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American Democratic Values Slowly, Gradually VANISHING


Sep 23, 2005
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The only acceptable outcome is not to restrain certain parts of the "Patriot" Act, but to completely and totally do away with the law itself:

Congress May Curb Some Patriot Act Powers By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 1 minute ago

WASHINGTON - Congress is moving to curb some of the police powers it gave the Bush administration after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, including imposing new restrictions on the FBI's access to private phone and financial records.

A budding House-Senate deal on the expiring USA Patriot Act includes new limits on federal law enforcement powers and rejects the Bush administration's request to grant the FBI authority to get administrative subpoenas for wiretaps and other covert devices without a judge's approval.

Even with the changes, however, every part of the law set to expire Dec. 31 would be reauthorized and most of those provisions would become permanent.

Civil libertarians lauded the deal's preliminary terms, saying recent accounts of the FBI's aggressive use of national security letters have lent credibility to their call for caution.

"Without those checks and balances, there will be abuses," said former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., of Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances.

Polls show that most Americans do not distinguish between the Patriot Act and the war on terror, and a majority knows little about the four-year-old law. But the more Americans know about the Patriot Act, the less they like.

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