Skip to comments.How Obama has abused the Patriot Act
Posted on 08/19/2013 11:29:34 AM PDT by Jim Robinson
On Aug. 9, the Obama administration released a previously secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that it used to justify the bulk collection of every American's phone records. The strained reasoning in the 22-page memo won't survive long in public light, which is itself one of the strongest arguments for transparency in government. As the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."
Recent revelations by the Washington Post emphasize the need for greater transparency. The National Security Agency failed to report privacy violations that are serious infringements of constitutional rights. Beyond these blatant violations, the foundation of the programs is itself illegal.
Section 215 of the Patriot Act authorizes the collection of certain business records in this case, phone records when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the records are relevant to an authorized investigation into international terrorism. The key legal term is "relevance."
Under this relevance standard, the administration has collected the details of every call made by every American, even though the overwhelming majority of these calls have nothing to do with terrorism. Since first learning of the program this spring, I have been a vocal critic of such dragnet collection as a gross invasion of privacy and a violation of Section 215.
The administration's memo begins by acknowledging that its interpretation of the statute is at odds with the plain meaning of "relevance." It argues there is a "particularized legal meaning" of relevance, but it ultimately concedes that it fails to meet this standard as well.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Getting a little sick of the bassturds screwtinizing us. I would like to see some of the obassturds phone records. I have a pretty good idea he couldn’t survive the scrutiny.
Sensenbrenner should be in the media 24/7 and the GOPe should be repeating his talking points instead we get Bushies ok with Obama’s corrupting Bush’s Patriot act and the lib media ignoring Sensenbrenner.
That is, I think this was the intention behind the PATRIOT Act all along - to write it in such a way that it could be interpreted very broadly and be used for purposes other than terrorism.
A small number of people were pointing all this out during the PA's infancy but those warnings/pleas fell on mostly deaf ears.
This is why I opposed the PA under Bush. Slippery slope to tyranny
Thanks for posting this Jim. I have been saying this about zero and the Patriot Act for some time.
That is exactly right.
Unfortunately, while I also initially opposed the PA, I bought into Bush's cover story about it, but I saw the same potential for abuse.
Ruefully, I now acknowledge that I should have stuck with my initial instinct!
As Congress takes up legislation to reauthorize three expiring parts of the Patriot Act, it should take seriously the tea partys commitment to constitutional fidelity.
Judged by that standard, Patriot passes with flying colors. It just lets counterterrorism agents use some of the same tools that regular cops have used for decades. These tools have exacting safeguards to protect civil liberties, and federal courts have consistently upheld their constitutionality.
Yeah, and those people here who did object to it were treated to pleny of “why do you hate america?” and “go back to DU, Soros plant!” But I guess now that someone with a different letter next to his name is in the white house it’s cool to question handing that much power to the government.
And I washed my hands of anyone who voted to reauthorize that abomination to the constitution, including the tea party hypocrites who got in line behind it.
You obviously are not familiar with how fascism works.
Sensenbrenner shouldn’t have supported the Patriot Act to begin with.
Passage of the Patriot Act was the beginning of the end of America. They should have just called it “The Police State Act”
Heck, he wrote the thing himself, and then helped break arms to get it renewed in May 2011. He also tried to get the sunset provision removed altogether so that it would be permanent but failed. And now here he is crying foul. What a hypocrite!
EXCACTLY. Many of us were saying yeah It’s Dubya now. Wait till Hillary gets elected then watch the abuse.
Instead we ended up with Bozo the Clown and the Muslim Brotherhood.
What is the intended use of all this private information? Will it be used against us selectively in a court of law? If it is collected legally under the PA, why not?