Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Three Gs

What was Bush on about during the campaign again? That it was he, and he alone, who could protect us from the terrorist threat? A vote for Bush is a vote for a safer America? Fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here. Right? Dead wrong, no pun... eh... I guess that pun was intended. They wanted to heighten your fear through vague terrorist threats (anyone noticed that they haven't raised the "alert" level since November?), meanwhile, they were intentionally ignoring ACTUAL threats to our safety, and conveniently forgetting to bring it up.

Dozens of terror suspects on federal watch lists were allowed to buy firearms legally in the United States last year, according to a Congressional investigation that points up major vulnerabilities in federal gun laws.

People suspected of being members of a terrorist group are not automatically barred from legally buying a gun, and the investigation, conducted by the Government Accountability Office, indicated that people with clear links to terrorist groups had regularly taken advantage of this gap.

F.B.I. officials maintain that they are hamstrung by laws and policies restricting the use of gun-buying records because of concerns over the privacy rights of gun owners.
Hmmn... I wonder if any of Bush's campaign donors were fighting for the privacy of gun owners?
The gun buyers came up as positive matches on a classified internal F.B.I. watch list that includes thousands of terrorist suspects, many of whom are being monitored, trailed or sought for questioning as part of terrorism investigations into Islamic-based, militia-style and other groups, official said. G.A.O. investigators were not given access to the identities of the gun buyers because of those investigations.

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, who requested the study, plans to introduce legislation to address the problem in part by requiring federal officials to keep records of gun purchases by terror suspects for a minimum of 10 years. Such records must now be destroyed within 24 hours as a result of a change ordered by Congress last year. Mr. Lautenberg maintains that the new policy has hindered terrorism investigations by eliminating the paper trail on gun purchases.

"Destroying these records in 24 hours is senseless and will only help terrorists cover their tracks," Mr. Lautenberg said Monday. "It's an absurd policy."
Of course it's an absurd policy. But unless someone with several hundred grand agrees with Senator Lautenberg, we'll just have to live (and die) with Bush's complete and utter disregard for public safety.

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