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Contrary to the hopes of some, the Patriot Act is popular among Americans. Very popular. In fact, Mr. Kerry is now back on the PA bandwagon, obviously making the same connection that 64% of Americans have already made. That being the correlation of this law to national security post 9/11. As Jeff Jacoby aptly writes, â€œâ€¦the Patriot Act wasn't passed in a vacuum.â€?
Take Section 215 of the Patriot Act, one of the law's most controversial. It allows investigators to obtain records and other "tangible things" in the course of a terrorism investigation. This, the ACLU informs us, means that "the FBI could spy on a person because they don't like the books she reads, or because they don't like the web sites she visits. They could spy on her because she wrote a letter to the editor that criticized government policy."
There's just one problem with that scenario: It isn't true.