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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Gore's speech re civil liberty
    Date: 11/25/2003 4:40:00 AM  

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>What does bother me are statements such as the one about how many dems voted
>for it. I hear that and similar statements used time and again as some sort
>of vindication. It's not.

You're correct, it's not. And here's one big reason why it's not.

It's funny how quickly history gets forgotten.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
asked for time to go over the document and he began to ask for some changes.

Then John Ashcroft announced that Congress had *one week* in which to pass the
bill, warning that further terrorist attacks were IMMINENT, and that Congress
would be held to blame for any such attacks if it failed to pass the bill

The only way this could be done was to pressure the Senate leaders to push
through the bill WITHOUT allowing for debate or amendment. And this is what
was done.

Democrats were told that the bill had to be passed IMMEDIATELY because more
attadcks were imminent, and weren't given time or opportunity to debate the
bill. That part of the process was shut out by the administration's claims
that it was needed Right Now or more people would die.

Further to the point, of the dubious areas of the Patriot Act that were passed,
there are degrees to which they could be used. They could be used lightly, as
needed...or they could be used as a club. The former was assumed; the latter
was the fact.


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