Obama Seeks to Extend Patriot Act

There’s gotta be a catch.

The Obama administration has asked Congress to extend three contentious provisions of the USA Patriot Act – a bill once described by President Obama as “shoddy” – and urged an appeals court to deny access to U.S. courts for detainees at a military prison in Afghanistan.

Civil liberties groups immediately criticized both moves, which would extend Bush-era terrorism policies that have long been unpopular with Democrats.

In a letter made public Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asking Congress to reauthorize three portions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the year.

The three portions permit roving wiretaps, the seizure of certain business records and the monitoring of suspected “lone wolf” terrorists. Mr. Weich said the administration is willing to consider modifications that provide additional privacy protections provided they do not undermine the effectiveness of the provisions.

……The ACLU blasted the Obama administration Tuesday for a court filing that argued that the roughly 600 prisoners at Bagram air base in Afghanistan should not have access to courts in the United States. A landmark Supreme Court decision gave detainees at the naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, such access to the courts.

In its 85-page filing, the Obama administration said Bagram detainees should not have access to U.S. courts because the situations at that prison and Guantanamo are not similar for many reasons, such as the Bagram prison location in a war zone in Afghanistan. The filing is part of an appeal from a lower court’s ruling that Bagram prisoners can challenge their detention in U.S. courts through habeas corpus, the process of seeking relief from unlawful detention.

“Guantanamo was the Bush administration’s effort to do an end run around the Constitution, and the Obama administration is now essentially using Bagram as a way to do an end run around Guantanamo and the constitutional right of habeas corpus found to apply there,” said Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the ACLU. “Simply shipping detainees from around the world to an alternative destination is not a solution and flouts the principles laid down by the Supreme Court.”

President Punchdrunk, known for his apologetic approach to Islamic nation-states, railing for GITMO to be closed, and making the accusation that the Bush administration “went off course” in fighting terrorism over the past eight years, thinks his policies will “better protect” the country against al Qaeda. Uh huh. 

His friends and associates include: William Ayers, Arab American Action Network (a terrorist front), the Muslim Brotherhood (another terrorist front), and Hatem El-Hady, the former chairman of the Toledo, Ohio-based Islamic “charity”, Kindhearts, which was closed by the US government in February 2006 for terrorist fundraising.  His ‘negotiate without preconditions’  strategy for Iran has Ahmadinejad in stitches, he bows to the Saudi king, and wants to ‘reach out’ to the Taliban, but he thinks he can “better protect” this country.

Take heart ACLU: The extention of the Patriot Act will have little effect on the damage he’s doing to national security.

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