How the PATRIOT Act Came To Be

This blog was started because of a concern for our civil liberties, and as a reaction to Barack Obama’s backtracking on wireless wiretaps.

So it’s of particular interest that today, via The Washington Independent, we found out exactly how the PATRIOT was enacted:

“Then Chairman Dreier” — referring to Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), then chairman of the House Rules Committee — “under lord knows whose instructions, substituted that bill for another bill, that we at Judiciary had never seen. So we come here today now to consider what we do with those parts that are expiring.” Conyers proceeded to say that many of the problems being discussed at the hearing with the current law would have been addressed by the original bipartisan one, such as offering an opportunity for people harmed by the Patriot Act’s abuses to seek redress. The original law also “may have eliminated, or simplified, litigation about Patriot Act abuses that continue today,” said Conyers.

Rep. Nadler added:

“We held in this committee five days of markup and achieved unanimity on the Patriot Act. Then the bill just disappeared. And we had a new several-hundred-page bill revealed from the Rules Committee” that had to be voted on the next day, before most members of Congress even had a chance to read it, said Nadler.

This came out in today’s hearings on the JUSTICE Act, which you can find more about at the GetFISARight wiki.

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