As Expected, House Agrees To Extend Patriot Act With No Discussion, No Oversight
from the civil-liberties? dept
But, really, we should be asking why these provisions are being extended at all. The reason for allowing them in the original Patriot Act was that they were "needed" in the immediate aftermath of terrorist attacks. But they were put forth with clear sunset provisions, recognizing that those three provisions should not be the norm. Over the years, there has been tremendous evidence of abuse of the Patriot Act, well beyond its intended purposes, so at the very least, there should be much greater oversight. But, even worse, when these provisions were extended last year, the excuse for extending them was that there wasn't enough time to debate the provisions. So the one year extension was supposed to be for the purpose of debate. Yet no debate happened. Hell, no discussion happened. Instead, everyone waited, and when the deadline came, they just agreed to push the deadline out further (and Grassley's plan is to push it out forever).
Shouldn't we be asking why there's been no public discussion or debate on the need for these provisions? To date, the extent of the "discussion" has been to have various thinktanks make statements in support of these provisions that are either misleading or flat-out false. Don't the American people deserve better?
In the meantime, if you'd like to see if your elected representative voted in favor of the extension, you can see the roll call tally of all the votes. I'm happy to see my Rep. voted against it (after abstaining last round).