Skip to comments.Conservatives, liberals fear broader anti-terror powers - sides unite to protest Justice's push
Posted on 04/13/2003 6:32:28 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
Conservatives, liberals fear broader anti-terror powers
Sides unite to protest Justice's push to widen Patriot Act's reach
WASHINGTON Fearful that the Bush administration is poised to ask Congress for greater anti-terrorism powers, including the right to strip Americans of their citizenship, liberals and conservatives are joining forces to block what they view as dangerous encroachments on civil liberties.
The loose-knit coalition was on display last week when conservative activists who otherwise are close administration allies joined the American Civil Liberties Union to decry the Justice Department's impending push for powers that could reach well beyond the USA Patriot Act that Congress raced to adopt in the dark, chaotic weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The possible outlines of what the Justice Department is seeking in a bill dubbed "Son of Patriot" or "Patriot 2" has had privacy and civil libertarian groups across the political spectrum in an uproar since a draft was leaked in February.
Although Justice Department officials insist the 86-page bill is a preliminary draft that bears little resemblance to what ultimately will be requested, some fear it's a clear sign of things to come.
"Based on past history of various administrations, when draft legislation such as the 'Son of Patriot' that we've been now seeing are first denied and then they surface, where there's smoke there's fire," said former Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, a conservative Republican who is now an ACLU consultant. "We are very worried that it will surface in some way relatively quickly."
Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats have argued that the Justice Department should work with Congress to draft new anti-terrorism legislation rather than write it in secret.
The leaked draft, stamped "Confidential Not for Distribution," would grant federal law enforcement sweeping new power to wiretap, detain and punish suspected terrorists while limiting court review and cloaking certain information from the public. Among the most criticized proposals: the right to strip the citizenship of Americans who provide "material" support to organizations designated terrorist groups.
"Everyone is concerned with protecting our people and our society and our homeland," said American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene. "But everyone should be equally concerned at the potential costs to our society and its very nature if we adopt measures that in retrospect would be viewed as unwise."
Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo declined to discuss which parts of the leaked draft have been discarded and which remain viable.
"We're not going to discuss things that are being deliberated right now," he said. He dismissed criticism that lawmakers are being cut out of the loop, saying Congress ultimately will decide whether to accept, reject or amend the package that will be sent to Capitol Hill later this year.
The Patriot Act has been "an invaluable tool" for terrorism prevention, Mr. Corallo said, adding that he thinks critics have misunderstood the law, which expanded wiretapping and spying authority; lowered prohibitions on the sharing of intelligence with criminal investigators; and imposed restraints on the public release of information.
"The Patriot Act actually strengthened constitutional protections," he said.
That view is far from universally shared.
Librarians in some cities are hastening their routine shredding of patrons' records because of Patriot Act provisions that allow the FBI to review records at libraries, bookstores and other businesses. A California dive shop owner objected when the FBI sought lists of clients at his and other dive shops around the country, citing the possibility that a terrorist diver could launch an attack by slipping unseen into a U.S. port.
And now, groups such as the Eagle Forum and American Conservative Union are setting aside historic policy differences with liberal-leaning organizations such as the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to tackle a range of post-Sept. 11 actions they view as threats to freedoms.
"We've given up some civil liberties since 9-11, there is no doubt about it," said Lori Waters, the Eagle Forum's executive director.
Conservative groups historically have left the defense of civil liberties to the ACLU, conservative activist Grover Norquist said. But, he added, "I'm not sure given the Republican control of the House and the Senate and the government that we can count on our left-of-center friends to look out for some of these issues."
The Patriot Act and its possible successor aren't the liberal and conservative groups' only concerns. They fret about a data-mining program known as Total Information Awareness being developed within the Pentagon; an airline passenger profiling system that could roll out later this year; and other proposals.
Ms. Waters and others are voicing particular dismay at reports that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, with administration backing, wants to make permanent Patriot Act provisions that expire in 2005.
"I am very concerned at the idea of getting rid of the sunsets," Mr. Norquist said.
Mr. Barr, the former congressman, said he viewed the Hatch bid, which apparently has been shelved for now, as an "end-run."
"This is particularly troubling because we have not yet had nearly the full opportunity that we ought to have to see how the Patriot Act is working," Mr. Barr said. "This is a very, very complex piece of legislation."
|Our troops give so much of themselves, and we all benefit from their efforts.
The next time you look at your bank balance, why not find some way to take some money and put it towards supporting the members of our armed services in some way? Maybe find a family who has someone serving, and buy them dinner, or some groceries, or a gift for their children? Maybe find a way to contribute to a fund for the memory of any of those who have fallen? Our armed forces deserve our support in tangible ways.
As long as we have an Atorney General who supports 2nd amendment rights, and the infringements in the Patriot act are given expiration dates, I support them. We'll have no rights at all when suitcase nukes start killing us.
And as far as stripping citizenship from people who never deserved it in the first place, why are we still discussing it? Extremists of any stripe who manage to worm their way into our country don't deserve to be here. And furthermore, I'm of the opinion that while human rights are constant, the Bill of Rights applies to citizens only.
For me, making privacy-invading clauses permanent would be going too far. Orrin Hatch makes me nervous, and I wonder why he thinks it's too "inconvenient" to renew the clauses at regular intervals. Our rights have been hard-fought and high prices have been paid; it shouldn't be "too hard" to remember to renew a compromise to them.
I haven't seen a list of Patriot Act clauses that are up for being made permanent, so I don't exactly know what to say there.
As far as TIA goes, it scares me. We should be debating this stuff out in the open before it's deployed without our permission, and then misused. Remember that census data was accessed to track down Japanese Americans during WWII. (But was that bad? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.)
OMG! You're serious, aren't you?
AMENDMENT V - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The law is very clear and easy to read. People who embrace this garbage show nothing but contempt for the law and everything that's made this country great. It's outrageous that they're even thinking about a Patriot II. Patriot I was enough of an anti-liberty, anti-American POS.
Bottom line, the executive and police want to be able to "declare" whoever they like a terrorist, search and seize whatever or whoever they like without such petty encumberances such as a nosey court, lawyer, family member or the constitution getting in the way.
Can someone tell me why it's now legal for bureaucrats to rob houses and hack computers without notification? The constitution is very clear on this. Why is it they can now log all of your credit card purchases and tap your phone without notice? Why is it we're forfeiting our property and vehicles without being convicted of anything? How did we get to the point where we've allowed undereducated, underpaid, dumbass bureacrats to go through our lives, at will without warrant.
People who support such measures don't deserve to be Americans IMO.
Some of us have become ignorant slobs who are fine with all of this as long as they're well fed and given the illusion that freak-boy Ashcroft is keeping them safe. Disgusting.
Better watch what you post here on FR from now on. I know I am. lol ! < /sarcasm >
Name: ********* (blacked out for security purposes)
Reason for Terrorist Profile: Suspect frequents far right web sights. Unusually strong pro-gun opinions. Sympathetic to Branch Davidians in Waco indcident which may indicate McViegh type personality traits.
Data Gathering Method: Legal download of suspects entire hard drive without notice while suspect went out to shop, as per provisions of USA Patriot Act. Warrant issued by Magistrate appointed by current administration.
Current Status: Held in undisclosed location for indefinite period of time until charges can be filed on unrelated evidence found on suspects hard drive. No phone calls or contact with family permitted until interrogation process is complete. When attorney contact is permitted all communication will be closely monitored
Yes, when a sui juris self-avowed 'constitutionalist' who thinks driver's licenses are Nazi travel papers gets pulled over, and engages in 'self-defence' by trying to run over a patrolman, who in turn opens fire and kills the criminal, we hear them wail "The man was killed merely for flexing his foot!"
I find it highly unusual that you've been here as long as you have and nobody knows you. No activism, no fellowship, no pic ...nothing but an oddball aganda on an internet forum. Wake me up when you do something besides just giving everyone your stupid opinions on everything.
Every time I confront you on this you run to the mods and have my post pulled. I don't trust oddball strangers so everything you say is irrelavent.... to me anyway.
Hey, I'm not an expert on all this stuff, seriously. And I'm not as guarded as I probably should be on stuff I post on the Internet, either. I mean, I post my name sometimes and folks are SHOCKED that I would do that. Anyway . . .
You? LOL. You're mild mannered and easy going, the "profile" was just to make a point. I've made some enemies here (although there's nobody here that I have a grudge against) to the point where some have called the police on me. I'm not kidding either.
It's not the nice guys like you that have to worry about "data miners" with an axe to grind, it's the not-so-nice guys like me.
I'm surprised that CJ hasn't gone full-auto on the abuse button yet. Actually he/she/it probably is as we speak.
You want Jim Crow?
Assuming for the sake of argument that your answer were true, how could Jim Crow laws have been eliminated without the increased federal role played in civil rights enforcement?
I don't endorse anything of the kind freak-boy and can ping a few dozen people who know me personally that can attest to such.
Nice paper tigers. People who question un-constitutional legislation = "chicken little." People who have a problem with bureaucrats robbing their homes = Anarchists who want no government. People who believe it un-American to forfeit freedom and property without due process want to kill police and abolish license laws.
Try not to bear false witness on you're little "jihad" ...ok mystery boy?
Too late by then, CJ. Shall I also send the wakeup call after the Iraqis use WMDs?
They're useless to conservatives not only because they don't do anything but run their faces, but also because they're not conservatives. Every position they take is statist or leftist.
People who hide do it for a reason.
If the shoe fits, Sacco....
You are demanding that FReepers reveal their identity, yet you rail against the government for wanting to know who terrorists are?
You don't see the irony in this?
Equating the government of the United States with Saddam's vanishing regime.
Senator John F. Kerry would be proud of you.
Unintended consequences strike again.