folks off. i really got a dose of reality when my niece was home from the Air Force. i showed her my AR-15 and she stated she thought those were illegal and only for COPs and military should have them. i said "2nd Amendment" - she thought it was for guns for hunting (her parents are Democrats i can see why she has that stance).

After a brief review of why our Founders put the 2nd in there (self protection / resistance of tyranny), i think she thinks i am a wack job - "our gov't is always right, they would never do anything bad to you. if there is a problem, call the police." i laughed. needless to say, it was quite an eye opener hearing that from my 20 year old niece.

anyways, the Patriot Act is an abomination. i am really getting a bad taste in my mouth as far as the Republicans / Democrats are concerned. both are out of touch, corrupt, and about control. this bird flu crap floating around could turn out to be another nail in the coffin of freedom.

cuchulainn
October 13, 2005, 10:44 AM
*******DISCLAIMER********
* I don't believe what's below. *
* I'm just playing the game.....*
*******DISCLAIMER********

1) Attack the BoR and Constitution as outmoded.

The Constitution certainly is a wonderful and valuable document, but it is just that: a document written by fallible humans at a particular point in history. The writers could not have envisioned the problems of International Terrorism combined with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Those who say the Patriot Act is wrong simply because parts of it violate the spirit (and maybe the letter) of the Constitution are relying on the fallacies of Appeal to Tradition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_tradition) and Appeal to Authority (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority).

Indeed the Founders left us a method to amend the Constitution.

Thus, if the Patriot Act (written for today's needs) and Constitution (written for the needs of 1789) are out of sync, perhaps the real problem is that we haven't amended the Constitution to meet today's needs.

2) Attack fear of the Patriot Act as the Slippery Slope Fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope).

3) Describe how and why International Terrorism requires steps beyond our normal law-enforcement and intelligence mechanisms.

A) Hard to pin down and identify -- amorphous.
B) Highly financed.
C) Tools of enemy states -- not simply criminals, but unofficial "soldiers."
D) Fanatically murderous.
E) Etc.

Warning: Avoid the Appeal to Fear (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_fear) fallacy. Indeed, acknowledge how easy it is for your side to fall into that fallacy. Then say that you are not saying that if the Patriot Act goes away that we'll all die, but rather you simply are arguing that it's a legimate way to address a real threat (although there certainly could be other ways).

4) Actually read the Patriot Act (http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html) and the resulting rules (various parts of the CFR).

Describe and laud the protections that supposedly are built into it.

5) Another possible resource (http://www.lifeandliberty.gov/), especially the link to "myths."

Hawkmoon
October 13, 2005, 11:45 AM
I think one would have to do some reconciling if claiming to believe in the rule of law and being smug in dismissal of the Patriot Act. There are pros and cons, so I suggest one tasked with advocating the Patriot Act try to assume the role of law enforcement.
Ummm ... Why should I?

The Constitution exists to guarantee the rights of the citizens, and the impose limitations on the government. The police are part of the government. If they cannot function without trampling the Constitution, it's time to choose another line of work.

Please cite some of these "pros" you feel exist in the Patriot Act. I've read the whole thing and I can't think of a single one.

cuchulainn
October 13, 2005, 11:52 AM
Ummm ... Why should I? Going through the exercise of arguing the other side as best you can helps you:

A) Better understand the strengths of the other side's arguments, and thus be better able to defeat them.

B) Better understand the weaknesses of your side's arguments, and thus be better able to defend them (or avoid certain fatal arguments).

Mulliga is participating in a moot argument -- what happens in a classroom exercise doesn't really matter in real life. But if he does the exercise correctly, it will improve his attacks on the PA later.

RealGun
October 13, 2005, 12:18 PM
Please cite some of these "pros" you feel exist in the Patriot Act. I've read the whole thing and I can't think of a single one.

Not my job. It depends upon your point of view. A whole bunch of important folks believe in the provisions of this law, albeit not necessarily all of them. That's why the bill passed.

rick_reno
October 13, 2005, 12:40 PM
Well, one point in it's favor is we haven't had any terrorist attacks since it was passed. I don't know enough to point to cause and effect - but I'm sure it could be argued.

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