Attorney General Holder on the Patriot Act

By: Harry Waisbren

Josh Gerstein from The Politico relays the transcript of Attorney General Eric Holder discussing the Patriot Act.

Jon flagged a key excerpt on the GFR-Discussion group:

I think that the provisions that are being considered for reauthorizations right now provide us with a lot of useful tools that we have used not only in this matter but in others to protect our nations. I think there’s certainly a conversation that can be had about do they need to be re-examined, do they need to be modified in some way to be more sensitive to civil liberties concerns. But I can say that the tools as they exist are valuable ones and not in a theoretical sense, valuable in the sense that we have used them.

Holder’s statement here is part and parcel of what Marcy Wheeler has dubbed the Zazi justification for Patriot. I.E. that these “tools” have been used and have been “valuable”, so that must mean that we have to give up liberty in the name of security indefinitely.

However, I see a very key part here in the “conversation” he cites since our open letter to Obama last summer turned into a conversation through his follow up post directed to us.

With Holder’s suggestion, perhaps it is time for us, once again, to try to directly engage them precisely for that kind of discussion?

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3 Responses to Attorney General Holder on the Patriot Act

  1. Sally G says:

    Yes, I definitely think that we should follow up on the earlier discussion. The president (then candidate) explained his position quite clearly in the follow-up blog post, we expressed our support at the inauguration with the TV ads, and now that the tone seems to have changed, I think we have the right and responsibility that he gave us in that post. To paraphrase, he said that although we might respectively, grassroots activism was part of the reason for his success, and that he expected to be held accountable. So let’s draft a letter pointing out how administration actions today are in many ways the continuation of Bush’s policies that now-Pres. Obama himself warned us we could expect from John McCain. It is time that we asked him to deliver on the promises he made—especially after the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize, which sets a high standard for his current and future actions.

  2. […] I posted about Attorney General Holder’s discussion of the “conversation to be had” about modifications for civil liberties concerns. Our […]

  3. harrywaisbren says:

    I posted SallyG’s comment in full in this post on Questioning Obama on the Patriot Act

    https://getfisaright.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/questioning-obama-on-the-patriot-act/

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