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Wanted: Victims of the Patriot Act

That's what Andrew Cochran wants to see, amid all of the passionate debate surrounding the renewal of the Patriot Act.

So what strikes me about the Patriot Act debate is that, after 4 years, the opponents can't show us actual victims of all that "abuse." You don't see the weeping and crying, the class action lawsuits, and aggrieved parties with lives shattered by the junkyard-dog tactics of overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement. They weren't at congressional oversight hearings, they aren't at the press conferences, and they aren't cited in op-eds. The DOJ Inspector General hasn't found any. We've had four years of experience, and that's long enough - where are they?

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One thing I keep coming back to in my mind is that many arguments against the Bush Administration are not based on the merits of any policy or action, but based on the character judgment of the Bush Administration itself. If you believe the Bush Administration is flawed in character, there is no argument the Administration can make to assuade such people. They feel every policy or action is misguided or tainted in some conspiratorial, society-degrading way.