Patriot Act Author Sponsors Bill To Rein In Patriot Act

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Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the man who helped usher in the Patriot Act era as a co-author of the post-Sept. 11 bill, has turned against the broad surveillance powers, loophole abuses and 4th Amendment-shredding licentiousness the law introduced under President George W. Bush and the expansion of Federal police powers under Barack Obama.

Sensenbrenner is working on a new bill — the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-Collection and Online Monitoring Act — that purports to outlaw the Patriot Act’s unConstitutional unleashing of police powers against citizens who aren’t specific targets of terror investigations.

The new bill, also called the U.S.A. Freedom Act, arose from Sensenbrenner’s confessed dismay over how far afield the Patriot Act led the Nation’s law enforcement effort from the Act’s intent.

In a synopsis of the U.S.A. Freedom Act published by The Guardian, which previewed a draft of the bill, Sensenbrenner has targeted four key areas of the Patriot Act for abolition or reform:

[The U.S.A. Freedom Act] seeks to limit the collection of phone records to known terrorist suspects; to end “secret laws” by making courts disclose surveillance policies; to create a special court advocate to represent privacy interests; and to allow companies to disclose how many requests for users’ information they receive from the USA. The bill also tightens up language governing overseas surveillance to remove a loophole which it has been abused to target internet and email activities of Americans.

Despite the narrow defeat of a House measure over the summer that sought to defund the National Security Agency (NSA), Sensenbrenner told the newspaper he believes public opinion, coupled with the manifest NSA abuses brought to light by Edward Snowden, have put Congress on the spot to reverse the government’s usurpation of citizens’ Constitutional powers.

“Opinions have hardened with the revelations over the summer, particularly the inspector general’s report that there were thousands of violations of regulations, and the disclosure that NSA employees were spying on their spouses or significant others, which was very chilling,” he said.

Sensenbrenner has bipartisan support from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. But he also expects strong opposition from Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is floating a bill that tweaks the Patriot Act instead of banning the warrantless bulk collection of electronic data from American citizens. Sensenbrenner even went so far as to condemn Feinstein’s leadership, as well as that of disgraced (but not disciplined) National Intelligence director James Clapper, who lied to Congress about how far the NSA dragnet had cast its net.

“I do not want to see Congress pass a fig leaf because that would allow the NSA to say ‘Well, we’ve cleaned up our act’ until the next scandal breaks. [Party leaders] are going to have to review what kind of people they put on the intelligence committee. Oversight is as good as the desire of the chairman to do it,” said Sensenbrenner. “… If they use a law like Senator Feinstein is proposing, it will just allow them to do business as usual with a little bit of a change in the optics.”

As for Clapper?

“Oversight only works when the agency that oversight is directed at tells the truth, and having Mr. Clapper say he gave the least untruthful answer should, in my opinion, have resulted in a firing and a prosecution.”

Read The Guardian’s assessment of the U.S.A. Freedom Act here. Anything can happen, and talk among Congressmen has never been cheaper. But if this bill survives intact to become law, it at least promises to make the NSA, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and a host of other Federal agencies subject to prosecution if they continue to perpetrate the unConstitutional surveillance methods Snowden laid bare earlier this year.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • vicki

    That is a really long name for a useless bill. Just repeal the Patriot Act in its entirety. And just obey the Supreme law of the land. The U.S. Constitution.

    • jag

      That’s the problem there is NO LAW OF THIS LAND IT CHANGES ITS MIND DAILY!

      • vicki

        The LAW does not change easily. It has been fairly constant for 230+ years with just a few (less than 20) adjustments. The people who swore an oath to uphold the LAW have certainly changed their minds often but not even they do it daily.

        • lakeside227

          I agree with you vicki. The Constitution hasn’t changed. What has changed is the People’s understanding of the Constitutionally enumerated powers of the federal government AND the Constitutional limitations on those powers.

          The People have been brainwashed and bribed into believing SCOTUS tells US what OUR Constitution means; into believing our Constitution is a ‘living, breathing’ document; into believing the federal government determines what powers it has AND what our Rights are.

        • jag

          What office do u hold?

          • vicki

            jag writes
            “What office do u hold?”

            Your question has no meaning in any context related to this article nor the comments. Perhaps you would like to provide some?

  • Gene Reed

    He was for it before he was against it.

    • wavesofgrain

      Perhaps he found out he was a victim of the consequences of the ACT. It might’ve come back and hit him in the A$$. He might be singing the poem “First they came for the communists, but I did not speak out….”.

      Most of these “good ol boys” think they are royalty, and consequences of their laws will not affect them. But, they eventually will.

  • Moustache The First

    This is just window dressing, a dog & pony show…the Genie is out of the bottle & has been for a long time…especially with Hei Obummer & the corrupt courts including Supreme court, the govt. does not have to obey laws, parliamentary protocol, etc & can get away with it over & over! If they did, ObummerCare would not even have come up for a vote!

  • simpleman56

    The way we are headed it will take crash & burn before the evil is gone from DC. Term limits, no more great bennies & they only get to serve one term & then return home. No more life time politicians & the end to corporations using lobbyist, also the supreme court only serves 2 years! The constitution is easy to follow & all past laws are null & void!

    • Lucy Lutvink

      Ya gotta get worse to get better!! Great ideas that make sense

      • jag

        Haven’t we been living the worst yet? Open those eyes wider hon!

        • simpleman56

          Not just McCain, Harry Reid & any others that have 4 years in DC, send them packing with no retirements, no medical & if any made money off insider trading info, it should be seized & sent back to their district’s to fund jobs & to help the needy. Teach a man to fish & he will feed himself for life. Hand a man a fish & he will be back the wanting more the next day(WELFARE & THE DEMOCRATS WAY), the (REPUBLIC WAY IS TO GIVE WELFARE TO CORPORATIONS & THE NUCLEAR/MILITARY COMPLEX) you see they use to be on the same team long ago, read the true history of the USA!
          Our Founders are spinning in their Graves at what these perverted people in DC has done, the land they secured for all of us id now in the hands of the Banksters & Corporations! All we have is debt back monetary system with no assets to back our currency but the words of men whom I would trust to baby set my grand children, would you?

          • jag

            Your right on the money,I agree, and no I would’nt trust anybody in washington to watch any childern,heck they would end up using them as human sheilds,have a cause…use a kid to push the agenda foward,so yes your dead right!

          • simpleman56

            You are a brother to all, that says a lot, if we are made slaves at birth with SS number that is more than the mark of the beast, so evil has been exposed & we shall grow away from this way of life, even as we are on deaths bed we still will speak out & spread the truth, because we are all GOD’s Children!
            The days coming will test our very souls to the core, JESUS will be the light for all men!

    • jag

      But y do we the people need to crash with the commies. Ur soooo right on, no more lifers in politics…John mcpain u reading this?!
      God bless and good luck

  • Michael Shreve

    The Unpatriotic Act is PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Passing it should have been an act of treason

  • Rafael

    The unavoidable consequences of bad law. Even in a Constitution Friendly environment, you have to think about your future predecessors. No one thought about an Obama, taking the Patriot Act to new height’s and a police state!!!

  • simpleman56

    Lucy L, please take look at Karen Hudes on you tube, this lady knows her stuff. I hope you find the videos, she also has a web site http://kahudes.net where these is some great videos, she explains what is really going on, people need to see this NOW!

  • jag

    Amerika wanted and voted him in (thank all u damned pacificist) and REAL AMERICANS NEED HIM OUT……at this point GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

  • simpleman56

    not trust to my grand kids, that is a correction to JAG! Peace Out!

  • Urimas

    Yeah! Another Government fixing to a Government created problem! Hurrah! It’s a little colder to Hell’s gate than Hell’s main cauldron, so let’s make a step back!…
    If that mofu just discovered how bad Patriot Act backfired, why he’s just trying to amend it instead of repelling it?…

  • simpleman56

    To Zedemliam: on THE ACT OF 1871 you are on the right track, but GOTS YOU ARE WAY, go to http://www.Jsmineset.com & you will learn a hell of lot many need to know. GOTS means to “Get Out Of The System” be debt free, have a hobby farm or indoor hydroponics growing system, you can raise fish & fruit & vegs inside, free from radiation, you may have to invest in a water treatment system, I have feeling the prices on those will explode up ward as the US public wakes up to just how much radiation has already came from Fukushima & the very high jumps that is & will come as Fukushima becomes so bad no one can even get close to the other plants still there & their fuel pools are no longer cooled & catch fire as unit 4 SFP has already done so just days after the quake.
    For the folks out there who care about their kids & grand kids, these sites carry vital info 24/7/365 about Fukushima & the US & worlds nuke plants & waste dumps! http://www.fukushimafacts.com, http://www.enenews.com, youtube look for Kevin Branch, Kevin pulls no punches & uses some 4 letter words & has exposed those who are getting rich by leading people off the where the truth really is! The typhoon that just hit Japan was another excuse for Tepco to do another huge release of radioactive water into the Pacific!
    Why does the MSM keep this from the public, just think how the Corporations would be hurt if people knew how unclean & deadly nuclear power is? The USA is not the only ones who have dumps of nuclear waste in populated areas & they also have higher cancer rates! The cancer centers never have looked to see what was causing the increase of cancer, if they would they would find nuclear power as the root cause & with Fukushima out of control the USA will have millions die & most will say it’s GOD’s Will, not so! The truth is a hard thing for the war profiteers to let be known, but the social media has opened up the lies we have told for decades, but that does nothing to help those who suffered the pain of cancer & the loss of love ones & as that list gets huger more will awake to this evil that is all around us!