Remember the "Doc-Fix" Bill back in early 2010?
Well the Senate saw fit to "amend" this little gem into its "fine print":
"the Senate inserted the Patriot Act extension."
Simply incredible! And perhaps even more unbelievable is how long they spent "debating" this nod-nod wink-wink sleight of hand:
by Niels Lesniewski, rollcall.com -- June 10, 2013
Last week’s revelations about National Security Agency surveillance programs spawned a lot of talk about the oversight role of Congress. Here’s an indicator of how seriously members took that role in the past: Back in February 2010, final debate on extending the Patriot Act provisions took about 20 seconds on the Senate floor.So that's what a 20 second Senate debate looks like, when considering such "pro-forma" weighty matters of the day. Sure goes by fast, doesn't it.
And, at the time, the Senate didn’t even bother to announce that it was extending key provisions of the law.
[CSpan Video of the procedural Patriot Act extension "vote."]
So what did they "pass" as a part of "Doc Fix" bill, without so much as an honorable mention of the great work these Secret Institutions are doing in the name of "total safety"?
Meredith Shiner covered the story for Politico, and I contributed coverage for CQ.com:[...][...]
One of the expiring provisions allows the government to seek orders from a special federal court for “any tangible thing” that it says is related to a terrorism investigation. Another allows the government to seek court orders for roving wiretaps on terrorism suspects who shift their modes of communication.
The third provision allows the government to apply to the special court for surveillance orders involving suspected “lone wolf” terrorists who do not necessarily have ties to a larger organization. That authority was first enacted as part of a 2004 intelligence overhaul law (PL 108-458).
Is it any wonder we have the government we have, when they hold such spell-binding debates like that, to weigh and balance the complex weighty -- and still secret -- issues of the day.
Twenty Seconds. I've had sneezes that have lasted longer than that. Heh.