While battling the FBI's expanded surveillance guidelines, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., also revealed (Daily Kos, Oct. 8) that in the Senate Judiciary Committee review of the Patriot Act (also Oct. 8), Republicans protecting the Act were joined, in a closed-door classified session, by Obama officials with amendments further preserving it. Then, in a public session, all but three Democrats voted for a watered-down "compromise" bill by Patrick Leahy and Diane Feinstein.
Feingold, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and new Democrat Arlen Specter (Pa.) had the constitutional courage to oppose the Judiciary Committee bill eventually going to the floor that with few exceptions, leaves the Patriot Act intact. I'll be reporting on the crucial fight to bring the Bill of Rights back into the Patriot Act as Senate and House versions merge into a law to be signed by Obama as he continues the Bush-Cheney legacy.
It was Feingold who, in October 2001, was the only member of the Senate to vote against the original Patriot Act as, on the floor, he accurately predicted our greatly weakened privacy, due process and other rights since then.
He is not giving up. "In the end," Feingold says. "Democrats have to decide if they are going to stand up for the rights of the American people" or (for recent example) "allow the FBI to write our laws." MORE>>>>>>>