Patriot Act Hearings Today
Hearings on re-authorizing the Patriot Act will be held today by two House Committees, the House Judiciary Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The ACLU says there has been a bait and switch (received by e-mail).
The ACLU called for legislation that would protect freedoms, noting that in the aftermath of 9/11, the House Judiciary Committee had initially produced a bipartisan bill, with unanimous support, which was mindful of civil liberties. However, that bill was switched with a measure containing powers long sought by the Department of Justice - and which became the Patriot Act.
"Congress has a unique opportunity to fix the mistakes they made with the Patriot Act the first time around," said Lisa Graves, ACLU Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy. "Unfortunately, the proposals we're seeing mimic the same flaws of the initial Patriot Act - they continue to place extraordinary powers in the hands of the executive with very diminished oversight by both Congress and the judiciary. Congress should enact modest changes - like the bipartisan Safe Act, which strikes the right balance in securing the nation and protecting our freedoms."
More available here.
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