December 10, 2005


PATRIOT Unbound: Not even flubbed terror cases can dent law's appeal (Jeff A. Taylor, 12/09/05, Reason)

Following his 2003 indictment for aiding terrorists, Sami al-Arian was the poster child for the USA PATRIOT Act. The former University of South Florida professor was a staple of former Attorney General John Ashcroft's testimony before Congress on PATRIOT and in the speeches of U.S. Attorneys across the nation. Al-Arian even turned up in a Department of Justice handbook on how to prosecute terrorism charges.

Yet on Tuesday, after five months of testimony in which the defense did not mount a defense, al-Arian and his co-defendants were found not guilty of most charges, with the jury deadlocked on a few more. Unless the government opts to retry and wins on those counts, the PATRIOT Act will have utterly missed its target down in Tampa.

Nonetheless, on Thursday congressional leaders agreed to extend the PATRIOT Act for four more years, essentially unchanged. Evidently PATRIOT is working for them.

Poor Mr. Taylor, he reads all the right blogs and just knows folks must hate the Patriot Act, and then the Administration, Congress and the American people embrace it anyway....

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 10, 2005 6:31 PM

So, this draconian law can't manage to convict a guy and throw away the key....scary!

Posted by: RC at December 10, 2005 7:46 PM

Taylor appears to be arguing that the PATRIOT act needs to be made stronger. Not what you'd expect from Reason, but good for him.

Posted by: Timothy at December 10, 2005 11:37 PM