Administration Wants Secret Power to Seize Records
Ever eager to grab more power while evading judicial scrutiny, the Bush administration wants to give the FBI the power to subpoena business and financial records without satisfying a judge that the records are likely to reveal evidence of a crime. Federal investigators would avoid judicial review of document seizures by declaring that the records are needed in a terrorism investigation. The proposal is consistent with the administration's philosophy: utter the word terrorism and, while everyone ducks, suspend the Constitution.
The proposal, part of a broader plan to extend antiterrorism powers under the USA Patriot Act, was concluded in recent days by Republican leaders on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in consultation with the Bush administration, Congressional officials said.
The folks who brought us the Patriot Act assure us that the proposed side-stepping of judicial review is nothing to worry about. In fact, they can't think of a "coherent argument" against it. Here's one:
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