Funny How None Of The Bills About Extending The Patriot Act Seem To Kill Off The Pieces So Regularly Abused

from the actually,-not-that-funny dept

We've already discussed how it appears that Congress is set to extend the Patriot Act with little debate yet again, despite the growing evidence of rather massive abuses of the law by law enforcement officials, with little to no evidence that the law has actually helped. As it stands now, in the Senate there are apparently three competing versions of the extension, and not a single proposal that would actually cut off the highly controversial sections that allow for spying on Americans with little to no oversight.

The three Senate bills kick off with one from Senator Patrick Leahy, which would extend the various provisions until the end of 2013, but would also include a tiny bit more oversight.
Then there's a version from Senator Chuck Grassley which gives up on this fake "sunsetting" idea and just says let's extend the provisions permanently without any additional oversight, and let the US gov't spy on Americans with no plan to ever go back and see if that makes sense. Stunningly, Grassley is apparently claiming that "temporary extensions and the threat of oversight would hinder U.S. intelligence agents." Think about that for a second. Apparently Senator Grassley thinks that actually making sure the US gov't isn't abusing the law would "hinder US intelligence."
Then there's Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has apparently tried to set up a "middle ground" approach between the other two, where it would extend the provisions until the end of 2013, but wouldn't increase any oversight:
Note the ridiculous situation this sets up. Feinstein's bill is technically "in the middle," but it's a middle that's shifted all the way down at the end of the ridiculous spectrum where the only option is to extend these widely abused and not at all necessary provisions.

Meanwhile, over in the House, the new leadership is simply trying to rush through an entirely new bill that will just push off any discussion until next year.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    TheStupidOne, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Extend 2 years w/ little additional oversight
    Extend 2 years w/o additional oversight
    Extend indefinitely w/o additional oversight
    Postpone discussion for 1 year

    Our legislators sure are creative

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    What People Think

    Silly little polls. What People Think? We know all too well, it does not matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Re: What People Think

    But it does! That's why we give people the option of being screwed or being screwed without the benefit of any sort of lubrication.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Critical Mass

    Why don't they just declare Martial Law already, at least that will wake everyone up, then we can burn this bitch down and start over. This is only gonna get worse and people are to busy/comfortable to fight back with anything the powers will listen to. We have to organize and put bodies in the street - I'm not talking violence, but they sure as hell don't care about our blog posts and comments. At this point it is little more than mental masturbation.

     

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  5.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Critical Mass

    We are a long way away from anyone actually "waking up" to anything. My Marine co-worker puts it best.

    "PPL wont start fighting back until they are starving & dying."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    lux (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Critical Mass

    You think we've hit critical mass? While the keyboard commandos type furiously away, the real world watches Egypt and the real struggle those people must deal with. After you hit up StarBucks, we can talk about how America is being brought to its knees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    javabean, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    eff put out a link earlier to send a "complaint"/"comment" to your legislator.....i sent it as soon as the form loaded http://www.eff.org/action/reject-patriot-act-sneak-attack

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Three nice bar graphs from a one sided website. Sort of like a poll about copyright on techdirt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Feb 7th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    That's because the 'act' is about CONTROL - nothing else.

    Why would they want to remove the parts that give them the most control?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Critical Mass

    So right you are.
    Why should we worry about the US when there are clearly more fucked up countries we do not live in to worry about.
    STFU and go home.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    JMT, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    So are you just criticising TechDirt because you don't like it, or do you genuinely disagree with the post and support the abortion that is the Patriot Act?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Critical Mass

    The way the country is growing I question if your marine co-worker is giving PPL too much credit. There are already people starving, not yet dieing as far as I know but definitely starving, yet whine that everyone else won't give them more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    Re:

    Political subterfuge...why throw away the power by remaining strictly to one position, as opposed to asking for a lot more power all at once, and compromising with a slightly increasing power over a period of time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Fear not, fellow Americans, the republicans and the Tea Party will save us! LOL!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Random Blowhard, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 7:53pm

    "Those that crave security over freedom will gain neither and lose both." T Jefferson.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Random Blowhard, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 7:57pm

    "PPL wont start fighting back until they are starving & dying." Wall Street is doing all it can to bring that about, be patient, wheat has only increased by 75% so far, oil by $20 a barrel...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Critical Mass

    Impossible, people are too busy with their Opium(iphones, celebrities, facebook) to even care. Things have to be real horrible in order for people to do anything. We are talking about so-bad-you-dont-have-food kinda low. Egypt and Tunisia are a clear example. People let it hit the deep deep rock bottom before taking action. It's like letting someone rape you but don't try to get him off of you until he starts choking you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    trains o scale, Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:49am

    As much as I agree with you about the Patriot Act, youre thinking in terms that are too partisan. Those 26 Republicans are the libertarian side of the party and those Democrats are the corporatist core of that party. Id totally expect that voting pattern to happen and those Democrats still deserve to lose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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