Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Congress Extends Patriot Act

Congress voted today to extend the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and aimed to give law enforcement agencies greater tools to combat terrorists. Since its passage, liberals have criticized the Patriot Act for infringing on civil liberties.

Common sense seems to have prevailed today in Congress, which is an increasingly rare occurrence. Perhaps the bombing of 3 hotels in Amman, Jordan reminded Congress that, if Al Qaeda can dozens of people in a virtual police state, counter-terrorism law enforcement in the U.S. might need to retain its powers to keep tabs on potential Al Qaeda operations.

UPDATE: Both houses of Congress have passed the Patriot Act extension, but the 2 versions have differences. Therefore, before the extension can become law, the extension bill must go to a joint conference committee to resolve the differences, and the conference bil must be passed by both houses. Expect problems from Democrats and moderate Republicans over civil liberties issues.

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