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 Post subject: Conyers: FBI's Patriot abuses 'potentially without limit'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:43 pm 
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Conyers: FBI's Patriot abuses 'potentially without limit'

Michael Roston
Friday March 9, 2007

Democratic leaders in Congress speedily announced this morning that they would conduct thorough oversight on reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation overstepped the boundaries of its authority under the Patriot Act. The head of the House Judiciary Committee warned that the potential for misconduct by the FBI "is almost without limit."

In a statement sent to RAW STORY, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, warned that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation had severely abused their already expansive powers under the Patriot Act by misusing National Security Letters to gain warrants for surveillance, as reported in multiple news sources today.

"Many of us have been saying that the potential for abuse of the Patriot Act's National Security Letter authority is almost without limit. This report demonstrates how that potential has now become a reality," the Judiciary chairman said. "The Justice Department's total lack of internal control and cavalier attitude toward the few legal restrictions that exist in the Act have possibly resulted in the illegal seizure of American citizens' private information."

Pointing to the FBI's potentially illegal use of the National Security Letters, as well as poor record-keeping and inaccurate reporting by the agency, Conyers promised oversight and legislative change.


I may be in the minority here, but I'm beginning to be very suspicious and doubtful when I see/hear the Democrats rattle their sabers in this way. I want to see some ACTION. They should be yelling by now "we have only begun to fight to bring our nation back from the brink of Constitutional disaster." I've yet to see much of anything (except lip service) out of their ranks that warrent the trust and confidence we gave to them when we elected them in November. :evil:

But I'm not the only one thinking this way:

Quote:
In a press release sent to RAW STORY, Caroline Frederickson, Director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, said that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales must be held to account for the abuses of FBI authority.

"As the overseer of the FBI, the buck stops on his desk," she said. "It's the Attorney General's job to oversee the FBI and he clearly lacks the independence or credibility to offer effective oversight."

Frederickson added, "How much more proof does Congress need before it conducts real investigations, performs true oversight and fixes the significant problems with these Patriot Act powers?"


(same link.)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:48 pm 
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I believe Conyers is serious, but is being held back by the high and mighty Dem leaders.

As you said, this isn't what we voted for.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:26 pm 
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Now more than ever we should become card carrying members of the ACLU. They want to reform the Patriot Act before it becomes a free pass for authoritarianism. They are on this case as well and fighting the FBI.
http://www.aclu.org/

March 10, 2007, 12:52AM
FBI director admits abuse of the Patriot Act
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/4618210.html
Quote:
By DAVID STOUT
New York Times

WASHINGTON — Bipartisan outrage erupted on Friday on Capitol Hill as Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, conceded that his agency had improperly, and sometimes illegally, used the USA Patriot Act to obtain information about people and businesses.

Mueller took responsibility for the lapses, detailed in a report by the Justice Department's inspector general, and vowed to do everything he could to avoid repeating them, but his apologies failed to defuse the anger from both parties.


Seems Meuller wants to take the blame. Awww what a nice guy. Wants to be the next "Scooter" clone and absolve those responsible.

Here's an article that states the FBI were abusing their authority with the patriot act in 2005, so there is a long history of abuses. This is not new!
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2 ... f_t_1.html

This group of geeks are stating that there was an audit done that proves they were knowingly abusing their authority.
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/09/1915256
"
Quote:
The audit by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine found that FBI agents sometimes demanded personal data on individuals without proper authorization. The 126-page audit also found the FBI improperly obtained telephone records in non-emergency circumstances. The audit blames agent error and shoddy record-keeping for the bulk of the problems and did not find any indication of criminal misconduct. Still, 'we believe the improper or illegal uses we found involve serious misuses of national security letter authorities,' the audit concludes."


Section 1984 of Chapter 15 of the US Code states that a government official is personally financially responsible for double damages if they violate the civil rights of a citizen. Wonder if there are any traceable damages and what kind of double payment the citizen is entitled to? Double the scrutiny? Sheesh- the law really is an ass. It rewards wrongdoers on the right side of the law more often than not.

This is one of the comments that sums up the penalty part.
Quote:
What are the chances that anyone will ever - ever - be arrested over this?
Arrested as a product of the illegal activity, or arrested for performing the illegal activity?
The former has probably already happened, the latter is probably unlikely (summary says no criminal misconduct).
You didn't really think they would get in trouble for abusing the law we've all been saying has huge potential for abuse, did you?
While they might make policy that says internally they need to do things correctly in the future, I doubt that will prevent them from obtaining information on a whim because it's expedient. But, I'm a cynic about such things, hopefully I'm wrong. :-P
Since the boss is ready to take the blame, the chances are slim that he will be punished, perhaps he will be fired and promoted elsewhere. Failing upward is the M.O. of this admin as their friends get rewarded for loyalty to powerto the point of verging on treason.

What does Jesse say about this?
Quote:
TVNL Editor's Comments: FBI: Abuse of Power – What a Surprise

The FBI has been “under-reporting” the details and extent of their use of the Patriot Act. “Under-reported?” What the fill-in-your-own-explicative does that mean? How many ways is our media going to come up with to avoid using the word “lie?”

Note to the criminal corporate media: the FBI has been LYING about their use of the Patriot Act. The word is “lying!” Oh man, this is beyond stupid! Think about it! – Jesse, Editor, TvNewsLIES.org

As per usual, you can respond to his blog at- http://tvnewslies.org/blog

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