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Time to Discuss the Patriot Act -- Feb 23, 2011

[... Senator Tom Udall: ]

My opposition was unpopular at the time, but when the details of the new law were examined, the breaches on our civil liberties became clearer.

The Patriot Act was hastily passed by a congress left reeling in the wake of the devastating 9-11 attacks. Today, the circumstances have changed and more voices from very different places on the political spectrum agree that the entire law bears scrutiny and debate.

And now, three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act have been extended for three more months: roving wiretaps, government access to 'any tangible items' such as library and business records, and the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.

We can no longer neglect our duty to review the full scope of this law.

Tom Udall:  PATRIOT Act Debate Long Overdue

link to video

Uploaded on May 25, 2011 -- SenatorTomUdall

On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Tom Udall calls for a full debate on the reauthorization of the PATRIOT with the opportunity for amendments.
Partial Transcript:
[... Senator Tom Udall: ]

I just want to read a short passage from the Washington Post at the time, that shows the haste in which we acted -- where we infringed upon our Constitutional Rights. I think the Post really says it all. The Washington Post noted, quote:

    Members of both Parties complained they had no idea what they were voting on ... were fearful that aspects of the Bill went too far, yet voted for it anyway.
end-quote. [...]

Ten years later, almost ten years later, we haven't had the debate that we need to have on this piece of Legislation.

(Hmmm?  What else was spurring them on to pass-it-now -- that little-debated invert-the-Constitution NSA-empowering Bill?)

Here's what those "fearful" congress-persons DID pass in their great haste, and personal gripping shock:

The Patriot Act: Probable Cause and Due Process

by Charles Montaldo, Guide

The Patriot Act basically extends the government's foreign intelligence surveillance powers over potential "domestic" terrorists, including American citizens. Several of its more controversial provisions include:
 -- Federal agents may conduct surveillance and searches against U.S. citizens without "probable cause" to suspect criminal activity. The targeted person is not notified and cannot challenge the action.

  -- Agents can conduct "sneak-and-peek" searches without prior notice in common domestic crime investigations. Before the Patriot Act, courts required law enforcement to "knock and announce" themselves before conducting searches.

  -- Government agents now have access to any person's business or personal records. These include library records, book-buying habits, medical, marital counseling or psychiatric files, business records, Internet habits, and credit reports.

  -- The government no longer has to give notice, obtain a warrant or a subpoena, or show probable cause that a crime has been committed. Persons turning over personal data to the government (such as librarians, co-workers or neighbors) are prohibited, under threat of federal criminal prosecution, from telling anyone they did so.

Yes it just might be time for a Retrospective Review.  How are we doing?  How did those "enhanced powers" work out, for everyone?  

Are we eroding the very things we hope to protect?  Like our Constitution.

Enter Senator Udall "Dos" along with a few other notable Tweets from today:

The Colorado Senator sounds like a guy with his priorities in the right place:

Stand - Mark Udall for Colorado Ad

link to video

Uploaded on May 13, 2008 -- UdallForColorado

[Senator Mark Udall: ]

Standing on your own: that's just the Colorado way, and it's what America's got to do with our energy policy. Which is why I've led Republicans and Democrats to end our addiction to foreign oil, develop renewable fuels, and provide tax incentives to grow Colorado's new energy economy.

We need energy solutions -- green jobs and a cleaner future -- for Colorado.

I'm Mark Udall and I approve this message because we've got to get this right.

Well said Senators Udall:  "We've got to get this right."

If not us, who?  If not now, when?   Maybe after another ten years of living with constant fear and universal suspicion?

Updated:  Here's the link to the clip:

Sen. Mark Udall on 'This Week' -- 06/09/2013

The Colorado Senator is calling for a re-opening of the Patriot Act.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Sun Jun 09, 2013 at 08:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity and New Mexico Kossaks.

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