The American Civil Liberties Union released an item-by-item rebuttal to a slew of false claims that President Bush made in Buffalo this week about the controversial USA Patriot Act.
"The president's speech was misinformation, pure and simple," said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director. "The administration is making a series of deliberate misstatements to deceive the American public."
In response to the president's new campaign to remove the Patriot Act's sunsets, the ACLU said it would prepare and release periodic detailed rebuttals on White House misinformation. Romero noted that the ACLU has taken similar issue with information presented by Attorney General John Ashcroft and produced a report, "Seeking Truth From Justice: The Justice Department's Campaign to Mislead The Public About the USA PATRIOT Act."
"By the way, the reason I bring up the Patriot Act, it's set to expire next year. I'm starting a campaign to make it clear to members of Congress that it shouldn't expire.
It shouldn't expire for the security of our country."
Less that 10 percent of the Patriot Act expires; most of the law is permanent and those portions that do sunset will not do so until December 31, 2005.
"And that changed, the law changed on- roving wiretaps were available for chasing down drug lords. They weren't available for chasing down terrorists, see?"
Roving wiretaps were available prior to 9/11 against drug lords and terrorists. Prior to the law, the FBI could get a roving wiretap against both when it had probable cause of crime for a wiretap eligible offense. What the Patriot Act did is make roving wiretaps available in intelligence investigations supervised by the secret intelligence court without the judicial safeguards of the criminal wiretap statute.
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