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Obama & Congress Extends Patriot Act


The Patriot Act has certainly stirred the pot of controversy since it’s passing nearly a decade ago under the Bush Administration. From the Department of Justice (pdf):

Since its passage following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Patriot Act has played a key part – and often the leading role – in a number of successful operations to protect innocent Americans from the deadly plans of terrorists dedicated to destroying America and our way of life. While the results have been important, in passing the Patriot Act, Congress provided for only modest, incremental changes in the law. Congress simply took existing legal principles and retrofitted them to preserve the lives and liberty of the American people from the challenges posed by a global terrorist network.

The controversy largely depends on which side of the fence one sits on. The act can definitely be viewed as a formalization and facilitation of existing tools and laws to allow both law enforcement and intelligence assets capture America’s enemies. On the other hand, private citizens can perceive the powers granted to the government as overwhelming Orwellian with secret searches, unchecked power and warrantless intrusion into privacy.

Congress had already voted a 90 day extension on the Patriot Act presumably to hash out details and further explore the issues raised since it’s passage. Although some amendments were considered, they were ultimately dropped and the Patriot Act and three of its existing FISA/wiretap provisions were extended four additional years as signed by the President. The signing itself will certainly raise issues based on the fact that President Obama used the autopen to remotely authorize the bill while in Europe.

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4th Amendment by GreatWhiteDork

Frankly, I find this a troubling occurance. I sided with liberals who denounced then President Bush when he passed this. I’d like to side with them now, but apparently it’s different when the power is in your hands instead of “those other guys”.

Yes, I realize I am generalizing. Not all liberals support TFPA. Just the ones in current power.

What makes a person a “Lone Wolf”? I keep reading “…persons not affiliated with a terrorist organization…” uh…. I’m not affiliated with a terrorist organization. Are you? I think that means ANYONE.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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