Civil liberties Uncategorized

No, Sir. I Don't Like It.

Ugh. The president signed a four year extension of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Following the 250-153 evening vote in the House, the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities headed for the president's signature with only hours to go before the provisions expire at midnight. [...]

Obama said he was pleased the act had been extended.

"It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," he said after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

This is one of those moves that just baffles me. When Rand Paul is on the correct side of this issue and the president is on the wrong side... Ugh.

  • dildenusa

    President Obama had no say or choice in this. He was put between a rock and a hard place by congress and in part by his own actions in taking out Osama bin Laden. Not only that, but every president from now on will be extending this to the end of the universe. He will go a long way to improving his standing with the firebaggers by withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and turning over more of the counterterrorism fight to law enforcement.

    • lukenstein

      You make a good point. Yours and Ashby’s. Every president is likely to extend this. At least for the foreseeable future. Even if another underpants bomber fails horribly, but the President had not signed an extension of the Patriot Act, then ohhhh holy hell, the right wing would screeeeccccchhhhh .

      • While I acknowledge all the pragmatic reasons y’all are saying, I have to say that I am not happy about this either. The fact that Rand Paul and I agree on something makes me nauseous.

        • JMAshby

          I don’t think anyone is happy about it, nor is anyone expected to be.

          It was just inevitable.

          • ronbo

            I have not heard any grumbling. But then again, you know what they are thinking. In understand that you are a certified mind-reader.

  • JMAshby

    As if there was another choice?

    The political over-reaction to not signing it would be far greater than the reaction to signing it.

    Many conservatives, libertarians, and even Tea Baggers do not like the patriot act either, but no one is willing to rock the boat right now.

    Besides, it passed solidly veto-proof.

  • I don’t think this is at all related to electioneering. Nothing this president does is going to convert a single Republican voter to support him. If the thinking is that extending this reprehensible bit of legislation will appear tough on terror, I’d say the skull of OBL dangling from his belt is a better selling point.

    This is just going to piss off the Liberal base. This president was elected, in large measure, to restore the constitutional rights that were shredded by the Bush administration. The Patriot Act was one of the more glaring examples of that twisted expansion of unrestricted executive power. Between this and not closing Gitmo (and the specific reasons for that are beside the point), the Firebaggers are going to be screaming bloody blue murder.

  • When Rand Paul is on the correct side of this issue and the president is on the wrong side…

    I don’t like it either. But I try to remember that the Pres has access to info that we don’t, info that the idiot Rand Paul doesn’t have access to either.

    Adding……I also trust Pres. Obama with this authority to a MUCH greater degree than I ever would GWB.
    I hope POTUS loses it by the end of Term II.

    • holyreality

      I’m sorry to inform you that many many jingo warriors used that very same idea to justify invading Iraq.

      Almost exactly to the word, “President Bush has information that we do not know”, right information that the intelligence was cooked up like a junkie’s fix.

      Normally I would agree with you that I’d trust Obama, and his staff not to abuse it.
      However when you have a POTUS who demonstrates his policy toward whistleblowers as more oppressive than any previous president, we all need to step back and take a breath.

      It appears that Obama is more concerned with medical cannabis busts, and internet poker than the well being of the people. It looks like he is more concerned with secrecy than transparency.

      Now I’m a fan, and distasteful as it is to bring it up, I must call him on this bullshit. I want to give him more credit, for all I know, he is doing his best to accomplish a lot without getting himself killed like JFK.

      • JMAshby

        Manning is not a whistle-blower, unless by whistle-blower you mean leaking 250,000 completely random unfiltered documents.

        • holyreality

          Sibel Edmonds has gone a bit over the top, but I understand the chip on her shoulder after her own Kafkaesque experience during the Bush regime.

          Brad Manning is but one example, you can split hairs proving that he is not a whistleblower, and I’ll concede.

          That leaves many more whistleblowers hidden, or ignored by the press. I hate to copy/paste too much but these paragraphs are not conspiracy theory but fact.
          The worst president in US history in persecuting, prosecuting and jailing government whistleblowers and truth-tellers: The list of his known whistleblower victims so far includes Thomas Drake , Bradley Manning, and Jeffrey Sterling, but then again, these are only known ones, and the President has been busy going after reporters and forming Grand Juries in order to hunt more.

          One of the worst presidents when it comes to invoking baseless and unconstitutional executive secrecy to quash inquiries into secret illegalities: The list of this Presidents’ known invocations of unconstitutional secrecy called State Secrets Privilege so far includes NSL Illegal Wiretapping- Jewel vs. NSA & Shubert vs. Obama, Covering up rendition & assassination case- Anwar al-Aulaqi , Illegal torture case- Binyam Mohamed. Just remember, these are only publicly known and proven cases of this President’s unconstitutional secrecy record. There are many others whose existence has been secret.

          The only President who has reenacted Fahrenheit 451 by actually collecting and burning a book with a never-justified secrecy and classification excuse: Lt. Col Tony Shaffer’s book-Operation Dark Heart.

          A President who has been a staunch supporter of jailing peaceful protestors on his way to becoming a president who has jailed the largest number of protestors in the last three decades: there have been over two thousand six hundred, 2600, arrests of activists protesting in the US, 670 people in 2011, over 1290 in 2010, and 665 a in 2009.

          A President under whom FOIA secrecy has been increasing drastically, and for the first time ever this secrecy’s costs have surpassed $10 billion: FOIA under Obama
          When he defends secret Patriot Acts, and witchhunts, NOBODY is immune to the corruption of power.

          • JMAshby

            Yeah, you’re not going to convince me by quoting someone repeatedly referring to him as the worst president ever.

            And thats beside the fact that a lot of those “facts” are subjective or flatout miss-attributed, particularly the part about arresting protesters. As if the president personally ordered law-enforcement agencies around the country to become more aggressive in arresting protesters.

            Also prefacing your arguments by saying “those are just the ones we know about ” IS a conspiracy theory.

          • holyreality

            I’m try not to convince anyone, I’m just asking for us to take a step back, and look at it again.

            Sibel has a big chip, and deserves to carry it. She would not go to superlatives if not necessary in her mind.

            The fact that secret detention is retained, and active should scare us all, even if one would be called Obamabot, we all need to rationally look at it.

            If it does not scare you, two words in relation to secret presidential powers should;
            President Trump.

          • Ditto Ashby’s response to your post.


  • I’m not buying it Stubbhead. I’ll put money on it that if he does indeed get re-elected that he does keep it in place. Just my opinion based on his past performance so far.
    But, I would like to hear your reasoning if you don’t mind.

  • Stubbhead

    This is something Obama cannot shit can until after he is re-elected.

    • ronbo

      Like that would ever happen.