WaPo Peddles Administration’s Position on Patriot Act
Jesselyn Radack at Daily Kos slams The Washington Post for its editorial yesterday praising the Senate Judiciary Committee for its highly compromised Patriot Act reform bill. “The Post turns a blind eye to the vast amount of civil liberties protections Senate Democrats and the Obama administration gave up at last week’s Patriot Act markup, instead claiming that the Senate Judiciary Committee struck a ‘reasonable balance’ in protecting civil liberties,” writes Radack.
And she’s right. As I reported last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee ended up adopting almost all the Republican changes to the bill that removed or watered down civil liberties protections, while voting against most of the reforms proposed by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), which would have limited the FBI’s powers under the Patriot Act to going after what the law was designed to attack: international terrorism.
The result, as Feingold put it, was that the Senate Judiciary Committee had become the “prosecutor’s committee” — accepting virtually every recommendation from the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors to expand their powers.