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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review October 5, 2009 / 17 Tishrei 5770

Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act

By Byron York




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You might not have heard, but some key parts of the nation's most important anti-terrorism law are set to expire in December. When the Patriot Act was originally passed in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress put time limits on three of its most far-reaching provisions: "Roving wiretaps," which allow investigators to keep up with suspects who use dozens of cell phones to avoid being traced; "business records" authority, which lets investigators ask a special national-security court for access to records of a suspect's dealings with private businesses; and the "lone wolf" provision, which allows investigators to track individual terror suspects even if they are not a member of a terrorist group, like al Qaeda. Congress renewed those provisions in 2005 and now must give them another four-year renewal, or they will disappear.

Some Democratic lawmakers have long wanted to weaken the act, and now, with big majorities in the House and Senate, they have their chance. But the renewal debate just happens to come at a time when recently uncovered domestic terror plots -- most notably the Denver shuttle bus driver and his colleagues caught with bomb-making materials and a list of specific targets in New York City -- are highlighting the very threats the act was designed to counter. Republicans are fighting to keep the law in its current form.

"These three provisions have been very important for the investigative agencies who are working every day to protect us from terrorist attack," says Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the committee. "Before the Patriot Act, terrorist investigators had far less authority to get records and documents than a DEA or an IRS agent."

Democrats have proposed a number of changes, all of which would weaken the law. Sen. Russell Feingold wants to do away with the "lone wolf" provision entirely. Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, would make it more difficult for investigators to obtain business records. In addition, Leahy wants to return to legal standards that existed before September 11 regarding "national security letters," which are essentially subpoenas issued by the FBI and other security agencies. "They are going back to a September 10th mentality -- literally," says one GOP committee aide.

Even roving wiretaps, a widely accepted, common-sense feature of the Patriot Act, have come under question. At a Sept. 23 committee hearing, Sen. Al Franken, the newest member of the committee, challenged the constitutionality of such wiretaps, and in the process left an Obama Justice Department official -- who supports the law -- muttering in frustration.

That official, Assistant Attorney General David Kris, tried to explain to Franken that the law allows, and the courts have held, that investigators can wiretap a suspect based on a specific description of that suspect's activities, even if investigators don't know his name.

Franken, who pointed out that he is not a lawyer, was unimpressed. "That's what brings me to this," he said, pulling a copy of the Constitution from his coat pocket. He read aloud the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

Is the Patriot Act's roving wiretap provision consistent with the Constitution? Franken asked.

"I do think it is," Kris answered, "and I kind of want to defer to that other, third branch of government. The courts, in looking at -- "

"I know what they are," Franken joked, as the audience laughed.

Kris seemed taken aback. "This is surreal," he said under his breath.

Indeed it was. Maybe Franken was serious, and maybe he was just clowning around. But it didn't make for an enlightening exchange -- or bode well for the Patriot Act.

Now the committee is down to the business of crafting an actual bill to reauthorize the act. Republicans believe they can beat back some of the more sweeping changes, but they are under no illusions about the Democratic majority's power to chip away at the government's ability to fight terrorism.

"I'm very worried that we could end up weakening the act," says Sessions, "when we should be considering what we can do to make it stronger."

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Previously:



09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny



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