Patriot Act discussion via OpinionJournal: The Spirit of Liberty


GregS* writes "The skinny:"What about the section the librarians were so concerned about, Section 215? Well, it bears some mention that the word library appears nowhere in that section. What the section does authorize is the issuance of subpoenas for tangible things, including business records, but only upon approval by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Such a subpoena can direct everyone, including the record keeper, not to disclose the subpoena to anyone, including to the person whose records were obtained. That section also specifically forbids investigation of a citizen or a lawful alien solely on the basis of activity protected by the First Amendment. It requires that the Justice Department report to Congress every six months on subpoenas issued under it. At last report, there have been no such subpoenas issued to libraries. Indeed, there have been no such subpoenas, period."
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What I find so amusing about all these proclamations that claims against USAPA are the result of hysteria, is that USAPA itself is the product of hysteria and a knee-jerk reaction. Passed without debate and in a couple of weeks, and we are expected to believe that it is the epitome of a rational and measured response? In a pig's eye.

They will be remembered for not taking the problems seriously or for playing both sides against the middle. Not a single civilized country in the western world made any legitimate stand concerning the madness that is the Middle East. In the end history will divide us by those who learned the lesson of 9/11 and those who didn't.

Kind of reminds me of "Yes, he was a guard at Treblinka and slaughtered left and right, but he's been paying his taxes in Dearborn and is on a senior citizens committee at the community center..." Sorry, Greg. History is being written and some of those characters (Rummy comes to mind immediately) will be remembered for what they did and when.

There were relationships pre-9/11 not after. Even after 9/11 we still found colusion with France, Germany, Russia, and Iraq. Does that mean we get to attack them?

They said it hadn't been used in libraries, have they said it hasn't been used at all?

And if there are no murders anywhere for at least 2-3 years does that mean we take those laws off the books?

I do mind. There's been a symbiotic relationship between some of those trying to kill us and some of those who promoted, implemented, and now enforce the "Patriot Act" which stretches over two decades. Sorry if some of them are pals of your's or public figures you admire, but I want justice. ALL those involved, foreign and domestic. Clear enough?

If Sec. 215 hasn't been used since passage of USAPA back in 2001, then neither the President nor DOJ should have any problem repealing it. It obviously has been of no practical use in terror investigations. It's just a dangling piece of bad law, waiting to be misused like RICO.I'm willing to take the administration at it's word about not having used 215. It does make you wonder why they're fighting so fiercely to keep it on the books. Especially considering that 90% of librarians who oppose USAPA would likely go away if either the whole section was repealed, or if a library/bookstore exemption were spelled out. I guess it's part of the "you're with us or against us" stance of this administration.

If you don't mind I'd rather focus on the people who are actually trying to kill us.

A little late for a wakeup call, wasn't it? Some of the same cast in this tragedy did business with them thar terrorists for years. Maybe it's time to hold them accountable and we'll see who's awake.

9-11 was a wakeup call and the Patriot Act was the reply. Even after all this time has passed, witnesses from both administrations for the 9-11 Commission agree these changes are necessary.

I believe they are saying it has never been used anywhere. An article from the San Francisco Chronicle has this quote:"In October 2003, several months after the Justice Department won a court order dismissing an ACLU lawsuit on the grounds that revealing information about Section 215 would jeopardize national security, Ashcroft called a press conference to announce that the power had never been used."I think the chances of having ZERO murders anywhere in the country for 2-3 years is ZERO, and so isn't worth speculating on.Section 215 was called a vital tool in the fight against terrorism. If it hasn't been used in the past two years, it's not a vital tool. On the other hand, it does have great potential for government mischief. So, to me, a double reason for its repeal.

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