June 30, 2005 5:08 PM PDT

Feds push for full renewal of Patriot Act

WASHINGTON--U.S. Justice Department officials sparred with critics of the Patriot Act on Thursday in a debate over whether the expiring portions of the law should be renewed at the end of the year.

When Congress rushed to enact the legislation in the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, certain sections were set to expire. Now politicians are trying to decide whether to renew the 16 sections scheduled to sunset Dec. 31.

A pair of Justice Department representatives speaking on Thursday's panel, held at the Capitol by the Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, stressed what they called the importance of renewing the law.

"We're at the end of the beginning--that is, the hearing process is over," said William Moschella, assistant attorney general for the department's legislative affairs division. "We hope the Patriot Act is reauthorized in full."

Patrick Rowan of the department's criminal division added, "We've determined this is going to be a very useful tool for getting to the information we need."

For more than 90 minutes, the opposing sides of the four-member panel butted heads mostly over two sets of powers allowed under the act: Section 215, which permits the FBI to obtain a vast array of records if it believes they would bolster a terrorism investigation, and Section 213, which allows authorities to carry out a search warrant and seize property without giving its owner notice beforehand--called "sneak and peek warrants" by critics.

Of those two provisions, only Section 215 is scheduled to expire. But the idea of its renewal sparked an outcry from Emily Sheketoff, associate executive director of the American Library Association, which has been studying the effects of law enforcement on library activity.

"Let's have there be some transparency," Sheketoff charged, because libraries "have no idea what the DOJ is doing."

She suggested that the department could simply report "aggregate facts" on what materials they're requesting from libraries and how often without compromising its investigations.

It's not the reading habits of "ordinary Americans" that law enforcement wants to scrutinize, Moschella countered: "Terrorists and spies have used public libraries. We would be 100 percent opposed to saying that libraries are safe havens."

Moschella said there is recourse for people whose records are requested, noting that they can "consult a lawyer" or "file a motion to quash" the records request.

"At its core, each of these issues has a legitimate function," said Jim Dempsey, executive director for the Center for Democracy and Technology. What concerns him, he said, are lax standards for applying the surveillance powers, particularly when it comes to requesting records.

Dempsey said he wants to see the standard for requesting records based on "specific and articulable facts" about the person in question: "We saw him sitting in a car with a known terrorist. That's all it takes."

16 comments

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Patriot Act Needs to Go
The Government has too much power as it is. I doubt our founding fathers had what we've become today in mind. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if Team America just kept it's head out of everyone else's business, 9/11 wouldn't have happened in the first place.

Our government runs this country like it's a business. Our represntatives no longer speak for the people that elected them and instead are looking out for themselves and the almighty dollar. BS i say.

For example, I recently read that congress voted to give themselves a raise. If only we all could! I think it was something like a 3,100 raise bringing their salary around 164,000 annually. Why the hell do they need that much money? "To keep their spending power" I recall a republican from Texas saying. To spend on what? A fleet of cars? Outrageous. Being elected a leader means you devote your LIFE to the people. In return, the people support them. Last I checked our government wasn't holding up their end of the deal.

I know I've gotten off topic but the state of our government and the attitudes of the people in it infuriates me. We need LEADERS not CEO's.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Couldn't agree more
Of course the US government, and especially the justice department, love the Patriot Act -- it allows them to refuse any citizen of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the US Constituation as long as they make a claim that it's an issue of terrorism; such claims never need to be proven in court. Who wouldn't like to have the power to completely ignore other peoples' rights and freedoms to benefit themselves? Well yeah, there are a few of us who would not like not, but by and large we are not wealthy enough to ever get elected to this wonderful government of, by and for the people.
Posted by Freiheit13 (92 comments )
Link Flag
Not only that
But I think the pay raise is legislated to come up every year and the only way they will not receive the pay raise is if enough of them say they don't want it. I also hear the raise is adjusted for the cost of living. These are the same people who'll block anything that benefits workers using some bull dependence on government excuse or any other bull you typically hear but government heath care and pay based on the cost of living is just fine for them. Their pay should be tied to their constituents. Their pay increases when your pay increases.
Posted by Darryl Snortberry (96 comments )
Link Flag
Fed Gov't Likes its Power, News at 11
OK -- does it surprise anyone that the Federal Government
agencies would come out in support of more power to them over
the American citizen? It shouldn't.

Just remember that the purpose of the Constitution is to protect us
FROM OUR government. The Patriot Act runs counter to
Constitution, providing powers to the Federal Government at the
expense of citizen's rights.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Welcome to the USA
We have our Dictator, "President" George W. Bush, our constitution has been missing in action since 2001, and were fighting a world war.

Great day to be an American eh?
Posted by wazzledoozle (288 comments )
Reply Link Flag
America, the land of the sheeple! LOL
First off, what one of the people in the story said wasn't factual. The story said, and I quote:

"Moschella said there is recourse for people whose records are requested, noting that they can "consult a lawyer" or "file a motion to quash" the records request."

According to the section in question, Section 215, the FBI can get records or any other "tangible things" and the demand for these records come with a "gag order" that prohibits the recipient (like your local librarian) from telling anybody, EVER, that they received a Section 215 order.

How somebody who isn't even told that their records have been requested can get legal advice on such a thing or attempt to stop it when the records are given as demanded under threat of imprisonment is beyond my comprehension. It's not like you're fighting a parking ticket or something, guys.

If you go to your local library you might even find a little plaque on the wall near an entrance or by the computers that people can use to access the Internet telling patrons that what they do in a library has to be told to authorities under threat of imprisonment.

Think I've even got a picture of one, somewhere...

But, seriously, I doubt if anybody's going to find detailed plans on making an atomic bomb or the nastier uses for freon gas or things like that at the local library. Books with that kind of information in them have probably already been removed. Heck, some schools even remove things like "Little Red Riding Hood"...

A good site to read more information about the Patriot Act is here: www.eff.org/patriot

If the founding fathers of the US were alive today, they'd probably be locked up by the US government, or executed. In the case of Thomas Jefferson, the author of both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, there's laws on the books now that would require his execution.

Want to read what some of them said, in bite-sized chunks? Read this page:

www.cyberwolfman.com/quotes.htm

(Not really a commercial site. Just a personal one, filled mostly with help pages. Got tired of all the pop-up and banner ads on the free hosting services.)

Odd, too, isn't it, how lately everybody's calling it the "4th of July" and not "Independence Day"? Do yourselves a favor; READ the Declaration of Independence, and see for yourself why the colonists of the time were revolting, and then compare that to what's going on now in addition to things like fluoride being added to the drinking water which the Nazis in the 2nd so-called "war to end all wars" used to make people in their prison camps more submissive, not unlike bovines, and the "Real ID" which isn't going to deter terrorists or any technologically skilled US citizen either, for that matter, but can be used to keep better track of the civilian population.

Why do I bother? Most people are sheeple, anyway, and don't care.

- CyberWoLfman
Posted by CyberWoLfman (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Give them an inch and they'll take a mile
as has been demonstrated by at least two efforts to expand the Patriot Act. Once you give them a taste of power they want more and more. As for being able to consult with lawyer and file a motion to quash the records request, most of these requests and searches are carried out behind close doors and their is the prior restraint part of this law that stops libraries etc from tell patrons their records have been requested or searched.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gotta Give Up Freedom to Protect Liberty
Hey what a concept. Here's the deal, you gotta give up your freedom in order to protect democracy, you see? Makes perfect sense. After all, 59 million voters can't be wrong.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Typical.
And what would you call Democracy? America? Ha! If that's the case it's not worth protecting at the cost prescribed.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
Bull...
Look at the middle east, russia and many other countries. They have given up freedom and liberties and are now even less safe. When was the last time you turned on the news and didn't hear about someone gettting blown to bits in these countries. Hell we have genocide in Africa too boot. They don't have freedoms and liberties and they are still dying. The next time you want to make a dumb ass statement, think first with the big brain, not the small one!

Robert
Posted by (336 comments )
Link Flag
Also
Who voted for the Patriot Act? Not the voters. Congress. And who comprises Congress? Businessmen. And if you're saying that by America electing Bush president means they trusted his judgement on creating this Act means jack. America was given a choice between a turd sandwich and a giant ****** to lead the country.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
The most assinine
I have all the F'ing liberty I need. Stop taking my damn freedom. Go spew your stupid rehtoric someplace else. I am so sick of hearing that crap. I fought in Desert Storm and joined the military to keep my freedom, not so that some freaking retard could start a war for no good reason then take my freedoms in the name of safety.

We are no more safer now than we were the morning of September 11th 2001.

I AM AS SAFE AS I CAN BE. LEAVE MY FREEDOM OUT OF IT.
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Link Flag
Errors and things you should know.
*Sighs*

There's errors in this news story, but I won't repeat what I said earlier. If anybody wants to read more detail about it, they're welcome to go here: www.cyberwolfman.com/blog_2005.htm

Bob Barker, you said in one of your replies titled "Also" that:

"America was given a choice between a turd sandwich and a giant ****** to lead the country."

While I think that your assessment of those two individuals were rather close to the mark, I could add volumes more to it. Also... (hee hee hee) there's far more than two political parties in the US. One of them is the Libertarian party. Their political philosophy closely matches that of people like Thomas Jefferson. But, you don't hear about most of them because they're restricted from participating in debates. Ralph Nader of the Green Party wasn't even allowed in as a spectator.

But, if you're not sure which party is closest to the way you believe, take the World's Smallest Political Quiz (www.self-gov.org/quiz.html).

Steve Barry, hello from a fellow veteran!

We've had problems with politicians taking away freedom and our liberty before. If I may give just two quotes from only one of the founding fathers of the US:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Dr. Benjamin Franklin, 1759

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Dr. Benjamin Franklin, November 11, 1755

The second one is probably far more recognizable but I have to say I rather liked the first. WEG

More quotes here which you may find interesting: www.cyberwolfman.com/quotes.htm

Have a great day, people, and remember, knowledge, not just for a few, is one of the main weapons in your arsenal against tyranny. It's the one thing a tyrant fears most, because those with knowledge aren't easily cowed, or hoodwinked. Don't settle for just what you see on the news, or in articles like this one. You can see for yourself that they're not accurate. Use the Internet, do advanced searches to get better results, and learn.

There's a virtual cornucopia of datafeed out there. Yes, some of it's bogus, but the more you learn, the easier it is to tell the facts from the... feces.

- CyberWoLfman
Posted by CyberWoLfman (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Keep up the good work
I agree 100%. People need to do research. There is a lot of information out there.

Check out my new approach. I have converted a huge amount of articles, documents, etc. to fit on my PSP screen, which I normally have with me. That way when I try to tell peope about the injustices going on, I can have them read for themselves.

I intentionally track down the transcripts for speeches and press conferences. That way you are not getting a conservative or liberal interpretations, you get it from the wolves mouth.

Knowledge is power. Go get some power.
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Link Flag
I Took This Quiz
My score came out "Liberal" but you said it would show which party agrees with my views. Didn't.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
 

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