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Kerry Supports Anti-Terror Act, Shifting Stance

Old 10-22-04, 12:13 PM
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Kerry Supports Anti-Terror Act, Shifting Stance

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...41020general01
Kerry Supports Anti-Terror Act, Shifting Stance

Wed Oct 20, 7:00 PM ET

Sean Higgins

As John Kerry (news - web sites) barnstorms swing states in the election's final days, he has harsh words for President Bush (news - web sites) on the Patriot Act: It doesn't go far enough.

Kerry and other Democrats who once called the law, which gives the federal government sweeping powers to fight terrorism in the U.S., a threat to the Constitution are now praising it.


The shift is likely because the act remains popular. A Gallup poll earlier this year found 64% said the act was "about right" or "didn't go far enough."

With the war on terror a key campaign issue, candidates are wary of being seen as opposed to a key tool in that war.

"We should preserve over 95% of the act and make improvements on the rest to strengthen the war on terrorism," Kerry states on his campaign Web site.

Kerry also claims Bush hasn't done enough to boost intel sharing among federal agencies or speed up the creation of databases on suspected terrorists.

A recent campaign release even had Kerry taking credit for writing the act's money laundering provisions.

That's a dramatic shift for a candidate who last year warned, "We are a nation of laws and liberties, not of a knock in the night."

Kerry has at times said the problem isn't the act, but how Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) enforces it.

"John Ashcroft has gone overboard in carrying out (the act's) provisions," he said last year. He has also promised, if elected, to replace the act with a better one.

Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, said Kerry has not shifted on the act. Rather, he has tried to get Bush to address the "legitimate concerns" of civil libertarians.


Bush has consistently praised the act and warned a Kerry administration might scrap it.


Bush has appeared on stage with prosecutors who've used the act in terror cases. "The Patriot Act is vital," he said in the first debate. "(It) enables our law enforcement to disrupt terror cells."


The act has seen its support swing from one extreme to another since it first passed the Senate, 98-1, on Oct. 25, 2001. Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis., cast the sole opposing vote. Both Kerry and running mate John Edwards (news - web sites) voted for it.


"It modernizes our ability to fight crime," Kerry said at the time.


Almost right away Democrats and some Republicans began to say it went too far and gave Ashcroft too much power. Liberal groups called it a menace. Many conservative groups also voiced concerns.


By the Democratic primaries, bashing the act was one of the candidates' surest applause lines.


Last December, Kerry called for "replacing the Patriot Act with a new law that protects our people and our liberties at the same time."

Some still feel that way. The Democratic National Committee (news - web sites)'s Web site says, "Bush's Patriot Act has invaded individual privacy rights in unprecedented ways."

The House deadlocked 210-210 in July on curbing some Patriot Act provisions. A few Republicans joined most Democrats to limit the act.

Democrats said last year that opposing the act would appeal to the party base and siphon off some libertarian-minded conservatives.

The ACLU has run TV ads to drum up opposition to the Patriot Act.

But there's scant evidence the storm of criticism has undermined the act's support. Revelations of confusion and red-tape delays among federal agencies before 9-11 and warnings of possible further attacks appear to have boosted support for it.

"Clearly the popularity of the Patriot Act among ordinary voters has been a revelation to the Democrats," said Michael Frank of the Heritage Foundation. "Prior to the 9-11 commission hearings the momentum was behind rolling it back."

Today, Kerry and Edwards call the act "flawed" but are often vague about what they mean. Their statements suggest they're trying to placate liberals opposed to the act without alienating swing voters who may favor it.

"When it comes to protecting our homeland, we must act decisively," Kerry said this year. "The Patriot Act, however, does not do that on its own, which is why it needs to be fixed."

The Kerry-Edwards campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
A few comments:
1. Can anyone give me "flip-flop"?
2. Kerry should know something about money laundering, paying only 12% tax on a very high income
3. It appears that Kerry wants stronger language in the Act but doesn't want anyone to enforce it.
4. Libs, still voting for him?
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Old 10-22-04, 12:17 PM
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"You saw a man who will say and do anything in order to get elected."

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Old 10-22-04, 12:19 PM
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the article is interesting but your poinst 1,2 and invalid and you already know the answer to 4. 3 seems to be the valid point
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Old 10-22-04, 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by Nazgul
"a man who will say and do anything in order to get elected."

Should be his campaign slogan.
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Old 10-22-04, 12:50 PM
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circle. jerk.
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Old 10-22-04, 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by chess
circle. jerk.



I nearly spewed my coffee all over my monitor.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:03 PM
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Of course it is a flip flop.
1. Voted for it
2. Then said he wanted to replace it becuase it went too far.
3. Now it doesn't go far enough for him.


circle. jerk.
Translation: Nothing intelligent arguement against this so I'll attack the posters.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by chess
circle. jerk.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
Translation: Nothing intelligent arguement against this so I'll attack the posters.
On the contrary, I thought it was a quite witty way of pointing out a partisan thread where those of similar persuasion could come pat each other on the back for finding and celebrating another nugget of proof of their disdain for the other party.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
Translation: Nothing intelligent arguement against this so I'll attack the posters.
Fine. I'll play.

Is it possible for an act with thousands of provisions to go too far in some areas and not far enough in others?

And I'm the simpleton. indeed.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:13 PM
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So is Kerry a Flip-flopper or a raving liberal? I just need to know what to think here.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:15 PM
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I just need to know what to think here.
Ask the DNC to fax you today's talking points.

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Old 10-22-04, 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by VinVega
So is Kerry a Flip-flopper or a raving liberal? I just need to know what to think here.
If you are looking to be told what to think, you are definately in the right place.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:15 PM
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Is it possible for an act with thousands of provisions to go too far in some areas and not far enough in others?
That makes you so much more intelligent sounding than saying "circle. jerk".
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Old 10-22-04, 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
That makes you so much more intelligent sounding than saying "circle. jerk".
"circle. jerk." wasn't meant to "sound intelligent", it was meant to point out a glaring truth about this thread, why it was started, and where it was going...in a concise and hopefully funny way.

maybe when you fellas are done, you can answer the question.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by chess
Is it possible for an act with thousands of provisions to go too far in some areas and not far enough in others?
yes it is.

but i find this problematic: "John Ashcroft has gone overboard in carrying out (the act's) provisions," he said last year. He has also promised, if elected, to replace the act with a better one.


what does that mean? did he carry out the provisions? or did he carry out the provisions Kerry didn't like. I'm not sure how you go overboard on a provision
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Old 10-22-04, 01:27 PM
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Everyone start addressing the article and not other posters
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Old 10-22-04, 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by Venusian
yes it is.

but i find this problematic: "John Ashcroft has gone overboard in carrying out (the act's) provisions," he said last year. He has also promised, if elected, to replace the act with a better one.


what does that mean? did he carry out the provisions? or did he carry out the provisions Kerry didn't like. I'm not sure how you go overboard on a provision
I don't think explaining all the details about the patriot act is going to do Kerry any good. Unfortunately, we live in a world of soundbites and acts that have nothing to do with their name.

The "patriot" act was passed much too quickly and several of its provisions are (at least the way i read them) clearly unconstitutional. Suffice it to say that some of the powers that are allotted to law enforcement infringe on civil liberties in scary ways. It's almost Orwellian.

However, one could argue (as I think Kerry is doing) that the provisions to better organize law enforcement agencies could be better.

Either way, if it makes you fellas feel good to call it a flip-flop, by all means, proceed.

I personally find it more likely that a member of the "liberal media" has come up with his own internal rational for the statements Kerry makes.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:42 PM
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"We should preserve over 95% of the act and make improvements on the rest to strengthen the war on terrorism," Kerry states on his campaign Web site.
That is not only consistent with everything he's said to date, it is exactly what the rest of us have been saying, too.

There are a few key provisions that are really offensive - free snooping in library lending records, for instance. But most of it is directed toward enhanced organization of law enforcement groups, which - hello - is <i>exactly</i> what we've argued for.

If you think Kerry is flip-flopping on this, then it's your own fault for not having listened to him before. Kerry is one of those rare politicians who doesn't take childlike, simplistic views, like "I'm for this" or "I'm against that." Nothing in life is that stark - not terrorism, not abortion, not stem-cell research. It's time we had a president who, when confronted with tough issues, can act like an adult.

- David Stein
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Old 10-22-04, 01:45 PM
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Why did he vote for it in the first place?

Keeping 95% of it sounds a lot different than replacing it with something else.
You can tell yourself that this is consistant but it doesn't wash. Just like his positions on Iraq.

Last edited by bhk; 10-22-04 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
Why did he vote for it in the first place?

Probably because if anyone did so, they'd be labeled a traitor. I voiced my displeasure with it from the start, and let's just say I wasn't the most popular kid in the class.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:49 PM
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Probably because if anyone did so, they'd be labeled a traitor.
So he compromised his principles for political gain.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
So he compromised his principles for political gain.
Right because no other politician does that. Welcome to the real world.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:54 PM
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It just indicates that Kerry will say and do anything to get elected.

Just trying to lead people to a logical conclusion based on what Kerry has said and done.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:55 PM
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Why!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Senator, didn't you mentioned during the debate that the Patriot Act = losing civil liberties?
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