NATIONAL SECURITY….Laura Donohue provides an excellent reason to believe the Patriot Act needs a bit of tweaking before it’s reauthorized. It’s not that it’s too tough on terrorism, it’s just the opposite:

Many Americans might approve of data mining to find terrorists. But not all of the inquiries necessarily relate to terrorism. The Patriot Act allows law enforcement officers to get “sneak and peek” warrants to search a home for any suspected crime ? and to wait months or even years to tell the owner they were there. Last July, the Justice Department told the House Judiciary Committee that only 12% of the 153 “sneak and peek” warrants it received were related to terrorism investigations.

Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg, who believes that slippery slopes are the merest hooey, explains why he thinks all the recent concern over national security abuses is overblown:

At first, I thought this NSA story was a big deal on the merits, and I wrote that Bush should have asked to fix the law rather than work his way around it….Now I’m beginning to think this is just the latest in anti-Bush hype. The New York Times, which launched this “scandal,” remains at journalistic DEFCON 1, releasing a stream of articles, editorials and Op-Ed articles as if the nation were up in arms over what some hotter heads believe to be an impeachable offense.

….Now, forgive me for not loading up my car with bottled water and canned goods and heading off into the hills to fight with the partisans, but I just don’t see what the big deal is.

Translation: I used to think the critics were right, but then I realized this might actually do some damage to the Republican cause. So I changed my mind.

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