Wednesday, June 08, 2005

your papers, please

In a closed-door session yesterday the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence reauthorized and expanded the absurdly misnamed Patriot Act, giving our government powers we've long condemned other governments for exercising on their people.

In a move antithetical to our Constitution, the new 'administrative subpoena' authority would let the FBI write and approve its own search orders for intelligence investigations, without prior judicial approval. Flying in the face of the Fourth Amendment, this power would let agents seize personal records from medical facilities, libraries, hotels, gun dealers, banks and any other businesses without any specific facts connecting those records to any criminal activity or a foreign agent. The panel rejected attempts to limit this extraordinary power to emergencies - creating the likelihood that it will be used in fishing expeditions and in investigations unrelated to terrorism.

One more nail in the coffin... how many is that now? I've lost count.