The House just passed a 3-month PATRIOT Act extension 279-143. Here’s the ACLU’s statement.
Julian Sanchez’ post from yesterday discusses why this is (relatively) good news . And as EFF tweeted, we have three months to organize.
Here’s a Doodle poll for our next organizing call. Please let us know when you can make it!
The grassroots anger against the PATRIOT Act is real across the political spectrum. So is the fear. And I agree with the politicians on both sides who said there’s a lot of misinformation out there. So over the next three months we need to do a lot of education, and get our message out in a way that’ll be heard.
And we need to make sure politicians get an earful from their constituents over next three months. The PATRIOT Act is an emblem of the kind of government intrusion the Tea Party and Libertarians loathes. So the Tea Party caucus — and every politician facing a likely Tea Party or Libertarian challenger in the 2012 primaries or general election — will be thinking very carefully about their votes. And ditto for progressives (and politicians facing progressive challengers).
There are a range of options and amendements on the table: permanent extension, a multi-year extension as requested by the Obama Administration, new safeguards, a reintroduced JUSTICE Act. And a lot of the people I heard calling in on CSPAN supported an outright repeal.*
For almost ten years, the PATRIOT Act has been an embarrassment to our country and even most of the politicians who have voted for it. One way or another, it’s time to do something about it.
Stay tuned for more.
* speaking of which, for those of you on Facebook, here’s info about a March 12 protest in DC to repeal the PATRIOT Act.