Library decision hopeful move against secrecy

Freedom Newspapers We were skeptical about a revision incorporated into the Patriot Act when it was reauthorized earlier this year. But a decision to allow a library group in Connecticut to let others know that it had been served what is called a national security letter (NSL) demanding information that might be useful in a […]

Patriot Act limit positive sign for freedom

Freedom Newspapers Although it was in some ways a tribute to Congress’ bumbling ways, the outcome for the USA Patriot Act — an extension for only five weeks, until Feb. 5 — was an unalloyed defeat for the Bush administration. The president had repeatedly said he would not accept a “short-term extension.” But in the […]

FBI’s reporting requirements need beefing up

Freedom Newspapers The FBI has committed at least 13 violations of the guidelines governing its conduct under the Patriot Act serious enough to be referred to the Intelligence Oversight Board. That’s an arm of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which is charged with examining violations of laws and directives. These facts came to light […]

Group voicing Constitutional concerns

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Bruce Journagan, CAN DO spokesperson, reads a copy of the Constitution in his home. (Staff writer: Marlena Hartz) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer The Constitution is in Bruce Journagan’s back pocket. It isn’t always there, but he does try to keep a copy nearby — sometimes in a pocket, sometimes on his end table, […]

Sunset changes in Patriot Act not acceptable

Freedom Newspapers T he sadly misnamed Patriot Act, which grants federal law enforcement a laundry list of powers it had sought throughout the 1990s, but which Republicans in Congress opposed until 9/11, is in its final stages of reauthorization. A conference committee between the House and Senate is expected to begin meeting this week or […]

Patriot Act change hopefully sign of reform to come

Freedom Newspapers In what may be a sign that President Bush is beginning to experience the “second-term blues,” the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 238-187 to prevent appropriated funds from being used to secretly obtain library patrons’ and book shoppers’ records, as allowed under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Although President Bush has […]

Reform more important than government power

Freedom Newspapers As President Bush would have it, the choice is simple. Either Congress renews the USA Patriot Act intact, with all the new powers for government now scheduled to “sunset” at the end of year and a few new ones to boot, or America will be fighting terrorism with one hand tied behind its […]

Patriot Act needs toning down, revision

Freedom Newspapers The debate in Congress over the USA Patriot Act, portions of which are scheduled to “sunset” at the end of this year, will not take place for months. But it’s heartening to see that a coalition of liberals and conservatives that has raised concerns about portions of the law is still together and […]

Patriot Act violates more than one amendment

Freedom Newspapers A recent decision by a U.S. district judge in New York is a welcome affirmation of the American constitutional scheme, which has — or should have — personal liberty as its core. The judge struck down a provision of the Patriot Act that expanded the power of the FBI to force certain businesses […]

EDITORIAL: Judges’ tough scrutiny a needed practice

A decision by federal Judge Audrey B. Collins in Los Angeles to strike down a portion of the sweeping anti-terrorism law passed in haste after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, looks like a heartening sign that the judiciary system might be ready to get back in the game of protecting the liberties of […]