Sham Patriot Act Compromise Moves Through Congress

Bump and Update: AP article on the compromise is here.

A bipartisan group of Senators is also slamming the compromise. From Senators Durbin, Feingold, Salazar, Sununu, Craig and Murkowski (via e-mail):

“We are gravely disappointed that the conference committee made so few changes to the Patriot Act reauthorization package that was circulated before the Thanksgiving recess. As we said then, we cannot support a conference report that does not contain modest but critical improvements, similar to those in the Senate-passed bill, to the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act. We indicated before Thanksgiving that we would oppose a conference report like the one filed in the House today, and we believe many of our colleagues will join us.

Original Post:

From the ACLU this morning (received by e-mail):

A group of Republican lawmakers today signed on to legislation to reauthorize portions of the Patriot Act, without making needed substantive corrections to the anti-terrorism law to protect the privacy of innocent Americans unconnected to suspected foreign terrorists. Bipartisan negotiators from both the House and Senate had been working to craft a compromise agreement that would incorporate better checks and balances into the legislation. The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the move, calling it a failure to protect law-abiding Americans and preserve our Bill of Rights.

Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, says:

"This sham compromise agreement fails to address the primary substantive concern raised by millions of Americans, as well as civil liberties, privacy and business organizations and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and in both chambers. It is unfortunate that some would cave in to political pressure from the White House and reject common sense protections that were included in the unanimously supported Senate bill.

"If adopted, this reauthorization bill would continue to permit the FBI to access the a huge array of extremely private records of innocent Americans without having to demonstrate a connection between the records sought and a suspected foreign terrorist or terrorist organization. A shorter sunset on a few controversial powers will not protect our privacy and does not redress in any way the FBI's ability to use National Security Letters to pry into people's private affairs, with no judicial oversight. We call on all fair-minded lawmakers to reject this hijacked legislation and stand firm against pressure from the administration to compromise on protections in our Bill of Rights."

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    Re: Sham Patriot Act Compromise Moves Through Cong (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    Damn communist Jews and their so-called "bill of rights". What would our Founding Fathers have said about the ACLU? Nothing good, that's for sure! ...sorry, my Republican uncle got ahold of my keyboard for a minute there.

    Re: Sham Patriot Act Compromise Moves Through Cong (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    Our founding fathers were the founding members of a union committed to civil liberties. That union is called the United States of America. The ACLU and the USA may as well be synonyms.

    The Dems will hold this bill up... I know they will... I hope they will... please... pretty please...

    Yeah right!