World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Patriot Act: Just in!


With the most recent amendment:

Demonstrators can be charged with a felony, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison. (This amendment was added to the conference report without any hearings or discussion.)

The amendment being considered also has ESTABLISHED NEW DEATH PENALTY CRIMES.


C-Span 2 will soon air the beginning of this most recent short series of Patriot Act debates: LIVE Senate 4:00PM ET


Posted Monday, Feb. 27, 2006 3:40 pm ET by

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Also see:

Dear Friends,

The PATRIOT Act reauthorization bill contains terrible new provisions that your senators and representative may not be aware of, and the Sununu amendments (S. 2271) contain superficial changes that do not protect our civil liberties.

On Tuesday 2/28 at 2:30 p.m. EST, the Senate will vote on the question of cloture on the reauthorization bill which, if passed, would close off further debate or filibuster on the bill. It is CRUCIAL that you call both of your senators and demand that they keep the debate open (click here to find contact information and expanded talking points). Ask them to stop the reauthorization process and vote against cloture. Make sure they know about the new provisions that:

Establish a new uniformed police force for "special events of national significance," and expands the authority of the Secret Service by allowing them to arrest demonstrators at such events if they believe there has been a breach of a security perimeter. Demonstrators can be charged with a felony, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison. (This amendment was added to the conference report without any hearings or discussion.) Establish new death penalty crimes.

Today the Senate is debating S. 2271 (the Sununu amendments), negotiated with the White House, which make no substantive fixes to the reauthorization bill. The House will consider S. 2271 as early as this Thursday.

Call both of your senators and your representative and tell them that S. 2271 falls short of protecting civil liberties. After waiting more than four years, we demand and deserve real reform, not cosmetics. For example, this amendment:

Requires businesses, medical professionals, and libraries that are served National Security Letters (NSLs) to wait 1 year before appealing the automatic, permanent "gag order." Does not fix the problem of penalties imposed on businesses that do not cooperate with requests, or the impossible hurdle on those who appeal NSLs to prove that the government acted in bad faith. Does not exempt libraries from National Security Letters if they act as Internet service providers. It exempts only libraries who simply give people access to the Internet.

Urge your senators and representative to support the following amendments offered by Senators Russ Feingold, Jeff Bingaman, and Patrick Leahy. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has so far refused to allow these amendments to come before the Senate for votes.

Senate Amendment (SA) 2891 would add a four-year sunset on PATRIOT Act section 505, National Security Letters. SA 2892 would prevent the FBI from using section 215 for "fishing expeditions" by requiring a connection between records sought and a foreign terrorist or spy.

SA 2893 would allow businesses and libraries to pose a meaningful challenge to a FISA Court order or a National Security Letter demanding customer records. SA 2894 would reduce initial notification deadline in section 213, "sneak and peek" searches, from 30 days to 7 days, while preserving the ability to go to court for extensions if needed. SA 2897 would make third-parties' ability to challenge gag orders more meaningful. In summary, we want our senators and representatives to:

Keep the debate going on the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act by voting against cloture (Senate only); Take out the new provisions of the PATRIOT Act; Vote against the Sununu amendments; Vote for (and urge their colleagues to vote for) the Feingold, Bingaman, Leahy amendments.

Thanks for all you do!

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news