Wednesday, February 9, 2011
House Moves to Stop Some Patriot Act Excesses
by Pa Rock
Apparently the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives shot itself in the foot (again) on Tuesday when an extension to some of the more odious parts of the USA Patriot Act were brought to the floor for a quick vote. In order for the devious procedure to be slipped through quickly, as was the intent of the Boehner Gang, it had to receive a two-thirds vote for passage. But (and there is no surprise here) John of Orange had some problems with his ciphering and fell seven votes short of rubber-stamping the fascist holdover legislation from the Bush administration. Twenty-six Republicans joined 122 Democrats in killing the extension if the provisions.
So, for the time being, judges do not have the authority to order roving wiretaps on multiple telephones. Now, the Courts may no longer issue subpoenas for the FBI or other law enforcement agencies to peruse library records to see who is reading what. Many librarians, God love them, had fought that particular legal abomination for years. Also killed by today's action was the "Lone Wolf" provision that allowed for the secret surveillance of individuals not known to be associated with any terrorist group.
My guess is that Boehner will figure a way to re-deprive Americans of their civil liberties, but it is still refreshing to know that justice prevailed - if only for a brief moment in time!