Still Trust Your FBI "Patriots"?


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Specialized
May 24, 2005, 04:41 PM
This is the first confirmation I've heard that this was coming. Not a good sign, folks -- I don't care what political affiliation you are, there are principles our country stands for that should never be trifled with. Protection from secret searches and siezures without judicial oversight, for WHATEVER reason, are one of them. Please note the 3rd paragraph.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/24/AR2005052400746_pf.html

FBI asks US Congress for power to seize documents

By Alan Elsner
Reuters
Tuesday, May 24, 2005; 1:06 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI on Tuesday asked the U.S. Congress for sweeping new powers to seize business or private records, ranging from medical information to book purchases, to investigate terrorism without first securing approval from a judge.

Valerie Caproni, FBI general counsel, told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee her agency needed the power to issue what are known as administrative subpoenas to get information quickly about terrorist plots and the activities of foreign agents.

Civil liberties groups have complained the subpoenas, which would cover medical, tax, gun-purchase, book purchase, travel and other records and could be kept secret, would give the FBI too much power and could infringe on privacy and free speech.

"This type of subpoena authority would allow investigators to obtain relevant information quickly in terrorism investigations, where time is often of the essence," Caproni testified.

The issue of administrative subpoenas dominated the hearing, which was called to discuss reauthorization of clauses of the USA Patriot Act due to expire at the end of this year.

The act was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. However administrative subpoena power was not in the original law. The proposed new powers, long sought by the FBI, have been added by Republican lawmakers, acting on the wishes of the Bush administration, to the new draft of the USA Patriot Act.

Committee chairman, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, noted that other government agencies already had subpoena power to investigate matters such as child pornography, drug investigations and medical malpractice. He said it made little sense to deny those same powers to the FBI to investigate terrorism or keep track of foreign intelligence agents.

But opponents said other investigations usually culminated in a public trial, whereas terrorism probes would likely remain secret and suspects could be arrested or deported or handed over to other countries without any public action.

CLOSED HEARING

Roberts intends to hold a closed meeting on Thursday, above the objections of some Democrats, to move the legislation forward out of his committee. But the provision still faces a long road before it becomes law, since the Senate Judiciary Committee also has jurisdiction over the bill, while the House of Representatives is drawing up its own legislation.

Democrats on the committee expressed concerns and pressed Caproni to give examples of cases where the lack of such powers had hampered an investigation.

"I am not aware of any time in which Congress has given directly to the FBI subpoena authority. That doesn't make it right or wrong. It just needs to be thought about," said West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller.

Caproni said she could not cite a case where a bomb had exploded because the FBI lacked this power, but that did not mean one could not explode tomorrow.

She gave a theoretical example of a case where the FBI suspected that a terrorist was about to do something but did not exactly where he was. In such a case, it might subpoena hotel or EZ-pass records, which would show where and when he had driven through toll booths in the eastern United States.

Under the proposed legislation, those served with subpoenas would have the right to challenge them in court. But civil liberties groups said few were likely to do so, and the person being investigated would be unlikely even to know that the FBI was seeking his personal records.

For example, if the FBI demanded a person's medical records from his doctor, the doctor could challenge the order if he wished, but the individual could not.

"Ordinary citizens are storing information not in their homes or even on portable devices but on networks, under the control of service providers who can be served with compulsory process and never have to tell the subscribers that their privacy has been invaded," said James Dempsey of the Center for Democracy, one of several groups opposing the provision.

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Mr. X
May 24, 2005, 05:02 PM
I never did and Ruby Ridge was far more persuassive than things like this if ever I wondered why I don't trust them; J. Edgar Hoover's mismanagement and secret files are probably the germ of why I never trusted them to start with.

Control Group
May 24, 2005, 05:09 PM
...would give the FBI too much power and could infringe on privacy and free speech
It depresses me that that's the counterargument being made. Whatever happened to "because it's wrong," or "because that's not the way this country is supposed to work"?

When you've begun having to justify your rights, you've already lost them.

R.H. Lee
May 24, 2005, 05:37 PM
Doesn't a 'subpoena' by definition require judicial review as a basic component? What is an 'administrative subpoena'? It sounds like an egregious and clearly unconstitutional and illegal overreach of power to me.

And the sooner the so-called 'Patriot Act' expires the better. When .gov gets serious about borders, I might begin to believe they're serious about a "War on Terror". :mad:

rick_reno
May 24, 2005, 05:55 PM
Great idea - if it gets us closer to winnning the "War on Terror" I'm all for it. Why don't they assign us each an agent and be done with this nonsense. He/she will be with us 7X24 and be able to report back to SS - strike that - FBI headquarters whenever we do something we shouldn't.

"Ordinary citizens are storing information not in their homes or even on portable devices but on networks, under the control of service providers who can be served with compulsory process and never have to tell the subscribers that their privacy has been invaded," said James Dempsey of the Center for Democracy, one of several groups opposing the provision.

I guess this will show those "ordinary citizens" who is in charge. I hope it passes.

Standing Wolf
May 24, 2005, 07:18 PM
When you've begun having to justify your rights, you've already lost them.

Yep. You don't have rights if you've got to explain or justify them, if you're afraid to exercise them, or you need government permission to exercise them. They might be relics, but they're not still rights.

Art Eatman
May 24, 2005, 07:34 PM
It struck me at the time of the original anti-terror legislation after 9/11 that fear was the great motivator, and that the terms of the legislation provided far more protection to The Powers That Be (TPTB) than for "just folks". That is, overall, the higher-level elected officials and appointees and the upper-echelon GS types benefit far more from the legislation than you or I.

As one looks at how the TSA operates; or, as talked about a lot here, our borders: Are we running short of mature adults? Is anybody really minding the store?

This Caproni thinks that you'll catch a terrorist via "EZ Pass"? Northeastern toll roads don't take change? 'Scuse me, is a terrorist gonna actually get itself an EZ Pass?

"Blessed are they who run around in circles, for they shall be known as Wheels."

Pardon the rant, but I've read more drivel from Officialdom these last nearly-four years than I'd have ever believed possible. What bothers me most is that they seem to believe it.

Art

dasmi
May 24, 2005, 07:36 PM
Roberts intends to hold a closed meeting on Thursday, above the objections of some Democrats,

Hey Republicans, WAKE THE HELL UP. You should be screaming louder than anyone about this. Smaller government, remember?

foghornl
May 24, 2005, 07:39 PM
Haven't trusted the Fibbys in nearly 30 years, after dealing with them once when I was an Auxillary Reserve Deputy Sheriff.

Nothing I have seen has changed my opinion.

rick_reno
May 24, 2005, 07:42 PM
Hey Republicans, WAKE THE HELL UP. You should be screaming louder than anyone about this. Smaller government, remember?

Those were the old style Republicans. These new ones are spend, reduce liberty, spend, reduce liberty, spend...One postive thing about the new Republicans is they're a lot more entertaining to watch.

2nd Amendment
May 24, 2005, 07:42 PM
Don't fear. Someone will soon be along to tell us all how this really is a good thing and you're all simply wearing your tinfoil too tight. Seriously...

Sindawe
May 24, 2005, 08:13 PM
Hey, if you have nothing to hide, whats your worry? It is for the betterment and safety of everybody. If the NKV^H^H^H F.B.I. want to have a look at what your reading, what your medical records show and the like, why should you object? How else can they stop those evil unterme^H^H^H^H^H^H^H TERRORISTS from attacking the Homeland? Hmmmm?One postive thing about the new Republicans is they're a lot more entertaining to watch. Sorta like a train wreck eh Rick?

RevDisk
May 24, 2005, 09:34 PM
It depresses me that that's the counterargument being made. Whatever happened to "because it's wrong," or "because that's not the way this country is supposed to work"?

When you've begun having to justify your rights, you've already lost them.

Because numerous references to the US Constitution is a criteria of being viewed as a suspected terrorist by some federal agencies. Gods, I wish I was making that up.


Doesn't a 'subpoena' by definition require judicial review as a basic component? What is an 'administrative subpoena'? It sounds like an egregious and clearly unconstitutional and illegal overreach of power to me.

Basically an 'administrative subpoena' is when a non-judge person can sign off on an alleged subpoena. Apparently it is when the subject matter is a popular "get tough on crime" issue. Drugs, etc.

Your assessment is rather accurate.


"One postive thing about the new Republicans is they're a lot more entertaining to watch."

Sorta like a train wreck eh Rick?

Ouch. Sadly, I had the same thought.

I was watching C-SPAN on the Dems going on about the judges. Apparently, the Dems signed off on 95% of the judges and had issues about some judges that do not fit legal criteria. The one Congresscritter from Maryland meantioned that Bush wanted a judge from outside Maryland (a non-resident) who was not a member of the Maryland Bar to serve as a judge for Maryland. Call me a loony, but I don't think it's too much to ask for a judge to be from the area he or she is presiding in. Asking him or her to be licensed to actually practice the law shouldn't even be an issue, from what I understand it's already a requirement.

Filibusters already are slightly controlled. Cloture rule, requiring 60-vote threshold to end debate. We already have a one party govt. Passing more restrictions on the minority party is a bad idea. Balance is rather important, and for a long time it kept something of a balance or at least slowed down the corrosion of our freedoms.

I do not like to think what will happen once a single party not only gains control of all three branches of govt, but also manages to effectively remove any tools of opposition from the other party. No good can become of this.

(I won't even bother to touch on the hypocrisy of certain Congresscritters calling judicial filibusters "illegal" or "persecution", after said Congresscritters have done the same thing in the past.)

javafiend
May 24, 2005, 10:19 PM
Hey Republicans, WAKE THE HELL UP. You should be screaming louder than anyone about this. Smaller government, remember?

Just wait til Chuck Schumer is appointed FBI Director...

Blue Line
May 24, 2005, 10:21 PM
Chuckie won't let'em have guns any more!

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