Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Golden Opportunity to Declaw PATRIOT Act

You remember the USA PATRIOT Act, don’t you? It was that 342-page bill that sped through a supplicant Congress within weeks of 9/11, dismantling our privacy rights like a castoff Hollywood set. A reauthorization in 2006 made some things better and some worse, but mostly the law stayed the same – really bad for American freedom.

Well, it is time to revisit this act of congressional cowardice that vastly expanded the ability of the government to unjustly intrude on our private lives. Three provisions will expire by the end of the year, which means Congress will have to act.

The Senate Judiciary Committee debated a reauthorization bill on Thursday offered by committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. The measure falls short of resurrecting our shattered liberties, but it is a starting point.

You would think that with solid Democratic majorities in Congress, the PATRIOT Act’s unleashing of FBI surveillance on innocent Americans would finally be redressed. But the fear among lawmakers is palpable that doing anything to return a constitutional balance to domestic spying operations will play badly come election time.

I can see the Dittoheads now, on the one hand demanding that big government stay out of providing health insurance options, while on the other hand insisting that Big Brother be allowed to continue to peer into the financial, travel, communications, and library records of anyone it wants with little or no evidence of wrongdoing. Principled consistency has never been one of their strong suits.

Here are the sections of the act that will expire...

please read the full article here:




Source: The Daily Paul

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