Tags: Expanding | the | Patriot | Act | Terrible | Idea

Expanding the Patriot Act Is a Terrible Idea

Sunday, 22 May 2005 12:00 AM

During the NAFTA debates in 1991, strange bipartisan coalitions developed on both sides of the issue. Here we go again … former Congressman Bob Barr recently noted, "When leading conservative groups share some of the same concerns as organizations on the other end of the ideological spectrum, I think it's time for Congress to ignore the hyperbole of the defenders of the status quo and pay attention."

Sen. Pat Roberts is planning a bill that would expand FBI subpoena powers as part of the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act. It is a way bad idea!

Frankly, ANY and all legislation should have sunset clauses. If legislation is good and supports the Constitution and the republic, it should be reaffirmed periodically. If legislation undermines key principles in support of partisan agendas, it should atrophy and die.

Abuse of power under the color of authority is a bad thing regardless of who engages in the practice.

We are engaged in a War on Terror. It is a real war with real bad guys wanting to do real bad stuff to the United States.

What are we fighting 'for'? We are fighting for AMERICA! Right? OK, What IS America?

But we want and need our government to protect us from the evil that threatens. This is a classic ‘catch-22'. We want government to protect us from the bad guys ... but if we permit it to undermine and abrogate our core principles, our 'God-given' constitutionally guaranteed rights … what do we have?

Sen. Roberts would give the FBI new power to issue administrative subpoenas, which are

The administration has been jonesing for this power for two years, but so far lawmakers weren't buying.

Roberts' planned bill also would make it easier for prosecutors to use special court-approved warrants for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies in criminal cases.

Eight expiring sections of the law that deal with foreign intelligence investigations would become permanent. WAIT! Why make them permanent? Why not just extend them?

There is also a provision that authorizes wiretapping of suspected terrorists who operate

"While we're fighting to bring provisions ... back into balance with the Bill of Rights, here we have the intelligence committee moving to give the government more power outside the judicial system to gain access to records of Americans," said former GOP Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia.

The administration is adamant that expiring provisions become permanent. That is a real bad idea on multiple counts.

If the expiring provisions ARE necessary, extend them for a fixed period. If the onerous elements become permanent, then some subsequent administration will have another punitive government tool with which to harass critics.

I am personally aware of at least two dozen Clinton critics who were harassed with punitive political IRS audits. Sadly, if government CAN abuse power, government WILL abuse power. The simple solution is to mitigate that power for very specific reasons and for very limited periods of time.

Geoff is a ninth-generation commissioned officer in the U.S. armed services, a former Green Beret and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. Geoff hunts down the stories the rest of the media ignore and exposes them for public scrutiny. Geoff's fans know more than anyone about what's really going on in industry, business, government and the military. Call Geoff at 1-877-528-TALK

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During the NAFTA debates in 1991, strange bipartisan coalitions developed on both sides of the issue.Here we go again … former Congressman Bob Barr recently noted, "When leading conservative groups share some of the same concerns as organizations on the other end of the...
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2005-00-22
Sunday, 22 May 2005 12:00 AM
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