The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is working on a bill that would renew the Patriot Act and expand government powers in the name of fighting terrorism, letting the FBI subpoena records without permission from a judge or grand jury….
Roberts’ planned bill also would make it easier for prosecutors to use special court-approved warrants for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies in criminal cases, the committee aides said. Eight expiring sections of the law that deal with foreign intelligence investigations would become permanent, they said.
So, too, would a provision that authorizes wiretapping of suspected terrorists who operate without clear ties to a particular terrorist network.
Amerika, mein Amerika, nur die Gedanken sie sind frei…. In other words, they want the ability to spy on people who have no ties to terrorism. This is not exactly surprising, as it follows the usual pattern of expansion of government power.
1. Find a legitimate-sounding cause to violate the rights of a specific group of people on a temporary basis with oversight.
2. Get rid of the temporary basis.
3. Get rid of the oversight.
4. Expand the definition of the suspicious group.
They did this with the income tax, which once affected only the top one percent and now affects everyone. They did this with the Alternative Minimum Tax, which once affected only the top ten percent and now affects one-third of taxpayers. They did this with RICO, which was intended for use against the mafia and is now used against any group of unfavored protesters.
Patriot 1 and Patriot 2 will eventually be expanded to apply to all Americans, because every American is a potential terrorist in the eyes of the government.