Here’s How You Can End the PATRIOT Act

Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee will give another look at the markup of the Leahy PATRIOT Act reauthorization bill.  Senator Leahy’s proposed changes represent the first, and best, chance for significant reform on a piece of legislation that undermines the very fabric of our democracy.  Care2 has extensively covered the abuses rendered by the PATRIOT Act.  Now here’s your chance to help.

Some of the changes proposed by Senator Leahy include limiting the use of sneak-and-peak warrants and National Security Letters.  Senator Leahy also proposes barring “bulk collection” under FISA and finally holds telecom companies accountable for past abuses.

The proposed changes to the Act has a broad coalition of support including the ACLU, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the American Library Association.  These organizations, and many others, have all rallied around Senator Russ Feingold’s proposed JUSTICE Act, a more comprehensive approach to fixing the PATRIOT Act than the changes proposed by Senator Leahy.  Thursday will determine which provisions of Senator Feingold’s JUSTICE Act make it into the Leahy bill.

Here’s how you can help.  Contact Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to add the provisions of the JUSTICE Act during markup.  Their contact information is provided below.  Urge Senators to sign on to the legislation as co-sponsors.  If you maintain a Twitter account, tweet the link to this page, then follow the action on the #patriotact hashtag.  Retweet early and retweet often.  Share the link on Facebook and join the  PASS the JUSTICE Act group.

A democracy is only as strong as the will of its people.  If we stay silent we remain complicit.  It’s time to end, once and for all, the legacy of abuse of the past administration.

SJC Senate Democrat
Chairman Patrick Leahy
(202) 224-4242

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
(202) 224-5653

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
(202) 224-3841

Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-WI)
(202) 224-5323

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
(202) 224-6542

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Illinois)
(202) 224-2152

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
(202) 224-4524

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
(202) 224-2921

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
(202) 224-3244

Sen. Edward E. Kaufman (D-DE)
(202) 224-5042

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA)
(202) 224-4254

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

photo courtesy of via Flickr


Catherine S.
CAT S8 years ago

According to Wikipedia (I know, not a great source...but...)
The Patriot Act is an acronym.

Full title is USA PATRIOT ACT:
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001

Acronym / colloquial name USA PATRIOT Act, also Patriot Act

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S8 years ago

Something like the Patriot Act was not put into place by Clinton because he was not a "unitary executive" (something that does NOT exist in our Constitution) who was trying to grab as much power for the Executive Branch as possible.

Bush was given intel from our EXISTING agencies telling him that 9-11 was likely to happen. He IGNORED our peril. It had NOTHING to do with agencies not sharing intelligence. He WAS TOLD.

The only good thing that came out of Homeland Security were the extra police which were needed anyway. The rest is a very costly joke that we pay for in oh-so-many ways every day.

Since when did America become such a nation of cowards that we need "Daddy" in Washington to "protect" us?

If you don't mind an overreaching government who is systematically destroying and stealing every right you ever had, I hear Somalia has a lovely dictator who'll be happy to take care of you.

Our nation's founders are turning over in their collective graves.

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S8 years ago

Homeland Security has done very little to "keep the country safe" and mainly just created yet another huge Washington bureaucracy. You have NO proof whatsoever that any parts of the Patriot Act or even Homeland Security are actually working to prevent any attacks.

It is my understanding that the majority of plans stopped have been due to local authorities discovering the information. Also, please bear in mind that any effective plan for another attack takes YEARS to plan and then more to implement.

Any of you who "don't want to end" the "Patriot Act" have obviously not read it and believe the lies that it is doing anything to protect us. It is not. Must be getting your info from Faux News and Lush Limpbaugh. It has stolen our constitutional rights and places us at more danger from within than we were or are from without.

If we really want agencies to share information, then make it law ONLY and appoint a board or similar to receive all the intel. We don't need another entire agency to foment this. We also don't need another entire agency to track potential terrorists. We have the agents and agencies in place already who can do that. Cold War anyone?

It must be sad for you folks who all live in such fear of the Boogie Man in a terrorist's turban. Meanwhile, you fall all over yourselves giving up MY constitutional rights because you so fear giving up your shopping, waste and willful ignorance.

Sad, to what depths our nation has fallen.

Roger H.
.8 years ago

Yes, the Patriot Act is not perfect, but it created the Homeland Security agency, added more local and state police, and trained them to find sleeper terrorist cells and that is why 9-11 has not been repeated and thousands of other terrorist plots were unsuccessfull (most of them that we never hear about on the news because of the top secret nature of anti-terrorist monitoring). If something like the Patriot Act had been put in place by President Clinton after the first World Trade Center bombing, 9-11 probably would have never happened because there would have been better communication between government agencies and ultimately all agencies would have been reporting to Homeland Security as they do now.
Make the proper revisions to the Patriot Act to get rid of the things that don't work and are not necessary but keep the good provisions that actually are working.

Frank Lornitzo
Frank Lornitzo8 years ago

I don't need anyone to tell me Robert R. Meant "tenets". Either way it is it is a bunch of baloney.
But to the one who argues "whats the use" the CIA and FBI keep on doing what they want: There is always finite chance of someone getting caught even if many get away with passing bad checks and rape .

Frank Lornitzo
Frank Lornitzo8 years ago

Who is Robert R and who are the 'tenants" of the Patriot act?
How much is the rent and are there vacancies?

Pamela M.
pam M8 years ago

Um...ok do you folks actually think that any legislation or lack thereof is going to stop our FBI, CIA, Homeland Security or any other government entity from spying on American citizens? Please .. some of you must be awfully young or very naive. Do you not remember the 60's or ever read about the era? The bugging of Martin Luther King, Malcom X, the Black Panthers, Mohammad Ali, probably all the Kennedys, and any active prominent war protesters (hippies) homes and offices by a closet transvesite known as J. Edgar Hoover. They didn't need any stinking badges, legislation or piece of paper to tell them "don't do that". These ego manic fanatics do what they please with or without the patriot act. Oh by the by while J E and his cronies were keeping a "watchful eye" on the Black Panthers while they were serving breakfast to hungry LA school children before they went to school; Charlie Manson and his crew were causing havoc in a desert not far from LA setting the scene for the worst murder of the era. go figure

Jeffrey W.
Jeffrey W8 years ago

I don't want to end the Patriot Act. Nor does the large majority of Americans, and without them, you aren't likely to get very far.

Robert R.
Robert R8 years ago

Nobody seems to like the Patriot Act ( a misnomer ), but as most here ... no-one has a better suggestion.

Until that occurs, I will support the tenants of the Patriot Act.

Deal with it.

Rowland S.
Rowland S8 years ago

The ill-named PATRIOT Act has nothing to do with patriotism, and cannot defend America any better than before it was inserted. The act is essentially a power grab by the executive minded Cheney, and almost succeeded in wrecking the country permanently. It should be discarded forthwith. In fact, I thought and expected Obama to do it as his first official act.