] By signing the bill on the day of Hussein's capture, Bush
] effectively consigned a dramatic expansion of the USA
] Patriot Act to a mere footnote. Consequently, while most
] Americans watched as Hussein was probed for head lice,
] few were aware that the FBI had just obtained the power
] to probe their financial records, even if the feds don't
] suspect their involvement in crime or terrorism.
] The Senate passed it with a voice vote to avoid
] individual accountability. While broadening the
] definition of "financial institution," the Bush
] administration is ramping up provisions within the 2001
] USA Patriot Act, which granted the FBI the authority to
] obtain client records from banks by merely requesting the
] records in a "National Security Letter." To get the
] records, the FBI doesn't have to appear before a judge,
] nor demonstrate "probable cause" - reason to believe that
] the targeted client is involved in criminal or terrorist
] activity. Moreover, the National Security Letters are
] attached with a gag order, preventing any financial
] institution from informing its clients that their records
] have been surrendered to the FBI. If a financial
] institution breaches the gag order, it faces criminal
] penalties. And finally, the FBI will no longer be
] required to report to Congress how often they have used
] the National Security Letters.
How the hell was this able to happen without public discourse and debate!?!?!?!
This is the first I have heard of this. We can't let our government tinker with laws that effect our civil liberties without pubic discourse. This is really, really, really, serious. Something needs to be done! This is a _BIG_ problem! The laws that protect our rights are being changed, and great lengths are being gone through to keep it secret!
If this can happen without a hitch, then anything can happen without a hitch. I think we can officially declare now, that we have lost control of our country to this current Administration, and they are in the process of destroying what has made America powerful and great, our openness. If this type of "governing" is allowed to continue, we might as well give this country a new name and flag, because its changed.
I don't believe I'm hearing about this FIFTEEN DAYS after its been signed into law.
Patriot II slowly being signed into law under our noses...