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"Patriot Act II"

Reported by Ellen - December 18, 2004

I don't usually care for FOX analysts but I have to tip my figurative hat to Judge Andrew Napolitano for speaking out against what he calls Patriot Act II which was sneaked into the intelligence bill just signed by Bush.

Some of the "highlights" according to Napolitano are that:

1) Defendants have no automatic right to bail, guaranteed by the Constitution, but must now prove that they are NOT flight risks, rather than the government having to prove that they are.


2) Federal prosecutors can now leak grand jury testimony to other prosecutors where the defendant happens to be so that they can prosecute him there.

3) Government now has the power to, in essence, write its own search warrant for bank records and other personal property rather than have the oversight of a judge. (Comment: I think this was in Patriot Act I, but I wasn't clear from the discussion)

Some other remarks by Napolitano:

"When Attorney General Ashcroft begged for the Patriot Act... the Attorney General said, 'We need these powers to fight terrorism and we're using them to fight terrorism.' Alan, guess how many convictions of crimes of terrorism the federal government has obtained under the Patriot Act since it came into being in October of 01? Zero... It's a charade. We never need to sacrifice our freedom in order to enhance safety. It's Unamerican and it doesn't work."

"It would take a great deal of courage to oppose this thing in this environment, especially when the leadership in the House and the Senate did not even allow debate on the Patriot Act II."

"When the Congress presumes to tinker with the Constitution, there really has to be a debate."

"The 9/11 Commission report begged for more spies and more centralized control over the spies. It did not beg for more law enforcement... There is nothing in there that asks for tinkering with the Bill of Rights. This stuff came out of the Congressional leadership and the White House."

"We hope that judges who understand the Constitution will strike it down or members of Congress who weren't permitted to read it will enact legislation to reverse it but I wouldn't hold my breath."

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