Friday | February 07, 2003
Are You Ready for Patriot Act II?
Following on the heels of the sad news that the GAO dropped any further pursuit of information on Dick Cheney's energy task force, word now comes from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) that John Ashcroft has been working for months apparently without the knowledge or input of Congress on an expansion of the Patriot Act of 2001. CPI obtained a January 9, 2003 draft of the proposed legislation from a confidential source, and this draft was given to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Cheney on January 10th. Yet neither the House Judiciary Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, or the DOJ Office of Public Affairs know anything about such a draft.
According to experts who reviewed the draft, the proposals would expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering activities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database on suspected terrorists as deemed by executive-level government (read Ashcroft or Bush) officials, restrict the release of information under Freedom of Information Act requests over and above the limitations contained in the 2001 act, and terminate pre-9/11 consent decrees that limit law enforcement surveillance activities.
Bill Moyers' NOW program on PBS will be covering this story tonight.
SotoPosted February 07, 2003 04:34 PM | Comments (47)