14
Jun
2004

Republican Leadership Ready to Attack Our Civil Liberties Again

by Wayne A. Lewis

Last year, during the 1st session of the 108th Congress, the Republican leadership slipped a provision into the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2004 (which mainly appropriates the funds to the intelligence organizations.) This was done behind closed doors. Who on the House Judiciary Committee would vote against this nonpartisan bill? This bill was needed to pass as it has every year. What wasn’t needed was a provision taken from the leaked draft of Ashcroft’s Domestic Security Enhancement Act (DSEA.) This provision expanded the already far-reaching USA PATRIOT Act by easing the FBI’s ability to acquire "financial" records with nothing more than an easily drafted National Security Letter (NSL.) It also broadened the definition of "financial institution" to include insurance companies, real estate agencies, stockbrokers, car dealerships, pawnbrokers and more. This had the effect of further eroding what was left of our civil liberties after the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act. So there it was -- Ashcroft’s dream – a portion of the ill-fated DSEA brought to fruition. Now, it is happening again....

//www.dissidentvoice.org/June04/Lewis0614.htm
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