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Agreement Reached on Patriot Act (?)


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#1 spy1

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 01:53 PM

(Read the rest of the article here):

http://www.cnn.com/2...t.ap/index.html

Hopefully this is a little premature - but I wouldn't count on it:

"Senate Republicans, White House strike deal

Thursday, February 9, 2006; Posted: 7:59 p.m. EST (00:59 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A band of Senate Republican holdouts reached agreement Thursday with the White House on changes in the Patriot Act designed to clear the way for passage of anti-terror legislation stalled in a dispute over civil liberties."

What bothers me - a lot - about this is that I fear that all concerned are rushing to pass this without realizing that the 'patriot' act is the keystone of everything else the government is doing or intends to do.

If they do not force the Administration at this point in time to re-do the 'patriot' act correctly (by building in better oversight, forcing strict accountability, eliminating the growth of additional powers to the 'patriot' act such as the criminal penalties/ contempt-of-court/felony five-year sentences/$5,000 fines for NSL non-compliance or exposure)because they're all enthused about the NSA stuff and the headlines that is making (and while they actually have the window of opportunity and public support to make that happen) - then it's my firm opinion that ultimately, we will have lost.

Go to http://www.theorator.com/senate.html and call or FAX as many of your Representatives as you can. This is the message I just faxed:

"Do NOT compromise on the 'patriot' act re-authorization

Dear Senator,

I would urgently remind you that at this point in time, you have the best chance you will ever have to make meaningful changes for the better to the 'patriot' act.

Accepting anything other than the previously agreed-to SENATE version of the 'patriot' act re-authorization bill, will do both your country and your constituents a serious dis-service.

The 'patriot' act does NOT need to be enhanced in any way by the addition of new 'powers' - there should by no means be any "civil/criminal" penalties added that would apply to non-compliance with or disclosure of an N.S.L (SEC. 118. VIOLATIONS OF NONDISCLOSURE PROVISIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY LETTERS.

Section 1510 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
'(e) Whoever knowingly violates section 2709©(I) of this title, sections 625(d) or 626© of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 D.S.C. 1681u(d) or 1681v©, section
I 114(a)(3) or 1114(a)(5)(D) of the Right to Financial Privacy Act (12 D.S.C. 3414(a)(3) or 3414(a)(5)(d), or section 802(B) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 D.S.C. 436(B) shall be imprisoned for not more than one year, and if the violation is committed with the intent to obstruct an investigation or judicial proceeding, shall be imprisoned for not more than five years.'.

Sections 116, 117 and 118 quite frankly suck insofar as they would totally chill appeals to N.S.L's and effectively cover up any possible ABUSES of N.S.L.'s - WE DO NOT NEED THIS!

Furthermore, including anti-drug legislation in the re-authorization simply sets precedent for replacing both our national and individual STATES Constitutions' with the 'patriot' act - AND THE ANTI-METH LAW SHOULD BE STRICKEN PERIOD.

PLEASE do NOT blow this final opportunity to get the 'patriot' act right! The 'patriot' act is the keystone for all else that the government is doing or plans to do - and only you can keep it from being wrong again! Thank you."
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

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#2 spy1

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 12:32 AM

http://www.washingto...&referrer=email

"Patriot Act Compromise Clears Way for Senate Vote


By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 10, 2006; Page A01

Efforts to extend the USA Patriot Act cleared a major hurdle yesterday when the White House and key senators agreed to revisions that are virtually certain to secure Senate passage and likely to win House approval, congressional leaders said.

The law -- passed in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks and scheduled to lapse in key areas last year -- makes it easier for federal agents to secretly tap phones, obtain library and bank records, and search the homes of suspected terrorists. Several Democrats said the compromise announced yesterday lacks important civil liberties safeguards, and even the Republican negotiators said they had to yield to the administration on several points.

But with virtually all 55 GOP senators now on board, and Democrats joining them, the plan appears to have enough support to overcome the Senate filibuster that has thwarted a four-year renewal of the statute for months. Senators said they think the White House will be able to coax the Republican-controlled House to agree as well, even though House leaders have complained that senators' demands had weakened the measure.

"It was a bipartisan group of us that really believed we could do better . . . to protect civil liberties even as we gave law enforcement important tools to conduct terrorism investigations," Sen. John E. Sununu (R-N.H.) told reporters. He said that he and his fellow negotiators had to make more concessions to the administration than they wanted to, but that Congress will monitor the law's application over the coming years and perhaps revise it.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), one of several Democrats who agreed to back the compromise yesterday, said "it falls far short" of the bill that was passed by the Senate last year but rejected by the House. "But if you measure it against the original Patriot Act . . . we've made progress" toward "protecting basic civil liberties at a time when we are dealing with the war on terrorism," Durbin said.

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called the compromise "a step in the right direction."

The proposal would restrict federal agents' access to library records, one of the Patriot Act's most contentious provisions. A form of secret subpoena known as a National Security Letter could no longer be used to obtain records from libraries that function "in their traditional capacity, including providing basic Internet access," Sununu and others said in a statement. But libraries that are "Internet service providers" would remain subject to the letters, Durbin said.

The Senate proposal would no longer require National Security Letter recipients to tell the FBI the identity of their lawyers.

The compromise bill also addresses "Section 215 subpoenas," which are granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. Recipients of such subpoenas originally were forbidden to tell anyone about the action. The proposed Senate measure would allow them to challenge the "gag order" after one year, rather than the 90-day wait in earlier legislation.

Sununu said the administration insisted on the longer waiting period. "You now have a process to challenge the gag order," he said, defending the concession. "That didn't exist before."

Sununu said he and his allies were disappointed that the compromise does not require agents to "show a connection to a suspected terrorist or spy" before obtaining a Section 215 subpoena. Instead, a FISA judge would have to agree that there are reasonable grounds to believe the items being sought are relevant to an investigation into terrorism.

Several liberals condemned the bill. "I am gravely disappointed in this so-called deal," said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.). "The White House agreed to only a few minor changes" that "do not address the major problems," he said, adding: "We've come too far and fought too hard to agree to reauthorize the Patriot Act without fixing those problems."

But Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the Senate compromise "maintains the tools necessary to fight terrorism while further strengthening safeguards to protect civil liberties."

"We are hopeful that the Congress will now move forward to renew the Patriot Act," he said."

If anyone can see this as anything less than an un-mitigated disaster for our privacy, our freedom and our Constitution's continued existence, feel free to point it out to me.

The 'patriot' act is the very linchpin of everything else the government has done and will continue to do - if allowed continued strenghening without concomitant over-sight, accountability and review, it will eat the Constitution and the Bill of Rights alive and permanently destroy the delicate balance between the three Branches of government, relagating the Judicial and Legislative Branches to mere puppets of the Executive Branch.

This is not wild imaginings or paranoia on my part - it's a simple, deadly-to-freedom fact.

So tell me, people - are you all going to sit back and let it happen?

Because if you do, you deserve everything you get.

Have an answer ready for your children and grandchildren about why you allowed this to happen when you could have affected the outcome - you'll need one. Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#3 spy1

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 09:55 AM

Sen. Feingold will be taking the floor at 11 Eastern. Re-authorization may be voted on today. (C-SPAN2). Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#4 spy1

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 11:02 AM

Feingold just made perhaps the single most cogent statement extant on what remains wrong with the re-authorization - and he strongly urged the Senate to not even consider bringing the "compromise" to a vote.

If I can get a link to what he just said, I'll post it. Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#5 spy1

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 11:18 AM

It would be nice if everyone reading this would go here: http://www.theorator.com/senate.html , get the phone number of both of your Senators and call them right now.

All you have to do is tell them (if that's how you feel) that you are totally against the the 'patriot' act "compromise" bill - that you want the 'patriot' act truly fixed.

It could make all the difference. Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#6 spy1

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 01:55 PM

According to the scroll at the bottom of the C-SPAN channel, Sen. Spector is claiming he has enough votes to over-ride a filibuster by Sen. Feingold on the'patriot' act re-authorization vote.

Have you called yet? Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#7 spy1

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 02:44 PM

Remember - If you oppose this, then tell your Senator on the phone that you want him/her to vote against H.R. 3199 and S.2271 (it contains the "one year before an appeal of an NSL language).

It is vital to tell them to vote against both.

The opposite of course, if you're in favor of these bills. Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#8 spy1

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 03:47 PM

You know, if you're not able to be watching this, you're missing a defining moment in American history.

Sen. Sessions got up and defended the re-authorization; Sen. Feingold rebutted, Sen.Leahy stopped just short of calling Bush a criminal (although he did mention - twice - that this Administration is involved in a conscious cover-up of their activities in these areas to prevent American citizens from going nuts about it); an outstanding speech (or most of it) was given by Sen. Byrd.

They're doing yet another "Quorum Call" right now and broadcasting something else - but they'll be back after that.

Watch it all if at all possible - and if you haven't yet called your Senators to express your opinion, then by all means do so. Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#9 spy1

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 08:14 PM

Feingold Drops Effort to Block Patriot Act

http://news.yahoo.co...o/patriot_act_4

Well, the filibuster attempt is over, but the article says:

"The Senate planned to resume debate Thursday on the legislation; the House planned to act at the end of the month."

In a way, that's good - it gives people more time to contact their legislator's before the final vote in either House.

It's extremely ominous that Feingold still didn't have enough votes to run with the filibuster, though.

Have you called? Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#10 spy1

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 09:02 AM

They'll be having the vote at 10:30 Eastern (live on C-SPAN2). Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#11 spy1

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 10:22 AM

For those of you who haven't yet decided whether or not to weigh in on this issue with your legislators, I would like to point you to perhaps the most eloquent argument as to what's wrong with the 'patriot' act as written that I've ever heard.

It was given by Sen. Russ Feingold on the Senate floor on the 15th.

Please read it in its' entirety.

http://feingold.sena...02/2006215.html

We seem to have been given a two-week reprieve before a final vote in the Senate on re-authorization (according to Feingold's statement here:
http://feingold.sena...02/2006216.html ).

I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to contact your Representatives on this issue if you haven't already.

It literally means the difference between a Constitutionally-run, three Branch form of government which protects the rights' of its' citizens - or the absence of that.

Make...your..voice...heard. Pete
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

#12 spy1

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:31 PM

PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THE ABOVE POST AND EMAIL IT TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADRESS BOOKS! WE NEED "JUICE" ON THIS! THANK YOU!
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
--George Washington

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