Patriot Act II - FBI wants subpoena power without permission from a judge/grand jury


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rick_reno
May 19, 2005, 09:30 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050519/ap_on_go_co/patriot_act_1

WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is working on a bill that would renew the Patriot Act and expand government powers in the name of fighting terrorism, letting the FBI subpoena records without permission from a judge or grand jury.

Much of the debate in Congress has concerned possibly limiting some of the powers in the anti-terrorism law passed 45 days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But the measure being written by Sen. Pat Roberts (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., would give the FBI new power to issue administrative subpoenas, which are not reviewed by a judge or grand jury, for quickly obtaining records, electronic data or other evidence in terrorism investigations, according to aides for the GOP majority on the committee who briefed reporters Wednesday.

Recipients could challenge the subpoenas in court and the Bush administration would have to report to Congress twice a year exactly how it was using this investigatory power, the aides said.

The administration has sought this power for two years, but so far been rebuffed by lawmakers. It is far from certain that Congress will give the administration everything it wants this year.

Roberts' planned bill also would make it easier for prosecutors to use special court-approved warrants for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies in criminal cases, the committee aides said.

Eight expiring sections of the law that deal with foreign intelligence investigations would become permanent, they said.

So, too, would a provision that authorizes wiretapping of suspected terrorists who operate without clear ties to a particular terrorist network.

The aides spokes on condition of anonymity because Roberts has yet to make public the bill's contents.

Opponents of expanding the Patriot Act said Roberts' proposal would amount to an expansive wish list for the administration.

"While we're fighting to bring provisions ... back into balance with the Bill of Rights, here we have the intelligence committee moving to give the government more power outside the judicial system to gain access to records of Americans," said former GOP Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, a critic of the law.

Lisa Graves, the American Civil Liberties Union's senior counsel for legislative strategy, said the new subpoena power would "be a dramatic expansion of secret search powers."

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other administration officials have been adamant that the expiring provisions become permanent, with few changes.

They also have pushed for the administrative subpoena power, which they say prosecutors already are using in health care fraud and other criminal cases.

Justice Department officials have been consulted on the legislation and offered technical advice, department spokesman Kevin Madden said.

"The Department of Justice appreciates that the Senate Intelligence Committee has signaled their intention to support provisions that enhance law enforcement's ability to combat terrorism effectively," Madden said.

Committee aides said the committee planned to meet in private when it considers the bill because the discussions would involve intelligence operations.

Barr said he was distressed that the committee "would do something like this in secret."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., the panel's senior Democrat, has not said publicly whether he would support the entire bill that Roberts was working on or seek changes.

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Sergeant Sabre
May 19, 2005, 11:26 AM
...expand government powers ...

That's what it's all about :cuss:

Can you imagine an FBI that could just tell you "You need to turn over such-and-such documents, or else you are in violation of the law". A body that both MAKES and ENFORCES the law???? Through nothing more than an administrative action, could make criminals out of citizens just for being "suspect"???? :what:

Control Group
May 19, 2005, 11:40 AM
Anything to help win the war against Oceania.

Whoops - I mean terrorism.

Waitone
May 19, 2005, 11:50 AM
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other administration officials have been adamant that the expiring provisions become permanent, with few changes.

They also have pushed for the administrative subpoena power, which they say prosecutors already are using in health care fraud and other criminal cases. No. If it is inconvenient or time consuming to get the signature of a judge, HIRE MORE FREAKIN' JUDGES TO WORK 3RD SHIFT. Just because administrative subpoenas are currently being used does not make it right. It just makes it what is.

Separation of powers in enforcement and adjudication is a good thing.

rick_reno
May 19, 2005, 12:00 PM
I'm wondering if this isn't the Bush end-around plan to get around the problem he's having getting judges approved. They're so clever they're planning for a justice system with NO judges. :)

buzz_knox
May 19, 2005, 12:54 PM
The FBI already has the power to issue administrative subpoenas in other areas of criminal investigation (such as child porn). The fact is that they are often used to provide cover to businesses that want to provide the information voluntarilly, but are afraid of getting sued without some form of legal protection.

By the way, many regulatory agencies already have the authority to make law via regulations (which have the same force and effect as the implementing legislation) and to enforce said regulations.

Not saying all this is right, it's just funny that people are complaining about something that's already fact in areas unrelated to the war on terror.

dave3006
May 19, 2005, 03:59 PM
All you bushies who support this will love it when President Hillary takes charge. Patriot I and Patriot II will be a blast.

dasmi
May 19, 2005, 04:01 PM
Note to Congress, President Bush, and the rest:

Knock it off. I can't take much more of this crap, and neither can a very large section of the population.

ny32182
May 19, 2005, 04:03 PM
Down the slippery slope we go...

buzz_knox
May 19, 2005, 04:07 PM
How about this? No one posts in a Patriot Act thread unless they've called/e-mailed/written their Senator or Representative to express their extreme displeasure with it. It's time we stopped complaining to the choir and doing something about it.

Vernal45
May 19, 2005, 04:10 PM
Down the slippery slope we go...

We have hit the bottom already. All of this is the result of that bouncing around from that long slide.

Can'thavenuthingood
May 19, 2005, 06:31 PM
All the laws ought to have a sunset provision. If they are any good, they can be extended or renewed.
If they are already using administrative subpoena power without a judges approval, it ought to stop. On the other hand, if they have a history of using administrative subpoena power, why do they need additional law? To confuse the issue? A CYA move? or further cementing of standard operating procedure?

I for one am ready to risk living with the thought of maybe there is a terrorist around the next corner waiting for me. I've had enough of big and bigger government protecting me. Leave me alone. They are beginning to take the risk and fun out of life.

This would negate the whole reason for a Judicial branch of government. Too much power or authority going to the Executive branch. Not enough sense or backbone in the Legislative branch.

Sunset provisions for all laws, give them a 5 yr. test run, tune'em up or trash'em.

Vick

Biker
May 19, 2005, 06:58 PM
Well said Can..ummm..Can...uh whatchacallit. :)
Biker

javafiend
May 19, 2005, 07:29 PM
All you bushies who support this will love it when President Hillary takes charge. Patriot I and Patriot II will be a blast.

And I bet anyone that such powers would be used to investigate "domestic militia terrorist groups" - er, I mean gun owners. Can you imagine if the next FBI Director is Charles Schumer?

2nd Amendment
May 19, 2005, 07:52 PM
Said on another board in regards to this issue:

They aren't preparing for terrorists, they're preparing for the revolt.

I never quite framed it in that context but now, seeing it put that bluntly, I have to say that is pretty much what it looks like.

itgoesboom
May 19, 2005, 08:16 PM
They aren't preparing for terrorists, they're preparing for the revolt.

There is still time to prevent that. There is still time to work within the system. There is still time for America to go back to what America is supposed to be, without bloodshed.

I.G.B.

Standing Wolf
May 19, 2005, 09:11 PM
George III is laughing himself silly beyond the grave.

dustind
May 19, 2005, 09:22 PM
How about this? No one posts in a Patriot Act thread unless they've called/e-mailed/written their Senator or Representative to express their extreme displeasure with it. It's time we stopped complaining to the choir and doing something about it. Do you have any evidence that no one is doing anything about it? This is a message board. We are here to talk to each other. If we cut out everything that was unproductive there would be very few posts and everyone would quit because we would have almost nothing to talk about.

While I am at it. Everyone who disagrees with me on anything is a racist and/or Nazi. Now I am going to hop on my high horse and ride out of here with a false sense that I won the debate. :neener:

rock jock
May 19, 2005, 09:50 PM
They aren't preparing for terrorists, they're preparing for the revolt. Maybe this thought gives some folks a feeling of self-importance, as though the gummit thugs are bringing all their resources to bear to watch them and prepare for their frightful resistance, but I really think the average fed agent would find it instead amusing.

Waitone
May 19, 2005, 09:58 PM
I am not one for elaborate conspiracy theories, but when you consider the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on barring the front door and the implementation of intrusive litigation, search, and surveallance (?sp) yet stubbornly refuse to take any measures what so ever to deal with the wide-open back door. . . . . . you really have to wonder.

R.H. Lee
May 19, 2005, 10:01 PM
Why even bother with a subpoena? Just kick down the door and take what you want. Hey, it worked for the Kremlin, for awhile.

Alex45ACP
May 19, 2005, 10:06 PM
I'm seriously starting to go into a major depression over this stuff. I mean it literally keeps me awake at night. We're turning into a police state, and nobody cares :( This is exactly what my grandparents came here to escape from, and all the same mistakes are being repeated.

Combat-wombat
May 19, 2005, 10:09 PM
I'm seriously starting to go into a major depression over this stuff. I mean it literally keeps me awake at night. We're turning into a police state, and nobody cares
Same here. Stuff like this really mentally wears me down.

RevDisk
May 19, 2005, 11:38 PM
How about this? No one posts in a Patriot Act thread unless they've called/e-mailed/written their Senator or Representative to express their extreme displeasure with it. It's time we stopped complaining to the choir and doing something about it.

With the first Patriot Act, there was no chance to do so. The Congresscritters themselves by and large did not see the text they voted on. I heard this from an interview of Ron Paul, explaining his experiences with the Patriot Act vote.

How the heck are we supposed to tell Congresscritters not to vote on something we nor they have/can read?

Even so, most Congresscritters are afraid of being labeled un-patriotic for voting against ueber-patriotic bills that strip freedom. The Real ID act passed without a single dissent. I have few doubts that future Patriot Acts will be passed with little to no dissent. I do call and express my displeasure anyways. More than one politician told me privately that they cannot vote against patriotic sounding bills, as they'll be roasted alive on re-election and often their own party will turn on them for doing so.

Wonderful.


I'm seriously starting to go into a major depression over this stuff. I mean it literally keeps me awake at night. We're turning into a police state, and nobody cares This is exactly what my grandparents came here to escape from, and all the same mistakes are being repeated.

Eh. I worry about it too. But I have a dozen other things to worry about. But we've been going towards that since the Civil War, and made huge leaps towards a truly authoritarian govt during the '30's. War on vague concepts legalized previous behavior that existed, but was illegal.

Do your best. Write your Congresscritters. If you can, donate a couple bucks or time/services to freedom organizations. GOA, EFF, EPIC, etc. If possible, run for office yourself. I do not think such behavior even on a large scale will turn back the clock on authoritarian govt, but it might slow it down. Maybe buy some time.

Spend some time educating yourself. Buy more books, read them. Learn new skills that might someday come in handy. Knowing how to repair small engines or some electrician skills might come in handy even if things don't hit a wall.

Network. Find like minded friends. Not saying you have to start a Waco style compound, but form a mild support network of bartering. Might save ya a couple bucks anyways.

Being prepared for rather remote circumstances is much like insurance. You should hope you never need it, but have it just in case.

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