The Talking Lion

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Be very very quiet, I'm hunting civil liberties

Today's lead edit in the New York Times left me frustrated, but not surprised.

You see back when the Patriot Act was passed in the aftermath of 9/11, many of the provisions had "sunset clauses" which put a time limit on how long the many of the sections of the bill. Now that these provisions are about to expire, Congress is considering renewing them and/or making them permanent. According to the NYT,
Now that opportunity is here, and far from removing obvious threats to
civil liberties in the law, the White House and eager Senate Republicans seem
bent on making it worse. Citizens who want to keep an eye on the process will
have no easy task. The most crucial debates of the Senate Intelligence Committee are being kept closed to the public.

Apparently, Senators love irony. The whole frustration with the first Patriot Act was the fact that it was passed so quickly before there could be any sort of real debate on the provisions. So now, four years later, after many Congressmen have turned against the Patriot Act after taking a closer look, the Senate is going to try and quietly sneak this through and hope that nobody notices. This is beyond an outrage. This is flat out insulting.

Considering what happened with the originial Patriot act, the public has a right to know what's going on, which Senators are saying what and how these lawmakers came to their decisions. Every single citizen should receive a transcript of these hearings and the rest of the deabte/deliberations concerning what happened with this act the first time around.

I just hope people raise a fuss about this. And I hope this kind of thing makes it to the front page of the NYT in the form of a news story instead of the Lead Editorial on page A22.

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