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Oops! Amy Klobuchar Inadvertently Speaks in Favor of Civil Liberties Amendment to Explain Why She’s Voting Against It

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent” — Proverbs 17:28

Senator Ted Kaufman may be dumb in the old sense of the word, but he’s not stupid. He’s an interim senator who knows his job: not to open his mouth, but to do the bidding of his long-time boss, Joe Biden, and Biden’s [...]

Patrick Leahy: Don't Worry Your Pretty Little Head None, I'll Monitor Warrantless Surveillance All By Myself

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has just dropped the barest fig leaf onto his vote against the Durbin Amendment, which would restrict warrantless surveillance under national security letters to individuals who are — or who are even just connected to — a suspected terrorist or spy. Patrick Leahy rejected even that standard for warrantless surveillance. [...]

Patrick Leahy: Don’t Worry Your Pretty Little Head None, I’ll Monitor Warrantless Surveillance All By Myself

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has just dropped the barest fig leaf onto his vote against the Durbin Amendment, which would restrict warrantless surveillance under national security letters to individuals who are — or who are even just connected to — a suspected terrorist or spy. Patrick Leahy rejected even that standard for warrantless surveillance. [...]

Richard Durbin Reveals: Library Records of Innocent Americans Taken by the Government Without a Warrant

In a speech given just now in a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, we just heard the following information:

“We now know for a fact that the FBI has issued National Security Letters for the library books of innocent Americans.”

– Senator Richard Durbin, October 8 2009

Senator Durbin is as I write offering [...]

National Security Letters: On the Rise and Used Against Americans

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy described warrant-free National Security Letters in committee proceedings this morning:

They don’t require approval by a court, a grand jury or even a prosecutor. They are issued in secret, with a recipient’s silence under penalty of law. But they allow the government to collect sensitive information such as personal financial [...]

Senators Who Voted Against FISA But Aren't Supporting FISA Reform

S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act, is a bill that would begin to undo the damage to civil liberty wrought by the USA Patriot ACT and the FISA Amendments Act. The bill, introduced last week by Senator Russell Feingold, adds a number of checks on executive power: S. 1686, if passed, would:

* Restrict information collected [...]

Senators Who Voted Against FISA But Aren’t Supporting FISA Reform

S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act, is a bill that would begin to undo the damage to civil liberty wrought by the USA Patriot ACT and the FISA Amendments Act. The bill, introduced last week by Senator Russell Feingold, adds a number of checks on executive power: S. 1686, if passed, would:

* Restrict information collected [...]

Homework: Read and Reflect On S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act

Homework, O ye irregularities adrift in a regular world:

1. Read S. 1686 — the JUSTICE Act, a bill introduced late last week by Democratic Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin. It’s such a new bill that the Library of Congress hasn’t yet processed it and posted it to its THOMAS database system: the full text [...]

Warrantless Wiretapping: Then and Now, Bush and Obama, Feingold and Holder, Illegal or Illegal? (With Transcript)

When reading today’s revelations in the New York Times regarding U.S. government warrantless wiretapping programs, it is crucial that you pay attention to time and tense. Wired Magazine botches the job when it comes to describing a program code named Pinwale. Wired says:

The database, codenamed Pinwale, allows NSA analysts to search through and read [...]

Rep. Carson Joins Call for Congressional Torture and Wiretap Inquiry

This week, Rep. AndrĂ© Carson of Indiana added his name to the growing list of members of the House of Representatives who formally support H.R. 104, John Conyers’ bill to establish an independent investigative commission, complete with subpoena power, to look into the torture, extraordinary rendition and surveillance without warrants that took place during the [...]

Drip, Drip. Two More Support Commission on Torture & Wiretaps

Representatives Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Jim McDermott of Washington have added their support for H.R. 104, a bill to establish a National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties. The commission would have the power to compel testimony through subpoena at its hearings, and would be tasked with generating a public report of [...]