Skip to comments.Remarks by President Bush at Signing of USA Patriot Act of 2001
Posted on 10/26/2001 9:17:04 AM PDT by Native American Female Vet
Remarks by President Bush at Signing of USA Patriot Act of 2001
U.S.Newswire, 10/26/2001 12:03
To: National Desk
Contact: White House Press Office, 202-483-8932 WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by the White House:
The East Room
9:49 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning and welcome to the White House. Today, we take an essential step in defeating terrorism, while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans. With my signature, this law will give intelligence and law enforcement officials important new tools to fight a present danger.
I commend the House and Senate for the hard work they put into this legislation. Members of Congress and their staffs spent long nights and weekends to get this important bill to my desk. I appreciate their efforts, and bipartisanship, in passing this new law.
I want to thank the Vice President and his staff for working hard to make sure this law was passed. I want to thank the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Treasury for being here, both of whom lead important parts of our war against terrorism. I want to thank Attorney General John Ashcroft for spending a lot of time on the Hill to make the case for a balanced piece of legislation. I want to thank the Director of the FBI and the Director of the CIA for waging an incredibly important part on the two-front war -- one overseas, and a front here at home.
I want to thank Governor Tom Ridge for his leadership. I want to thank the members of Congress who are here on the stage, the Leaders, on this impressive effort. Senator Hatch and Senator Leahy and Senator Sarbanes and Senator Graham and Senator Reid.
I also want to thank Representative Porter Goss, LaFalce, Oxley, and Sensenbrenner for their hard work. And I want to welcome the men and women of law enforcement who are here in the White House with us today, as well.
The changes, effective today, will help counter a threat like no other our nation has ever faced. We've seen the enemy, and the murder of thousands of innocent, unsuspecting people. They recognize no barrier of morality. They have no conscience. The terrorists cannot be reasoned with. Witness the recent anthrax attacks through our Postal Service.
Our country is grateful for the courage the Postal Service has shown during these difficult times. We mourn the loss of the lives of Thomas Morris and Joseph Curseen; postal workers who died in the line of duty. And our prayers go to their loved ones.
I want to assure postal workers that our government is testing more than 200 postal facilities along the entire Eastern corridor that may have been impacted. And we will move quickly to treat and protect workers where positive exposures are found.
But one thing is for certain: These terrorists must be pursued, they must be defeated, and they must be brought to justice. (Applause.) And that is the purpose of this legislation. Since the 11th of September, the men and women of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been relentless in their response to new and sudden challenges.
We have seen the horrors terrorists can inflict. We may never know what horrors our country was spared by the diligent and determined work of our police forces, the FBI, ATF agents, federal marshals, Custom officers, Secret Service, intelligence professionals and local law enforcement officials, under the most trying conditions. They are serving this country with excellence, and often with bravery.
They deserve our full support and every means of help that we can provide. We're dealing with terrorists who operate by highly sophisticated methods and technologies, some of which were not even available when our existing laws were written. The bill before me takes account of the new realities and dangers posed by modern terrorists. It will help law enforcement to identify, to dismantle, to disrupt, and to punish terrorists before they strike.
For example, this legislation gives law enforcement officials better tools to put an end to financial counterfeiting, smuggling and money-laundering. Secondly, it gives intelligence operations and criminal operations the chance to operate not on separate tracks, but to share vital information so necessary to disrupt a terrorist attack before it occurs.
As of today, we're changing the laws governing information-sharing. And as importantly, we're changing the culture of our various agencies that fight terrorism. Countering and investigating terrorist activity is the number one priority for both law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Surveillance of communications is another essential tool to pursue and stop terrorists. The existing law was written in the era of rotary telephones. This new law that I sign today will allow surveillance of all communications used by terrorists, including e-mails, the Internet, and cell phones.
As of today, we'll be able to better meet the technological challenges posed by this proliferation of communications technology. Investigations are often slowed by limit on the reach of federal search warrants.
Law enforcement agencies have to get a new warrant for each new district they investigate, even when they're after the same suspect. Under this new law, warrants are valid across all districts and across all states. And, finally, the new legislation greatly enhances the penalties that will fall on terrorists or anyone who helps them.
Current statutes deal more severely with drug-traffickers than with terrorists. That changes today. We are enacting new and harsh penalties for possession of biological weapons. We're making it easier to seize the assets of groups and individuals involved in terrorism. The government will have wider latitude in deporting known terrorists and their supporters. The statute of limitations on terrorist acts will be lengthened, as will prison sentences for terrorists.
This bill was carefully drafted and considered. Led by the members of Congress on this stage, and those seated in the audience, it was crafted with skill and care, determination and a spirit of bipartisanship for which the entire nation is grateful. This bill met with an overwhelming -- overwhelming agreement in Congress, because it upholds and respects the civil liberties guaranteed by our Constitution.
This legislation is essential not only to pursuing and punishing terrorists, but also preventing more atrocities in the hands of the evil ones. This government will enforce this law with all the urgency of a nation at war. The elected branches of our government, and both political parties, are united in our resolve to fight and stop and punish those who would do harm to the American people.
It is now my honor to sign into law the USA Patriot Act of 2001. (Applause.)
(The bill is signed.) (Applause.)
END 10:57 A.M. EDT
If you don't have a reason that subjects should have the right to evade warrants by changing their location it won't surprise me.
But after your long rant in reply #23, I was hoping you would.
Only where the crime involves a specific or general intent, such as malicious destruction of property or murder. There are crimes where no intent need be proved to sustain a conviction.
In this law one must be found to have committed one of the enumerated federal crimes with the intent described in the first section.
I believe (not a lawyer) that federal warrants are issued for federal districts, so I don't see how a States Rights issue can be raised.
Recognizing its potential threat to individual privacy, Congress is in the process of requiring the FBI to report exactly how and when Carnivore, the controversial Internet-snooper system, is being used.
Officially named DCS 1000, Carnivore is the FBI's high tech hardware and software system capable of tapping directly into and recording terabytes of Internet traffic.
To install a Carnivore device, the FBI must first obtain warrants or court orders naming the targets of the investigation. Once installed in a cooperating Internet service provider's (ISP) facility, Carnivore collects all internet traffic. This mass of collected data is then "filtered" for evidence tied to the suspects named in the warrant.
According to the FBI, Carnivore is a "diagnostic tool" providing the Agency with "a 'surgical' ability to intercept and collect the communications which are the subject of the lawful order while ignoring those communications which they are not authorized to intercept."
The FBI further contends that its use of Carnivore as being, "subject to intense oversight from internal FBI controls, the U. S. Department of Justice (both at a Headquarters level and at a U.S. Attorney's Office level), and by the Court." [From: FBI's Carnivore - Diagnostic Tool]
Carnivore's threat to personal privacy and civil liberty, say its critics, is the fact that it collects information about every person -- not just the suspects -- accessing the Internet through the host ISP's connection.
Carnivore can collect copies of every email sent through the ISP's system, track the Web travels of every user logged on, and discover the IP addresses of all users, suspects or not.
The threat to individual privacy from the potential misuse of such a device is of great concern to many people, including the House and Senate Judiciary Committees of the U.S. Congress.
As a result of Judiciary hearings, Congress is acting to require the FBI to provide them with detailed reports on the use of Carnivore, or similar devices. Included as part of the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act are the following orders to the FBI:
SEC. 306. REPORT ON DCS 1000 (`CARNIVORE').
Not later than 30 days after the end of fiscal years 2001 and 2002, the Attorney General and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall provide to the Judiciary Committees of the House of Representatives and Senate a report detailing--
(1) the number of times DCS 1000 (or any similar system or device) was used for surveillance during the preceding fiscal year;
(2) the Department of Justice official or officials who approved each use of DCS 1000 (or any similar system or device);
(3) the criteria used by the Department of Justice officials to review requests to use DCS 1000 (or any similar system or device);
(4) a complete description of the process used to submit, review, and approve requests to use DCS 1000 (or any similar system or device);
(5) the specific statutory authority relied on to use DCS 1000 (or any similar system or device);
(6) the court that authorized each use of DCS 1000 (or any similar system or device);
(7) the number of orders, warrants, or subpoenas applied for, to authorize the use of DCS 1000 (or any similar system or device);
(8) the fact that the order, warrant, or subpoena was granted as applied for, was modified, or was denied;
(9) the offense specified in the order, warrant, subpoena, or application;
(10) the nature of the facilities from which, or the place where the contents of, electronic communications were to be disclosed; and
(11) any information gathered or accessed that was not authorized by the court to be gathered or accessed.
The 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, including the Carnivore reporting requirements, has strong bipartisan support in Congress. The House approved the bill by a simple voice vote on July 23, and little or no opposition is anticipated in the Senate.
Included as part of the same bill, is a measure creating a special deputy inspector general assigned to provide special oversight of all programs and operations of the FBI through September 2004. [See: House Slaps Special Oversight on FBI]
So much for Congressional concerns about threats to individual privacy.
Anyone know what that was?
"At a Cato Institute event Tuesday afternoon, Barr had taken a far more critical approach: "The philosophy underlying the legislation remains problematic.... There are a number of troubling provisions in this latest draft."
OK..so you take out 'the most egregious violations of Americans' civil liberties' and do nothing about the other stuff and that changes the 'philosophy of legislation?
"The worries expressed by some groups that are members of the new In Defense of Freedom coalition include: the ease with which police could eavesdrop on the Internet, expanded information-sharing between police, the CIA and similar agencies, and potentially intrusive surveillance of users by their Internet providers."
This makes me ask myself: Why have I sat for hours reading, emailing, calling, sending letters and protesting to stop this?
This is one of the problems I have with the bill, and I think the loose definition of terrorism- and especially of abetting terrorism-will have to be further refined in the Supreme Court. I'm also bothered by abuse of secret warrants, the 7 day limit on holding illegal immigrants, and the lack of a reasonable formula for using foreign sources of info.
(I'm most bothered by the lack of a version of the bill to examine!)
But the unified warrant, and most parts of the law, seems a long overdue reform.
UH....I think the passage of this bill was OVERWHELMING and if he decided to VETO it, the bill would have passed anyway. This was a bipartisan effort to decimate our civil rights.
You got that right. Talk about adding insult to slavery.
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