Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.
“I think it is one of the most outrageous examples of the stepping on the Constitution I’ve heard. They have no right to the phone records… It is illegal, it is unconstitutional, and it is deplorable. I didn’t like it when they did it during the Bush administration and I don’t like when they’re doing it now.”
“They have taken this PATRIOT Act, which I think was the most dangerous act passed, and they have taken it and abused it,” Beck added. “You talk about fascism? You’re getting damn close to it."
Samspade hit the nail on the head! It is hard to blame the Patriot Act for the NSA surveillance event, when section 215 was abused by Eric Holder. I can blame Bush for many of his actions, but this event is all on the Obama administration. Why am I surprised that the Obama administration is abusing their power
I knew the PA would be extremely abused for blatantly political purposes when Demoncrats gained power. Therefore, I was against it for that reason. It appears that the PA has been overstepped even as it is presently stated.
I liked the parts about having all of these different databases actually being able to be reconciled to aid in investigating and locating terrorist activity. However, there would be an already selected list of potential suspects.
I am in a situation where the telephone in my home makes semi-regular calls to Iran. I have no problem with this setting off an investigative flag. If they want to waste resources on translators to learn about who is having a baby, getting married, etc., they can go for it.
What’s the purpose of laws or bills, if they will be abused? When an administration abuses powers, there should be consequences. It is not the Patriot Act’s fault for Holder abusing section 215 of the Patriot Act. If the framers went with logic “someday,someone will come along and abuse it”, then the Constitution would have never been created because they knew someone would eventually abuse the document. It is not the authors of the Patriot Act fault, it is the abusers fault.
[quote=“StephenGOP, post:14, topic:39733”]
It is not the Patriot Act’s fault for Holder abusing section 215 of the Patriot Act. If the framers went with logic “someday,someone will come along and abuse it”, then the Constitution would have never been created because they knew someone would eventually abuse the document. It is not the authors of the Patriot Act fault, it is the abusers fault.
[/quote]An interesting argument that may have some truth to it, BUT I think in this case the PA itself was so badly written that it lends itself to abuse much much more than the Constitution ever would.
Is Holder culpable? Certainly.
Was the PA poorly written? Yes, and that too goes into the mix when you consider why it is (so easily) abused.
In the Patriot Act (I think part of section 215), it states (I am paraphrasing) that a suspect to an investigation can only be subject to an investigation if there is mounting evidence that is not solely based on the activity of the first amendment. This leads me to believe that Holder abused his power.
Stephen, (and I cotton to the Irish spelling of your name), the Patriot Act had “abuse of power” written all over it. They could go into phone records, tap lines, go into e-mail exchanges amongst and between other without a warrant.
In the face of what was going on at the time, it all sounded good and plausible, as why in the heck would we warrant our enemies before we caught them?!
Okay, I get that.
However, it’s being exploited beyond all reason already.
The part to the Patriot Act that did make sense was when President Bush realized that we had all these agencies; the FBI, the CIA, the SS, etc., that weren’t working together. Had they, perhaps we wouldn’t have jets flying into the towers on a direct attack against the USA.
THAT part of it, I get.
Now let’s not get stupid. The U.S. Intelligence Agency wouldn’t be very intelligent if it let our enemies know they were on to them before they had all the intelligence necessary to expunge them.
Serve a warrant, and you have to forewarn the enemy that you’re on to them.
But we had all this capability far long and prior to September of 2001.
Then, as if it’s some advent of knowledge, the U.S., lo’ and behold, realizes there are a LOT more enemies residing IN the U.S. than they ever thought. So it expanded the ‘espionage’ to look where they never otherwise sought looking.
“Well, where do we look?”, they ask.
“Everywhere”, answers Gov’t.
Thus, this is we have today.
While I completely understand that you don’t give the enemy a heads up, this power of theirs has far expanded its original purpose.