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Senate Democrats Cave under Republican Pressure to Renew PATRIOT ACT Without Protective Oversight

Senate DEMS Cave under Republican Pressure to Renew PATRIOT ACT Without Protective Oversight

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER The Associated Press - Wednesday, February 24, 2010; 9:25 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Wednesday to extend for a year key provisions of the nation's counterterrorism surveillance law that are scheduled to expire at the end of the month. In agreeing to pass the bill, Senate Democrats retreated from adding new privacy protections to the USA Patriot Act.

The Judiciary Committee bill would have restricted FBI information demands known as national security letters and made it easier to challenge gag orders imposed on Americans whose records are seized.

Library records would have received extra protections. Congress would have closely scrutinized FBI use of the law to prevent abuses. Dissemination of surveillance results would have been restricted and after a time, unneeded records would have been destroyed.

"I would have preferred to add oversight and judicial review improvements to any extension of expiring provisions in the USA Patriot Act," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "But I understand some Republican senators objected."
Complete Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/24/AR2010022404926.html

Why is it

that when Republicans act in support of war and the police state, they're just being the evil, fascist, warmongering imperialist Republicans that they are; whereas when Democrats do it, the explanation is always that they're 'caving in to Republican pressure,' 'in need of a backbone,' 'gutless,' 'faint-hearted,' etc.?

Both organizations willingly serve the powers that be, and the Democratic party's role in promoting American empire and suppressing civil liberties is looooong attested to. But amazingly, people still want to imagine that 'guts' or a 'backbone' is basically all that separates them from being on the side of opponents of war and the police state. Democratic legislators will sometimes play to this tendency by wringing their hands and expressing regrets once votes have already been taken. But the overall record points to explanations other than simply 'caving in to Republican pressure.'

Exactly, rm...

...and this just supports my long-held theory that the Repubs and the Demos are just there to milk the system for personal gain (with a few notable exceptions that can easily be counted on the fingers of one hand) while enjoying three-martini luncheons on our dime. They live in mortal fear daily, I believe. They have all seen the Zapruder film. They all "know" about Wellstone, McConnell, JFK, RFK, MLK, and then there's 9/11. It's real simple. Fight the Military-Industrial-Security rouges in our system and die. Go along with the program, never mention the trillion dollar annual war budget when looking for a way to pay for social security, and you will live long and prosper. 9/11 truth is indeed the way to unravel ourselves (We The People) from this predicament because you get the most "bang for the buck". 9/11 is like that thread hanging off of a cable-knit sweater. Pull on it, and the whole thing comes apart slowly. We need to just keep up the pressure as long as it takes.

KMW