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Well… there’s only so much you can fit into a headline. It was actually the nine-month extension of three of the more egregious parts of the egregious PATRIOT Act that failed to pass last night:
- continue to authorize FBI to use “roving wiretaps” on surveillance targets;
- allow government to access “any tangible items” such as library records in course of surveillance;
- allow surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.
I’m most happy to report that 26 freedom-loving Republicans joined the vast majority of Democrats in putting a crimp on the extension, dumping a great unexpected load into John Boehner’s punch bowl. Who woulda thunk – some of these new “Tea Partiers” were serious about liberty and limited government! Houston, we have a problem. Allow me to list the patriotic GOP’ers, starting in our own OC:
- Dana Rohrabacher!
- John Campbell! (wow.)
- Tom McClintock
- RON PAUL OF COURSE.
- Walter “Freedom Fries” Jones
- Jack Kingston (GA)
- Don Young (AK)
- Connie Mack
- Bishop (UT)
- Duncan (TN)
- Graves (GA)
- Johnson (IL)
- Roe (TN)
- Broun (GA)
Of course, as with all good news these days, this is tempered; in this case by the fact that the Authoritarian Republicans are going to try again – not arrogantly going for the 2/3 goal as they did this time, but with the more traditional laborious process with which they’ll only need a majority. But let’s savor this little victory, and the spectacle of both disunity and actual patriotism on the “R” side of the aisle!
[Almost forgot to mention - the majority of Democrats are also going against the wishes of our somewhat authoritarian President!]
And now, a statement from Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Anaheim) who opposes and has always opposed the PATRIOT Act:
Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez late last night voted against the extension of expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. The reauthorization, which did not pass the House of Representatives, would have extended for nine months the government’s authority to conduct roving wiretaps of terror suspects, along with two other expiring components of the Act.
“As a senior member on the House Homeland Security Committee, I have striven to give the intelligence community and law enforcement the tools they need to pursue terrorists. However, there is a way to do that and still preserve our civil liberties. I strongly oppose these expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, that I believe violate Constitutionally protected freedoms. I look forward to working with my colleagues over the next few months to implement reforms that better protect our Constitutional rights while still ensuring our security.”
(Loretta promises to write more about this when the bill comes up again later this month.)
More from Glenn Greenwald on the essential new pro-liberty alliance between the progressive left and the Tea Party right. A MUST-READ!