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
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.
They were fighting for liberties which we did not have back then.
"To understand political power aright, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they see fit. Within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man." Locke
Now we are fighting for our very lives and existance as a nation.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln
I think John Adams and the gang would understand that certain things need to change for the good of our national security.
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither safety nor liberty. Benjamin Franklin
Calm down, and don't worry so much about our civil liberties....and start worrying about what is really important right now.
"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans ..." Bill Clinton
Everything else will work itself out in the end.
"He who jumps to conclusions falls to their death." -- Mark J. Ottaviani
...assuming that they'll gut it. They won't (especially after W gets some additional "conservatives" on the Court).
Or do you not understand what it means to be a legitimate business in America?
Why don't you tell me what it means to be a legitimate business in America so I won't have to play your guessing game.
The Internet was constructed by the government.
I actually knew that! It was called ARPAnet!
Please do not be so naive...
I won't, and I'm not.
The "except for the government" clauses in contracts for "legitimate business" are there for a reason.
I'm sure it is.
La Migra! Comprende?
Maybe you should consider getting a new screen name.
Inventors Of The Modern Computer
One opposing view to ARPAnet's origins comes from Charles M. Herzfeld, the former director of ARPA. He claimed that ARPAnet was not created as a result of a military need, stating "it came out of our frustration that there were only a limited number of large, powerful research computers in the country and that many research investigators who should have access were geographically separated from them." ARPA stands for the Advanced Research Projects Agency, a branch of the military that developed top secret systems and weapons during the Cold War.
Of course you can probably find something to refute this if you look for it.
Only in Their minds.
Polls are not acquiescence.
Nonsense. It was corrupt and incompetent government that allowed it. We didn't need new laws. We needed new people enforcing the old ones.
I owe you five farthings
Say the bells of St. Martins
When will you pay me?
Say the bells at Old Bailey
When I grow rich
Say the bells at Shoreditch
When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney
I'm sure I don't know
Says the great bell of Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head
From your link:
Measure Title: A bill to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.
While I know it is standard phrasing, the words "and for other purposes" take on a whole new meaning now.
I do not think they would see it that way.
" They were fighting for liberties which we did not have back then."
Yes liberties that today congress and the president so freely signed away to the likes of the Fumbling Bumbling Incompetent FBI and that later can be used by the likes of another Bill Clinton.
" Now we are fighting for our very lives and existence as a nation."
And we have the ability to win without any American citizen loosing one single right or liberty.
"I think John Adams and the gang would understand that certain things need to change for the good of our national security.
John Adams said 'Government turns every contingency into a means of enhancing power and the and the government."
James Madison said "Since the general civilization of mankind I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment by those in power than by violent and sudden usurption.
I cant think of one founding father who would say this was all well and good.
Calm down, and don't worry so much about our civil liberties..."
Don't worry about civil liberties....how sad that is to hear from any American
and start worrying about what is really important right now.
This is important to me. There is not a dang thing I can do to stop those terrorist and giving up my rights certainly wont help. These terrorist are not AMERICAN, they have no rights here. Look the INS could have been giving broader power in some of these areas. Innocent Americans will have to deal with these sneaky things the government can now do and if you dont think so your wrong. .
Everything else will work itself out in the end."
I bet it will.
It doesn't sound to me as if President Bush blames right-wing militia types for the anthrax letters.
Our founding fathers were indeed fighting for liberties they had as they are GOD given rights.
The Bill of Rights merely enumerates those GOD given rights, rights that those currently in power seek to deny.
26 October 2001, the day that freedom died.
Fortunately, anyone you and the other anarchist malcontents want enforcing existing laws has no chance of getting elected.
Ah, I see. But a little bird told me that the "right people" aren't always going to be in charge. Haven't you heard?
We are in war for our survival. Sacrifices will have to be made. I don't know if you have noticed but we also now have to fear that someone has put a deadly disease in our mail and is planning on attacking our food and water or bomb us with a nuclear weapon. You provide the government with the answers how to catch them using our current laws. If you can't, maybe you will understand the problem the government faces.
This is not a perfect world since some terrorists decided to come over here and fly our airplanes into towers killing thousands. We have to do something.
One other thing, what about the rights of the soldiers having to go fight this war? Seems like their right to a home life, their right to freely come and go, their right to spend time with their children also has been put on hold. Sure don't hear them complaining.
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.
I guess if I am subject to search at any given time, this means no longer means anything.
Really?. Why then has Congress not declared war?. And since it is a war for survival as you state, how will we know when we win?, what can I tell my kids to look forward to as a victory? I mean since I am being asked to sacrifice, how will I know when I've sacrificed enough?, can you tell me.? Just what do we need to do so that people in the rest of the world won't want to kill us?. Who or what has been done to these people that they are fanatic enough to become kamikazi's?.
Since this is a "war", why don't we declare war and start really conducting war. Let's figure out what we need to do and build, allocate resources at a national level and win in as little time as possible.
BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We get the "Patriot Act" which allows the government to act as if we are all terrorists and a new bureaucracy to feed us all bull$hit.
Remember to smile when you bend over.
I have a suggestion. Why don't you start a petition to get rid of the Terrorist Bill. Why don't you figure a way to find the terrorists and get it done without needing to get intelligence through emails, telephone wiretaps, etc? The Pentagon is asking for all kind of help - I'm sure you have wonderful ideas of how all can be handled to keep us free without anthrax and without airplanes crashing into our buildings and, yet, still have no one knocking on doors, doing wiretaps, etc. They are waiting on your information.
Why don't we declare war? Who do we declare war on? You declare war on a country - not a terrorist. In addition, I heard something a long time ago that the reason might be that if war is declared it affects insurance claims and through that avenue has an effect on the economy. It also limits other aspects. I assure you the declaration of war has been reviewed as any president would do. There is a reason it has not been declared - I don't know the reason but there is one. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of declaring war if you are so hung up on this aspect.
Now go into your corner and feel sorry for yourself - you are alive, you are here in the U.S. and not going in to be blown up and someone will kill them for you before they make it over here to get you. Poor pitiful Max.
Speak for yourself. Some of us don't like that this man has signed into law an era of unbridled government intrusion.
The "USA Patriot Act of 2001"? Good Lord, these people play games with semantics even more brazenly than the Clintonistas. I suppose anyone NOT supporting this bill should be considered UN-patriotic now, right?
Bushies are just like Clintonites... they were simply lucky enough to have a convenient national tragedy give them their excuse for more power.