INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS WATCH….Patrick Hughes is the top intelligence official in the Department of Homeland Security. He was appointed by the White House eight months ago. Here’s what Hughes had to say about our constitutional traditions back in 2003:

Set aside what the mass of people think. Some things are so bad for them that you cannot allow them to have them….Therefore, we have to abridge individual rights, change the societal conditions, and act in ways that heretofore were not in accordance with our values and traditions, like giving a police officer or security official the right to search you without a judicial finding of probable cause.

Now, maybe this is just me, but I find it disturbing that George Bush would appoint someone as a top ranking intelligence officer who thinks we ought to do away with the Fourth Amendment. I like the Fourth Amendment.

But then, I’m just part of the mass of people. Who cares what I think?

POSTSCRIPT: I happen to agree with civil liberties watchers that the Clinton administration was no great shakes on this score. But for those who continue to believe that there’s really no difference between the parties, ask yourself if you can even conceive of a Democrat saying something like this or appointing someone who had said it. I can’t.

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