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Praise Be the Patriot Act & God Bless Bill O'Reilly

Reported by Donna - April 19, 2005

Under the banner of 'Remembering Oklahoma City', Shepard Smith on Studio B used the opportunity to praise the Patriot Act with Brian Levin from the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State.

I thought we were going to get an overall view of the Oklahoma City bombing and the victims and their families, but Smith and Levin started right in on terrorism coming from the internet and praising the Patriot Act.

Smith asked Levin if domestic terror hasn't fallen since the Oklahoma bombing and Levin said that it some ways yes, in others, no. He went on to say that the actual militia groups and hate groups had declined. He said the actual problem now came from hard core travelers without a hierarchy and there were loose canons who can operate without joining a group.

Levin pointed out that this was not just the far right wing racist world, but also the eco terrorists and the left wing marxist revolutionary types who get their inspiration from -- the internet. And Levin said he wanted to throw one more thing out there -- that Al Qaeda got their inspiration from the internet. Levin called it an exposition for rhetoric and information know how. He said these are people who might be low cells who don't have to join a group to create mass terrorism.

Smith asked Levin how we can track these people. Levin said these people are hard to track and they might hit a website, make a few remarks and lie low anonymously. Levin said it was hard to tell but this relatively small number of people had the opportunity to kill thousands of people.

What has helped, he added, was the Patriot Act. He said that certain parts of the Patriot Act have proven very helpful, though we need to add more analysts.

Smith said that some people think the Patriot Act gives the government the ability to find people while others are inflamed by what the Patriot Act imposes. Levin said there are always people who will be inflamed, but the Patriot Act gives the government some access to e-mails and to the internet, but they still have to go through a bureaucratic and judicial process. He did add, however, that we needed to limit the power of the Patriot Act to terrorist activities, not issues such as pornography. He said right now that the law reads that the Patriot Act can be used for terrorist OR criminal activities, and that should be changed to just terrorist activities.

Levin then said the Patriot Act was very important in the apprehension of Sami al-Arian. Then he sealed the deal. He said, 'God Bless Bill O'Reilly, he was on top of it, the Patriot Act lowered the wall."

Comment: What was supposed to be a story on a memorial for the 10 year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing turned out to be a commercial for the Patriot Act. While I'll give Levin some points for saying that the Patriot Act needed to be limited, he also made sure he pointed out the 'eco terrorists', to tell us that terrorism is rampant across the internet and thank goodness we have the Patriot Act to protect us. Oh yeah, and God Bless Bill O'Reilly, everyone!

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