Patriot Act Update

See Charles Babington, “Senate Deals Setback to Bush on Patriot Act” at the WaPo web site:

Backers of a proposed four-year extension of the USA Patriot Act failed to shut off Senate debate today, preventing a vote on the matter and dealing a setback to President Bush on a major issue involving anti-terrorism efforts and civil liberties.

The Democratic-led filibuster drew enough Republican support to keep the president’s allies from gaining the 60 votes needed to end debate in the 100-member chamber. The 52-47 vote will require the White House and congressional leaders to seek another way to deal with the scheduled Dec. 31 expiration of key aspects of the law.

Apparently, today’s news about 4th Amendment violations had an impact:

In today’s Senate debate, several lawmakers cited a New York Times report disclosing that Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying.

3 thoughts on “Patriot Act Update

  1. Some feel o.k. with the topic of spying, others feel violated. How do you feel about the admission by the Pentagon that domestic spying has been going on for some time in America? Do you feel protected or do you feel violated? Is there, and can there, ever be a balance between protection and privacy? Is the president taking advantage of our civil liberties or is he just more remembering of how tragic the events were when the terrorists took advantage of American trusts and freedoms? Have we forgotten how painful the tragedy is when we are not prepared?
    Many are concerned by the news that the US Defense Department is intensifying domestic intelligence collection on individuals in the domestic United States. There have been proposed moves to additionally increase the military’s domestic intelligence activities from its current levels. The policy was originally enacted as a response to the tragic events regarding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
    According to a recent Washington Post article, it was stated that, “ The Pentagon formerly focused on protecting its US bases and military operations, Pentagon intelligence collection inside the United States has already expanded to cover broader terrorist threats to the country.”
    Many ACLU activists strongly oppose this maneuver as a violation of our civil rights, opposing positions advise that the policy is enacted to investigate most individuals who are not actually legalized permanent citizens of the United States anyways. Are we at a point in time where we must consider what a reasonable amount of privacy is or should we stick to our guns and hold to the already standing policies? Does limiting the governments’ ability to spy on what it considers characters of interest actually jeopardize our own safety? Are you willing to give up some of your safety to prevent your loss of any privacy? If you ask these questions immediately after a tragic event like 9-11 you may get different answers. What do you think?
    Raymond B

  2. Do you feel protected or do you feel violated?

    A government that operates in secret and has no regard for the law, for justice, or truth, is a bigger threat to me than any terrorists. My life’s experience is that there is a murphy’s law about governments, and if abuses of the governed can occur, they will occur. The law was my protection, and now,no matter how remote the chance,I can be destroyed by our government without any accountability to society for their actions….society doesn’t need to know what’s best for them? Bush is bringing us back to a pre-Magna Carta mentality in government.

  3. Another thing that needs to be taken into consideration is that despite all these violations of our civil liberties, we are NOT safer. Thus, it is a bogus premise. Any one of us can become the next Jose Padilla.

Comments are closed.