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85 Days Left to Reform the Patriot Act: Will Senate Judiciary Do It Today? (The Answer is No.)

With Congress’ decision last month to issue a short-term reauthorization of Patriot Act surveillance powers came a promise by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to at least reform these provisions by adding some modest safeguards.

That just may happen in today’s Senate Judiciary business meeting. Markup of S.193 (the USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension [...]

Another Month Gone Without Any Investigation of FBI Lawbreaking

This January, the FBI finally acknowledged that for years, it spied on Americans’ telephone calls without judicial warrants. The bureau gained access to the phone calls of everyday Americans, journalists and entire American news bureaus by claiming the existence of emergencies, telling stories about impending terrorist attacks that were completely false. These aren’t just violations [...]

On Patrick Leahy’s Agenda: Pie

What Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy Has the Time to Announce in Committee

There are two things I should note. One, I was a couple of minutes late coming in here. It was Senator Franken’s fault, because Mrs. Franken makes some of the greatest pies in the world, and I was coming by and [...]

After 414 Days In Office Obama Still Has No Civil Liberties Board

Federal law requires the President of the United States to appoint a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. This board is to be placed within the White House but given independent status. Fusion centers are proliferating across the country and taking on the power to construct disseminate government profiles of innocent Americans; administrators and officers [...]

Congress Ignores FBI’s Illegal Invention of Terrorist Plots

It’s been six weeks now since it was discovered that the FBI had invented the existence of absolutely fake terrorist plots in order to grab American journalists’ phone records to find the source of a politically embarrassing leak.

The FBI avoided the use of a warrant thanks to the passage of the Patriot Act. [...]

House Moves for Surveillance Hearings; Senate Moves for More Surveillance

It’s been more than a month since it was revealed that the FBI:

1. Broke the law, 2. Violated the constitution and 3. Lied in order to 4. Obtain Americans’ phone records 5. Without a warrant, in order to 6. Find and stop the source of embarrassing leaks to the media.

In the House of [...]

House and Senate Judiciary Committees React to Illegal FBI Phone Snoop… with What?

It’s been three weeks now since the revelation that the FBI:

1. Broke the law, 2. Violated the constitution and 3. Lied in order to 4. Obtain Americans’ phone records 5. Without a warrant, in order to 6. Find and stop the source of embarrassing leaks to the media.

This is Watergate-level stuff we’re talking [...]

Which Congressional Leaders Speak Against Illegal FBI Spying?

If we are going to get a serious inquiry into the FBI’s invention of terrorist conspiracy stories in order to spy against Americans, we’re most likely to get that inquiry started by Representative Nadler, Senator Leahy or Senator Feingold. The remaining congressional Democratic leaders don’t seem to care enough about the integrity of Americans’ constitutional freedoms to raise a peep of opposition to the FBI abuses. [...]

YouTube Nearly Silent On Patrick Leahy's Betrayal On Patriot Act

The only related video is one from way back in 2007, when Patrick Leahy struck a pose of opposing the Patriot Act as he was interviewing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. [...]

Reprise: Patriot Act Heroes and Zeroes on the Senate Judiciary Committee

(A hat tip to Ramone for the suggestion)

If you were hibernating in the early part of October, you missed the spectacle of eight blind donkeys rearing on their hind legs in an acrobatic effort to form the shape of an all-seeing eye.

On October 1 and October 8, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to [...]

No Senate Democratic Voices Against Patriot Act Abuses

Progressive Democrats now have a choice. They can: A) Agree to join their leaders in embracing the Republican politics of fear; or B) Speak out clearly to Democrats in the House and Senate that if the Patriot Act’s abuses are extended, progressive support for the Democratic Party will come to an end [...]