November 16, 2005

Maybe Not So PATRIOTic After All

Hatched by Dafydd

So just hours after agreeing to a compromise extension of the USA Patriot Act, Democrats abruptly balked, giving no reason why they would pull out now after having agreed early this same morning.

A tentative agreement to renew the Patriot Act this week teetered late Wednesday without explicit support of the lead Senate negotiator, as Democrats complained that the draft wouldn't sufficiently curb the FBI's power to probe the most private aspects of people's lives.

Hours after House and Senate negotiators said they had reached a tentative pre-dawn agreement, Democrats and civil libertarians complained that it didn't address their chief concern: the curbing of FBI power to gather certain information by requiring the investigators to prove the subject's records are connected to a foreign agent or government.

So the biggest problem is that the FBI is still inexplicably able to gather information; evidently, the Democrats and "civil libertarians" thought the agreement would be that the Patriot Act was made permanent, but only if all its investigative teeth were first pulled! In other words, the Democrats will agree to pursue terrorists IF AND ONLY IF we agree in advance not to catch any.

But why didn't they voice these objections earlier? What could have changed in those few hours? The key is in the very next paragraph, in which we find out that the Senate failed to consult with the most important Senate negotiator of all:

"It gives a nod toward checks and balances without fixing the most fundamental flaws in the Patriot Act," said Lisa Graves of the Americans Civil Liberties Union.

Whoops! I guess next time the Republicans should just save time by going over the heads of the Senate Democrats directly to the real power on the Left, the infamous "shadow senate."

Somebody page Nina Totenberg!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 16, 2005, at the time of 9:32 PM

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» Filibuster Against PATRIOTism? from Big Lizards
That's the implication from a bipartisan group of six senators who are so upset that we keep paying more attention to protecting the American people against terrorism than we do to protecting the sacred civil liberties of terrorists that they... [Read More]

Tracked on November 17, 2005 9:03 PM


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