Friday, November 13, 2009

Pres Obama Stands Firm on The Patriot Act

I have found it interesting that many of my liberal commenters are always surprised to learn that Pres. Obama kept the Patriot Act. It seems after Bush the leftwing blogosphere, with few exceptions, went strangely quiet on the matter. There is now a Dec. 31st deadline to extend key provisions of the bill. Obama is backing it all the way:

The Obama administration is standing firm in its support of several George W. Bush-era Patriot Act powers in the face of sharp criticism from civil rights groups, liberal Democrats and a Dec. 31 deadline to extend key provisions of the bill.

The Justice Department recently reiterated its request for Congress to extend with few changes key provisions of the Patriot Act: sections that allow roving wiretaps on multiple phones, seizing of business records and a never-used authority to spy on non-Americans suspected of being terrorists even though they have no connection to a recognized terrorist group.

The two remaining temporary provisions of the PATRIOT Act that are supposed to sunset, but Obama wants to extend, are "Section 206, the counter-terror "roving wiretap" that allows the Feds to tap any communication device of a target without having to specify who or what they are targeting, and Section 215, the measure that allows the government to grab "any tangible thing" – with accompanying gag orders – including library records and other personal information with a secret FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order. Also expiring is the so-called "lone wolf" provision of the related Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA), which allows the government to obtain secret FISA court orders against individuals who are not tied to any terrorist group or organization, but who might be suspected of terrorism."

The irony of this of course is how the far left and liberals went batdung crazy over Pres. Bush and the Patriot Act. Bush was the devil incarnate for allowing it. The leftwing blogosphere was beside itself.

Let's take a peek back at 2006:

Liberty Street sums up Gonzales' testimony: Just another day in the office, helpin his boss to subvert the Constitution and end the American experiment with democracy."

Corrente: "Of course, under Republican tyranny there is no Constitutional government, so the Fourth Amendment is no longer in effect." "These guys have no limits or boundaries at all. That means they're already doing warrantless domestic surveillance--with the targets presumably taken from their list of traitors and possible traitors, which probably includes, oh, the entire Beltway and who hasn't actually sworn fealty to Bush's person, at this point."

Kevin Drum "Once the public accepts the idea that domestic-to-international calls can be tapped at the whim of the administration -- without a warrant and without bothering to show probable cause -- they're a lot less likely to be upset at the prospect of domestic-to-domestic calls being tapped too. The frog is simmering."

Obsidian Wings "So: according to our Attorney General, the nation's top law enforcement officer, it might be legal for the President to authorize the government to listen to your purely domestic conversations without getting a warrant, without consulting a judge, without obeying any of the safeguards that our system puts in place."

Dan Froomkin (Washington Bureau Chief for the Huffington Post) This is from 2008: "Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program may go down in history as the most egregious assault on American civil liberties since Watergate".

TalkLeft: "Thanks to Suburban Guerilla, Mark Crispin Miller and Save the USA for pointing out Section 605 of the House version of the Patriot Act renewal legislation. It calls for the creation of a Federal Police Force. Your imperial presidency at work.

Funny how in reviewing all those blogs today I see no mention of this this present "imperial presidency." It seems that this "most egregious assault on American civil liberties since Watergate" isn't so egregious to the left when one of their own sits in the oval office.