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Wed Apr 22, 2015, 06:21 PM

The Sun Must Go Down on the Patriot Act

Not long after the Patriot Act was passed in 2001, I had dinner with the late Senator Paul Wellstone in Washington, who was a stalwart defender of civil liberties throughout his career. I asked him how he could have possibly voted for a law that so vastly expanded the government's spying powers. He told me that he was facing a tough election, but as soon as it was over he'd invite my organization, the American Civil Liberties Union, to testify before Congress about the Patriot Act's flaws and the threats it presented to privacy and civil liberties. "We'll work together to get this repealed," he promised. Unfortunately, that day never came, as the senator tragically died in a plane crash in October of 2002.

Almost 13 years later, the most egregious part of the Patriot Act, Section 215 -- which underlies the National Security Agency's call-records program -- is scheduled to expire on June 1. Some legislators want Congress to reauthorize it in its current form -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has just introduced a bill that would do exactly that, extending it for another five years. Others want to make relatively minor changes. Congress shouldn't do either of these things. Unless Congress can coalesce around far-reaching reform, it should simply let the provision expire."

*Predictably, the Patriot Act has been at the root of many of the most serious abuses of government spying powers. It was the Patriot Act the FBI relied on to vastly expand its use of "national security letters," which the FBI now issues thousands of times every year to obtain information about innocent Americans who have no connection to terrorism. It was the Patriot Act the government relied on to conduct clandestine searches in investigations having nothing to do with terrorism. It was the Patriot Act the government invoked to permit the FBI to disregard the Fourth Amendment's usual requirements -- criminal probable cause, a particularized warrant -- in ordinary law enforcement investigations. And it's the Patriot Act the government is now using to justify the NSA's call-records program. "

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-d-romero/the-sun-must-go-down-on-the-patriot-act_b_7118240.html

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Sun Must Go Down on the Patriot Act (Original post)
damnedifIknow Apr 2015 OP
arcane1 Apr 2015 #1
rhett o rick Apr 2015 #2
blkmusclmachine Apr 2015 #6
Hekate Apr 2015 #10
rhett o rick Apr 2015 #13
Warren DeMontague Apr 2015 #19
awoke_in_2003 Apr 2015 #12
Hekate Apr 2015 #15
awoke_in_2003 Apr 2015 #16
Hekate Apr 2015 #17
Blue_Tires Apr 2015 #3
lastlib Apr 2015 #4
Blue_Tires Apr 2015 #5
TheKentuckian Apr 2015 #7
Blue_Tires Apr 2015 #9
TheKentuckian Apr 2015 #18
midnight Apr 2015 #8
Hekate Apr 2015 #11
rhett o rick Apr 2015 #14

Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 06:32 PM

1. "Simply let the provision expire."

 

Indeed!!

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 06:47 PM

2. Be interesting how candidate Clinton feels about this. Does she agree with the progressives

 

that want to see this expire or with Mitch McConnell and the Republicons to renew this extreme threat to our freedoms and liberties.

This is one of the defining issues separating the Progressive Wing of our Party from the Conservative Wing.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:07 PM

6. Hillary would probably extend all Bush's Constitution-bending laws. Because "bi-partisanship."

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:32 PM

10. Why don't you write to her and ask, instead of speculating? nt

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Response to Hekate (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 10:50 PM

13. Your post says a lot. Apparently you don't know her stand on the Patriot Act.

 

And apparently you don't care. Do you care at all what she stands for? Rhetorical.

I would write her but why should I expect a commitment in an email answer when she is afraid to speak out? She seems very reluctant to state how she stands on a number of important issues. And apparently her supporters don't care.

We are well into a class war and the 99% is losing. Clinton hasn't really indicated whose side she is on except she told Goldman-Sachs that those that were critical of the banks were out of line. She is clearly in line with the banksters, but again I don't suppose you care.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 23, 2015, 05:58 AM

19. You know, it's sort of her JOB as a candidate and prospective President, to take positions on

important issues.

Not to force people to chase after her and beg for maybe an actual answer instead of endless equivocations.

I mean, "I want to strengthen families and communities" is a real substantive piece of rhetoric, but at some point she will have to lay down some actual specifics.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 10:09 PM

12. In 2001 she voted for it...

 

in 2006 she voted for its renewal. Her position is known- anything else is campaign BS

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 11:09 PM

15. So did Paul Wellstone, according to the OP. If voting for that abomination disqualifies every Dem...

...who is left?

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Response to Hekate (Reply #15)

Thu Apr 23, 2015, 12:23 AM

16. wellstone isn't running for president

 

And, since he wasn't alive, didn't vote for the renewal of it. Straw man aside, HRC's stance on the Patriot Act is documented. I am sure that fact makes me a sexist.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #16)

Thu Apr 23, 2015, 01:15 AM

17. Not a straw man. Who is left?

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 07:07 PM

3. LOL...good luck getting that to happen in this congress...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:50 PM

4. well, IF we can tie it up in enough procedural knots.....

maybe we can allow ourselves to dream about it coming true.............. (for liberty)

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Response to lastlib (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:54 PM

5. the last congress spent months on the NSA reform bill

before Rand Paul and his dudebros abandoned it in the 11th hour...

call me crazy, but I don't see a more conservative congress making any progress

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:08 PM

7. You don't have to pass a damn thing to allow it to expire.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:13 PM

9. Maybe you're forgetting who's running the show in congress now:

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 23, 2015, 05:54 AM

18. They don't have the votes unless Democrats help them and the President signs.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:13 PM

8. kick

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:35 PM

11. KnR. Another Hell-spawn left behind by BushCheney, reeking to Heaven...

...mocking us and daring us to exterminate it. I hope to gods it does expire.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 10:53 PM

14. How sad that we must pray to the gods to let this expire. Apparently we can't rely on

 

our Democratic representatives to kill it. Of course Pres Obama is all for the Patriot Act even if candidate Obama was for rolling it back.

The Progressive Wing of the Party is against and the Conservative (Clinton/Obama) Wing supports it.

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