Congress Just Sold You Out: Leadership Plans To Extend Patriot Act For Four Years With NO Concessions

from the oh-come-on dept

As we've discussed, there were some very questionable provisions in the Patriot Act which were set to expire last year, but got extended, officially to allow time for debate. There was none, and when the extension was set to expire, Congress extended the clauses again for 90 days, supposedly to debate them. There were some superficial discussions, but the end result is what many people knew would happen anyway: the provisions are going to be extended for four years, with no concessions or greater oversight. Not only that, but the leadership from both major parties, who have agreed to this "deal," want to pass it with little or no debate:
The deal between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner calls for a vote before May 27, when parts of the current act expire, according to officials in both parties who spoke on condition of anonymity. The idea is to pass the extension with as little debate as possible to avoid a protracted and familiar argument over the expanded power the law gives to the government.
So, let's see. The government grants itself the power to abuse the 4th Amendment and spy on people with little oversight, and it would prefer that there not be any debate over this, because pesky people might raise the fact that this is wide open for abuse, and the senators don't want to have to talk about that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 2:30pm

    I Hope the Partisan Hacks Remember This

    There is only one major political party in this country, and it doesn't have your best interests at heart. Stop squabbling and start seeing.

     

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      Bergman (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

      Re: I Hope the Partisan Hacks Remember This

      Yup. The Authoritarian Party. Democrats and Republicans are mostly myths these days.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 7:04pm

        Re: Re: I Hope the Partisan Hacks Remember This

        Their actually called the Capitalist party...

         

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 8:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: I Hope the Partisan Hacks Remember This

          I think you mean Corporatist. We're pretty far away from capitalism.

           

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          hegemon13, May 20th, 2011 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Re: I Hope the Partisan Hacks Remember This

          Hahahahaha. No, we haven't seen capitalism in this country in a long, long time. For the short run we had, it created massive progress and economic growth and the birth of the healthy middle class. Then, the government tried to "help" by founding a private central bank that can issue fiat money at will, and by picking the winners and losers through regulations and subsidies. We have ended up with a corporate welfare system that resists innovation, squashes new entries into the market, props up failed institutions, and transfers wealth from the majority of Americans to a few obscenely wealthy elite.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    Where is one of those "anonymous holds" when you need one?

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

      Re:

      "Where is one of those "anonymous holds" when you need one?"

      Well, the Congressmen who actually represents his constituency was going to try to do an anonymous hold, but then he remembered he doesn't exist....

       

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        Josef Anvil (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

        Re: Re:

        The Congressmen who actually represents his constituency was laughing about this whole thing while playing poker with an honest lawyer, and Santa Claus in fantasy land.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 9:58pm

      Re:

      Some where you can't touch them.

       

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    MarksAngel (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    somebody break out the old Beatles album It think it's time for a revolution..

     

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    Fzzr (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    Not surprised...

    Just disappointed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Ohh so that's why they "killed osama" way to go with the diversion.

     

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    identicon
    Michael Bennnett, May 19th, 2011 @ 4:14pm

    Benjamin Franklin Said It Best

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 4:44pm

    The inferior people who support the Patriot Act...

    ...are not only traitors, but cowards.

     

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    Hallux, May 19th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Cure is worse than disease

    People in this cuntry are apt to forget that there is something way more dangerous than all the terrorists in the world put together: their own government. Filled to overflowing like a stopped up commode with corrupt, stupid, conniving back-stabbing two-faced rat-bastards, who sell out their own conatituents, ironically, to get money to use to trick people into voting for them. Granting these people and those who serve them in the name of safety is cowardly, and stupid. A wholesale abdication of patriotic responsibility to question the government, and make sure We the People are its masters, not its servants. And yes, cuntry.

     

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      hegemon13, May 20th, 2011 @ 10:10am

      Re: Cure is worse than disease

      There's something much more dangerous even than our government: an out-of-control, self-funding secret service and military. Don't think that's a problem? Tell that to Cicero as Julius Caesar marched in.

       

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    Bruce Ediger (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Where are the pro-PATRIOT Act Trolls?

    Really. Can't any muster the breath to say trollish things about the PATRIOT Act? Maybe accuse someone of being the most pro-Terrorist blogger on the net or something? Do some illogical special pleading for usurpation of constitutional rights on the basis of "but, but, Terrorism!"? Can't "Blogger Bob" (why does that remind me of "Bagdad Bob", and "Tokyo Rose"?) use the Sockpupppet Management Software to generate some "grass roots" support for it?

    No?

    Then why the heck can't we all just agree to letting the PATRIOT Act lapse?

     

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      arcan, May 20th, 2011 @ 6:02am

      Re: Where are the pro-PATRIOT Act Trolls?

      but we need to stop the terrorists...

      better option get a senators son accused of terrorism and see how they like the Patriot Act then

       

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    identicon
    That Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

    So they pay public lip service to the people trying to overthrow their corrupt governments and embrace democracy ©® (can't find the damn TM symbol), while at the same time doing their best to emulate those regimes they wish to seen overthrown.

    They have created an amazing Us vs Them culture in this country...
    Us vs Illegal Immigrants
    Us vs Muslims (it should be terrorists, but that was to hard to explain)
    Us vs Godless Homos
    Us vs Godless Baby Killers
    Us vs Kenyan Manchurian Candidates

    How is it the people everyone seems to accept as the voice of Us, are often so far removed from the real people they claim to care about that they are that out of touch?
    What does it say about a people who willingly follow what they are told without a single thought beyond "Well X said this was the RIGHT way, so its the only way."
    Anyone who dares question the powers that be is seen as a terrorist, out to destroy the American ©®(tm) way of life.

    Stolen from someone else -
    First they shut down Napster, but I didn’t speak out. I didn’t use Napster.
    Next they shut down Gnutella, but i didn’t speak up. I never used Gnutella.
    Then they shut down The Pirate Bay, and I didn’t speak up. I never used The Pirate Bay.
    Now they will shut down the Internet, and there won’t be anyone left to speak up…

    Let us all just embrace the fact we are just serfs meant to toil and suffer for the amusement of the rich and powerful. Lets give up on education, because educated people might think there is something wrong with the outright shitting on the Constitution. Think only happy thoughts, because we are coming in to check on your dreams and thoughts in diaries... but its ok because we are only looking for "bad"* people.

    *- the definition of bad will be expanded as we see fit, as we work to exile the undesirable elements from the gene pool until we have the brainless drones we need.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

      Re:

      The constitution was never written for the working classes, it was actually written for the wealthy capitalists. I hope this makes sense.

       

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      identicon
      Jan, May 20th, 2011 @ 3:48am

      Re:

      Yeah, it was Martin Niemöller who said this:

      Silence
      I didn't say a word when they came to get the communists - because I wasn't a communist.
      I didn't say a word when they came to get the socialists - because I wasn't a socialist.
      I didn't say a word when they came to get the Jews - because I wasn't a Jew.
      I didn't say a word when they came to get the Christians - because I wasn't a Christian.

      When they came to get me, there wasn't anyone left to protest.

       

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      hegemon13, May 20th, 2011 @ 10:17am

      Re:

      Give up education? Are you kidding? Government-run education is where the brainwashing occurs. It's where the Constitution is redefined from a document that protects our liberties to a document that allows the government to do absolutely anything in the name of welfare or commerce. It is where we are taught that the strongest presidents are the ones who started wars and stole power from the legislature. It is where we are taught that the flag is sacred, and flag-burning protests are akin to terrorism. And most importantly, it is where we are taught that lovable Uncle Sam will always protect us from the bogeyman.

       

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    Adam Wasserman (profile), May 19th, 2011 @ 6:34pm

    Fascism. It's the new democracy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    I havent read the entire act but exactly how could this act be "Abused" and used against a law abiding citizen? They could tap my phone and hear me talking dirty to my girlfriend?

    Have any of you every been abused by this act? Do you really think you will be in your lifetime? What exactly do you have to hide that the government wants to learn about?

    Is it, give them an inch and they will take a mile? I'll have to disagree. There is a line that I wouldnt let them cross but this isnt it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

      Re:

      Just because you haven't been affected by this, then it's ok. Guess what, the goverenment has murdered people before, but you haven't been affected by government murder so that must be ok too, right????

      We don't care if you agree to give the government this power that is specifically excluded by the constitution.

      The rest of us don't agree and that is what counts.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:07pm

        Re: Re:

        Your speaking for everyone now? I count about 16 of you. Did the congressman that you voted for win? If he did then this is all your fault!

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:16pm

        Re: Re:

        Nah, I just come here to get you guys fired up. There is some truth in it though if you get down from your soap box for a moment.

         

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          Bruce Ediger (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 6:13am

          What a relief!

          Good, a Pro-PATRIOT Act troll. What a relief, I was afraid that someone had missed an opportunity to troll TechDirt and/or try to salt search engines *against* anti-PATRIOT Act commentary.

          Thanks, "Blogger Bob"! We miss you!

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2011 @ 7:40pm

      Re:

      So basically, you're trotting out the thoroughly debunked "if you have nothing to hide..." fallacy.

      At least put some effort into it next time.

       

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      Kathie, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:42pm

      Re:

      You really think this isn't a line our government will cross? Ever been in the military? Our government has and will continue crossing the line, so as long as we continue being "sheep". Privacy?? Not on your life..

       

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      Rekrul, May 19th, 2011 @ 11:06pm

      Re:

      I havent read the entire act but exactly how could this act be "Abused" and used against a law abiding citizen? They could tap my phone and hear me talking dirty to my girlfriend?

      Have any of you every been abused by this act? Do you really think you will be in your lifetime? What exactly do you have to hide that the government wants to learn about?

      Is it, give them an inch and they will take a mile? I'll have to disagree. There is a line that I wouldnt let them cross but this isnt it.


      And what line is that? Do you realize that the entire patriot act was basically created to negate the rights afforded to US citizens in the Constitution? That by declaring someone a terrorist, all their rights basically get suspended and they can be locked up indefinitely without ever being charged with a crime?

      BTW, if you don't mind being spied on, please install web cams in each room of your home, post their IP addresses, and make sure than that they're online 24/7. After all, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't mind people watching you, right? While you're at it, will you also please post copies of your bank statements, monthly bills, medical history, a list of all family and friends, what TV shows you watch, what stores you shop at, what web sites you visit, etc.

       

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    Mr Big Content, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

    Thank God For The Second Amendment!

    As long as we have that, they can never take our freedoms away.

     

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      Kathie, May 19th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

      Re: Thank God For The Second Amendment!

      How old are you? Has our government helped us? yes.. Do they hide things from us? yes..

      Our freedom is becoming less and less..for the greater good of the country but the country has only been great because we ask the "questions" and challenge those who think they know what is best for the country.

       

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        Christopher (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 2:26am

        Re: Re: Thank God For The Second Amendment!

        Bingo! The Second Amendment doesn't help very much when people have been brainwashed into thinking that it is illegitimate to use it to protest against a government overstepping it's bounds.

         

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      chris (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 7:28am

      Re: Thank God For The Second Amendment!

      As long as we have that, they can never take our freedoms away.

      whatever dude.

      have you seen the gear a marine carries?

      have you seen what an army abrams tank can do?

      watch the collateral murder video and see what a 25mm bushmaster can do to a group of people from miles away. accident or not, they never heard the shots and never saw the helicopter before they were eliminated. they had ak47's and never fired a shot.

      if martial law is declared your moble home full of "huntin' rifles and shootin' irons" won't do you any good against armor, night vision, crew served weapons, and satellite communications.

      if you really want to bear arms against the government, stop reading NRA pamphlets and start learning about asymmetric warfare.

       

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    darryl, May 20th, 2011 @ 4:55am

    OH NO I Agree with Mike

    I think the patriot act is quite stupid, and a good example of the US Gov taking advantage of an "attack", to gain more control.

    The trouble is, once you have a form of power its really hard to give that power up.

    As the US Gov is well aware of.

    Conspriacy people will tell you that the US Gov created the 9/11 attacks specifically to enable them to establish more control. And who is going to argue with US patritism ?

    So if that was in fact the case, there is far to much tied up in the effort to enable the Patriot act invested in it for them to just cancel it.

    Show me any politician who is willing to give up power and authority over the people ?

    So sorry Mike, but on this I have to agree the PA really is a product of the USA and would not be accepted by any other western country.

    GW Bush "if you are not with us, you are with the enemy" I think turned most of the planet agaist him and the US, then he put out the Pat Act and sealed it in law.

    He played the people of Americal like a fiddle, WMD's, axis of evil, not with us you are with them, patriot act, if you are not with us you are not patriotic, blah blah.

    But its a great defense industry money spinner.

     

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    abc gum, May 20th, 2011 @ 5:08am

    How patriotic of them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 5:19am

    Well, they are debating the budget and foreign policy. I would say off the cuff that there is a lot of partisan bickering, but the statements I have heard from the floor of the House and Senate have seemed brief, to the point, and intelligent.

     

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    TS.Atomic (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 6:56am

    Amazing... Progressives bitching about Govt...

    So, you complain that the patriot act is fascism; over-reaching; govt gone wild; abuse of power; unconstitutional; blah, blah, blah. Well, no shit sherlock!

    I don't like the patriot act either, but it is also disgustingly hypocritical when progressives don't utter a freaking peep, but actually fervently support when the govt chips away at all out other freedoms by:
    - controlling what lightbulbs you can use
    - controlling what type of gas you can put in your car (example: seasonal/botique blends. really?)
    - controlling how much water your toilet can use
    - controlling your consumption of trans-fats (see NY's latest bullshit)
    - controlling how/if you can improve your own land (example: small pond deemed "wetlands")
    - controlling when/where/how you can exercise your 2nd amendment rights (obvious)
    - controlling your access to medication your doctor recommends (example: mail-order meds from Canada)
    - controlling who you can buy insurance from (example: Obamacare)
    - controlling the food we buy/sell (example: raw milk)
    - and on and on and on and on and on...

    Yet all of a sudden when the Govt stays true to freakin' character, you get all pissy about it??!!

    You jackass progressives created this monster. Now show us what you can do to leash the damn thing! Let's start with a revival of personal-responsibility, self-determination and a commitment to excellence -- instead of near total reliance upon a nanny-state to provide for your cradle to grave needs and protect you from yourself. Can we try that for a few decades??!!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2011 @ 3:31pm

      Re: Amazing... Progressives bitching about Govt...

      It's only going to get worse before it gets better. That was obvious to me after we elected Obama.

       

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), May 20th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    absolutly no change?
    YES WE CAN!

     

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    Alan, May 20th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Done complaining? Good. Now write.

    I've already written to my representative and senators. Assuming you're in the U.S., have you?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Congress didn't "just" sell us out. Congress sold us out many, many years ago. But if the American people want to just keep taking it and taking it, then it's on them.

     

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