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Congress endorses, extends Patriot Act abuses

By Doug Thompson
February 26, 2010

Congress, under a Democratic leadership that once promised to roll back the excesses of the USA Patriot Act, gave overwhelming approval to an extension of the act without any new protections or restrictions to curb widespread government spying and other widespread intrusions into the lives of American citizens.

By a 315-97 vote Thursday, the House approved the bill and sent it to President Barack Obama, who not only will sign it but insisted on the extension without any new safeguards.

The approval overrides campaign promises to curb abuses of civil rights which flourished under the Bush administration and helped Democrats seize control of Congress in the 2006 mid-term elections and put Obama in the White House in 2008.

While Democrats gave the bill the margin it needed for passage by a wide count, some opposed extended the law without new restrictions.

“Congress must revise and narrow — not extend — Bush era policies,” said Democratic Rep. Jane Harman, who voted against the bill.

Obama, however, has not only back away from promises to curb the constitutional abuses of the Patriot Act but now supports measures that would expand the government’s right to snoop into the lives of Americans without court oversight or Congressional review.

Democrats in the Senate tried to add new restrictions but faced still blocking efforts from Republicans. Democrats didn’t even try in the House.

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3 Responses to Congress endorses, extends Patriot Act abuses

  1. spinnikerca

    February 27, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Why didn’t Dems try in the House? Ron Paul voted against it, and he’s a Republican. He also took the straw poll at CPAC, and while, true, that poll was won with only 31% of the vote of those present, that is the highest ever win in a CPAC poll since CPAC started in the ’70s.

    Don’t assume all GOP are for infringing on civil liberties, however much those opposing these practices may have been squelched during the immediate 9/11 aftermath. I’ve been in the GOP since I voted for Reagan, and I’m sure opposed to the Patriot Act, FISA, etc. We are supposed to be able to count on Congress following the Constitution, without shadowing them by reading the bills they pass. That is why they have to take an oath.

  2. woody188

    February 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    You and me are the same
    we don’t know or care whose to blame
    But we know that whoever holds the reins
    Nothing will change our cause has gone insane

    And these wars they can’t be won
    And these wars they can’t be won
    And do you want them to go on, on and on?
    Why split these states when there can be only one?

    And must we do as we’re told?
    And must we do as we’re told?

    You and me fall in line
    To be punished for unproven crimes
    And we know there is no one we can trust
    Our ancient heroes they are turning to dust

    And these wars they can never be won
    Does anyone know or care how they begun?
    They just promise to go on, and on and on
    But soon we will see there can only be one

    United States, United States of
    Eurasia, sia, sia, sia!
    Eurasia, sia, sia, sia!
    Eurasia, sia, sia, sia!

    Muse, United States of Eurasia from the album The Resistance