Feingold: "We're Not The Prosecutor's Committee"

Sadly, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Patriot Act renewal provisions yesterday. A few modifications were made, but not enough.

Marcy at Empty Wheel live-blogged the hearing and says, other than Feingold's statement, "We're not the Prosecutor's Committee, we're the Judiciary Committee,"

The rest of the hearing featured Democrat after Democrat arguing that we need to develop lists of all the potential suspects out there buying acetone and hydrogen peroxide.[More...]

There was some tiny progress according to the ACLU:

However, there were two amendments included in the final bill – both offered by Senator Feingold – that are victories for privacy: The Department of Justice would be ordered to discard any illegally obtained information received in response to an NSL and the government must notify suspects of “sneak and peek” searches within seven days instead of the thirty days currently outlined in the statute. “Sneak and peek” searches allow the government to search a home without notifying the resident immediately.

But in the end:

This truly was a missed opportunity for the Senate Judiciary Committee to right the wrongs of the Patriot Act and stand up for Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. The meager improvements made during this markup will certainly be overshadowed by allowing so many horrible amendments to be added to an already weak bill. Congress cannot continue to make this mistake with the Patriot Act again and again. We urge the Senate to adopt amendments on the floor that will bring this bill in line with the Constitution.”

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    Again, why can't they just get warrants? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Ellie on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 07:27:53 AM EST
    I really don't understand why public servants are so allergic to the hoary old Constitutional approach to matters, pressing or on the horizon.

    This government habit of spying on its own citizens is intolerable. To me, it's more terrifying than terrorism, no matter how it's fluffernuttered as cutesy-pie peek-a-boo or jacked with horrifying tales of what acetone can do.

    What, is there some dastardly plot in the making that hinges on removing Mullah Omar's black goth nail polish by blowing it the f*ck off his evil fingers? (There's a name the warmongers appear to have lost all interest in pursuing.)

    Why don't the scaremongers just pre-emptively arrest anyone buying a black balaklava as a person of terrifying interest, or anyone buying cheap pantyhose as would-be bank robbers (and let gawd sort it out.)

    Or stop serial killers in their tracks by interning sh!tty Blake scholars? It's always what seems to send them off the bend in movies and TV.

    You never see a serial killer put down a volume of Yeats* and say, "Dayum, I'm gonna go kill me some lady-slutz with yeller hair, cause if God gave them a soul for me to love, wha'd he giv'em that dang yeller hair on the heads I must chop off."

    *If memory serves. I could google it, but I'd rather do it old school: dust off my old copy and slowly enjoy it during the next big snowstorm.

    They keep making their lists... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 07:56:03 AM EST
    they're checking 'em twice. They'll spy and they'll lie whether naughty or nice.

    Tyranny Claus still runnin' this town.

    Something tells me (none / 0) (#12)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 09:01:57 AM EST
    you would enjoy this satirical/humorous song kdog!

    Axiom 2 to make the world new:

    Paranoia's simply a word for seeing things as they are
    Act as you wish to be seen to act
    Or leave for some other star

    Somebody is prying through your files, probably
    Somebody's hand is in your tin of Netscape magic cookies
    But relax: if you're an interesting person
    Morally good in your acts
    You have nothing to fear from facts

    I did enjoy it... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 09:37:00 AM EST
    very clever little diddy...and very perceptive....thanks pal.

    While Santa checks his lists twice (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:07:56 PM EST
    TSA doesn't.

    Don't bleach your hair! (none / 0) (#1)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:41:54 AM EST
    Another triumph for the suppression of civil liberties.

    Another example of Obama going along the path he indicated he would. He voted for the renewal of the "patriot" act during his brief and lackluster term in the Senate- mumbling as usual about "modifications".

    So far, the promises Obama has kept are:  a) to be soft on civil liberties and b) to continue the ethic of the "war on terror" - a boondoggle conceived by his ignominious predecessor.

    Well (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 04:28:49 AM EST
    Apparently his softness on civil liberties it didn't hinder his winning the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

    Apparently not. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 05:35:30 AM EST
    I will rejoice in his victory as I notice the clicking on my AT&T phone line.

    From the Committee's statement:

    "With American forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama's name had not figured in speculation about the winner until minutes before the prize was announced here.

    Likely candidates had been seen here as including human rights activists in China and Afghanistan and political figures in Africa.

    But the committee said it wanted to enhance Mr. Obama's diplomatic efforts so far rather than reward him for events in the future."

    So maybe the Nobel Committee's action will spur Obama into some actual action - such as definitively ending the wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan and ceasing the inhuman use of pilotless drones dropping bombs on "suspected" targets, and lowering the rhetoric vis-a-vis Iran.  That would be nice.

    But - as you know - the Nobel's action has nothing to do with the suppression of American civil liberties. Obama and the democratic party have passively allowed this creature of Bush paronoia to go on unabated.


    DEFINITELY don't bleach your hair ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:11:00 PM EST
    ... with the sort of stuff you can make TATP explosives out of.  The stuff you get at the drugstore isn't strong enough, apparently.

    Hydrogen peroxide can actually be pretty dangerous stuff at high concentrations.  Anything over 10% is problematic.  35% is DOT regulated hazmat.  Reaction can generate a lot of heat.


    Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize (none / 0) (#2)
    by cymro on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 04:27:57 AM EST
    Sky News

    I know this is off-topic, but there's no open thread for Friday yet.

    My first response was "Huh?". (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 04:35:30 AM EST
    My second response was "Glad we go that out of the way.  He can only win once.".

    Seriously... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 06:29:44 AM EST
    I thought it was a headline from The Onion when I first saw it.

    Apparently his awesome-ness is enough to win, instead of a body of work like most people have, or his fierce stance on say - civil liberties.  Haven't heard him speaking out on this new revival of the Patriot Act just passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, have we?

    Seems like Russ Feingold would have been a better candidate.


    Heard about the other nominees (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 06:36:10 AM EST
    A woman working for women's rights in Afghanistan - now that takes some serious gonadal fortitude!

    I think part of the award is another slap at the Bush administration, but giving an award to someone who lacks the track record of other nominees just doesn't sit well with me.  The media commentary has been interesting.


    I just wonder (none / 0) (#10)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 08:06:54 AM EST
    if Obama says to himself, "Well... that was easy. I wonder what awards I can get by nuking Iran?".

    That was before (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 08:44:59 AM EST
    Hope brought Change and The Great Awakening.

    there is both an open thread and a nobel thread (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 10:32:56 AM EST
    now, so please continue discussing there. I'll leave these up though.

    Franken voted for the Leahy (none / 0) (#13)
    by joanneleon on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 09:21:31 AM EST
    amendment too.  That was a surprise.

    And will President Obama sign the legislation? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:33:52 AM EST
    Of course.  He'll shake his head, saddened, perhaps, by the enthusiasm with which his party has adopted the burden of facilitating authoritarianism, but he'll sign.  He's always been a realistic, go along to get yours kinda politician.  

    As for all those wingCranks screaming from the rooftops that he's a one term Democrat? - That's silly.

    With his record, next time he can run as a Republican.