Anyone who thinks this will only affect bad guys who have trained in Pakistan is forgetting the stories of Steven Hatfill and Richard Jewell. Hatfill, you may recall, was the scientist whom the FBI assumed was behind the anthrax-laced letters sent in 2001. In a recent interview with Matt Lauer, Hatfill said:
“I love my country,” Hatfill, 56, told Lauer. But, he added, “I learned a couple things. The government can do to you whatever they want. They can break the laws, federalRichard Jewell was also falsely accused by the FBI of a terrorist act, the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta. He was just an ordinary guy doing his job, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
laws, as they see fit … You can’t turn laws on and off as you deem fit. And the Privacy Act laws were put in place specifically to stop what happened to me. Whether we’re at war or have been attacked, the foundation of society is that you hold to the laws in place. I used to be somebody that trusted the government. Now I really don't trust anything.”
If the Brown-Lieberman legislation had been in place, both Hatfill and Jewell may have been shipped to Guantanamo Bay and subjected to "enhanced interrogation" until they confessed (we know that waterboarding can elicit false confessions -- it's what it was originally developed to do). And Bruce Ivins and Eric Rudolph might still be at large, killing people.