I Want to Save a Child's Sight!

Friday, December 16, 2005


Led, by Senator Feingold, the forces of evil were turned back this time:

"Supporters of the broad anti-terrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act suffered a stinging defeat in the Senate today, falling well short of the 60 votes needed to bring the act to a final vote and leaving it in limbo for the moment. After an emotional debate about the balance between national security and personal liberties and the very character of the republic, the Senate voted, 52 to 47, to end debate and take a yes-or-no vote on the law itself." [NYT]

Senator Feingold had this to say:

"The bipartisan vote this morning to extend debate on the Patriot Act should be a strong signal to the White House that the American people believe that we can fight terrorism while protecting our freedoms. I am very proud to be part of a bipartisan coalition working together to strengthen protections for civil liberties in the Patriot Act. The demonstration of bipartisanship on the Senate floor over the last few days has been remarkable. The House should now pass the version of the Patriot Act that passed the Senate unanimously earlier this year, so that the President can immediately sign into law a reasonable bill that reauthorizes the Patriot Act while protecting our rights. It is unreasonable and irresponsible for the President and the Republican leadership to insist that this flawed conference report is the only way to reauthorize the Patriot Act. Today’s vote proves that this is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue and a constitutional issue. Now is the time to come together to give the government the tools it needs to fight terrorism and protect the rights and freedoms of innocent citizens. " [Feingold]

This comes on the heels of this revelation from the New York Times:

"Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials. Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications."

"The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted." [NYT]

So, basically, "Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night."

As Mike states: "The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval represents a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches." [NYT]

But, why would this administration tell the truth, or be transparent about what they are doing to this country!?

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