The Patriot Act expires next week but President Obama, who was once for transparency and openness in government, is pushing hard to keep the secret spying programs made possible by the Patriot Act alive.
Congressional leaders have been in talks about either reforming or reauthorizing the controversial bill before its June 1st expiration date, but the U. S. Senate was unable to resolve the matter before the recess. President Obama is urging them to continue considerations during the break, stressing the important details.
“I strongly urge the Senate to work through this recess and make sure that they identify a way to get this done,” Obama said.
“You have a whole range of authorities that are also embodied in the Patriot Act that are non-controversial, that everybody agrees are necessary to keep us safe and secure,” Obama said. “Those also are at risk of lapsing. So this [has to be] done.”
Are they really the important details? One of the bill’s stipulations is to continue to allow the retention of phone records, storing information at phone companies for a desired number of years. This situation gives officials the right to search the information with a court order. The fact that the federal government currently retains this information pushed Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to take the senate floor for an 11-hour stretch last week, tying up proceedings and preventing the final vote.
It was also admitted by the FBI that the unconstitutional spying provisions of the Patriot Act have failed to prevent even one single terror attack.
Clearly there’s another motive for all this mass data collection.