Yesterday morning, prior to the Senate debate that has resulted in the (brief) expiration of a few provisions in the PATRIOT Act, CIA director John Brennan went on one of those Sunday morning talk shows and made a complete fool of himself, pretending that merely debating things like the 4th Amendment was helping the terrorists. It started off with a claim that various bad people are "watching carefully" what happens, as if anyone honestly believes that terrorists are looking at last night's vote and thinking, "Oh boy, now we can plan a new bombing campaign by calling America again!"
“I think terrorist elements have watched very carefully what has happened here in the United States,” Director John Brennan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
And, from there, he argues that any debate about this is bad for America, saying that we "can't afford to deal with" such a debate right now.
Whether or not it’s disclosures of classified information, or whether it’s changes in the law and policies, they’re looking for the seams to operate within,” he added. “This is something that we can’t afford to deal with right now, because if you look at the horrific terrorist attacks and violence that’s being perpetrated around the globe, we need to keep our country safe.”
So, when can we deal with these things? Because, sorry, but I thought a core principle of our democratic nation was supposed to be that we could have these kinds of debates openly, and that we didn't have secret law, with the intelligence community purposely reinterpreting laws to mean things that their plain language clearly do not allow. And, yes, the PATRIOT Act was passed in the wake of 9/11, but we put sunset provisions in there on purpose so that the eventual debate could happen.