[Politech] Bush calls for renewal of Patriot Act [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 20:20:41 PDT

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    THE WHITE HOUSE
    
                              Office of the Press Secretary
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    April 19, 2004
    
            Fact Sheet: President Bush Calls for Renewing the USA PATRIOT Act
           Also Urges Congress to Close Loopholes in Other Anti-Terrorism Laws
    
    Today
    
    's Presidential Action
    
          The President traveled to Hershey, Pennsylvania today to address the
        importance of the USA PATRIOT Act with local and state officials.
    
          The President called for Congress to renew all parts of the USA 
    PATRIOT
        Act that are scheduled to expire next year.  Before 9/11, barriers 
    prevented
        counterterrorism officials from communicating effectively with one 
    another.
        The USA PATRIOT Act brought down the artificial wall separating law
        enforcement and intelligence officers and allowed them to talk to 
    each other
        as they work to prevent future attacks.
    
          The President also called upon Congress to close existing legal 
    loopholes
        that deny law enforcement officials the same tools to fight terror 
    that they
        have to fight other crime.  These include:
    
        o          Using administrative subpoenas, enabling law enforcement 
    officials
           to obtain certain time-sensitive records more quickly ? a legal tool
           already used in civil and criminal matters such as healthcare 
    fraud cases;
        o          Establishing a presumptive denial of bail in terrorism 
    cases -- a
           legal tool currently used against drug dealers, which will ensure 
    that the
           law does not allow suspected terrorists to be released before 
    trial; and
        o          Allowing the death penalty for terrorist crimes that 
    result in
           death.  This would close a legal loophole that enables some 
    sexual abuse
           and drug-related offenses that result in death to qualify for the 
    death
           penalty ? but not some terrorism crimes that result in the death of
           innocents.
    
    Background on Today's Presidential Action
    
          Before September 11, law enforcement, intelligence, and national 
    security
        officials were prevented by legal and bureaucratic restrictions from 
    sharing
        critical information with each other ? and with state and local law
        enforcement officials.  These restrictions made it much more 
    difficult to get
        a complete picture of the terrorist threats ? preventing law 
    enforcement from
        having all the pieces of the puzzle in one place.
    
          By passing the USA Patriot Act, we removed those barriers ? and 
    now, the
        law enforcement and intelligence communities are working together as 
    never
        before.  The USA PATRIOT Act was passed with overwhelming 
    bi-partisan support
        by the Senate 98-1, and 357?66 by the House of Representatives.
    
          The USA PATRIOT Act has played a key role in a number of successful
        operations to protect innocent Americans from terrorists.  In 
    passing the USA
        PATRIOT Act, Congress provided for measured changes in the law.  But 
    these
        changes have enabled the Federal Government to better track terrorists,
        disrupt their cells, seize their assets, and share more information with
        state and local law enforcement.
    
        o          The USA PATRIOT Act facilitates information sharing and
           cooperation among government agencies so that they can better 
    "connect the
           dots."  The Act removed barriers that prevented the law enforcement,
           intelligence, and national defense communities from coordinating 
    their
           work to protect the American people and our national security. 
    Now FBI
           agents, Federal prosecutors, and intelligence officials can 
    protect our
           communities by "connecting the dots" to uncover terrorist plots 
    before
           they are completed while respecting constitutional rights.
    
        o          The Act allows law enforcement to conduct investigations 
    without
           tipping off terrorists.  If criminals are tipped off too early to an
           investigation, they are likely to flee, destroy evidence, 
    intimidate or
           kill witnesses, cut off contact with associates, or take other 
    actions to
           evade arrest.  Therefore, Federal courts in narrow circumstances 
    have long
           allowed law enforcement to delay for a limited time notifying a 
    subject
           that a judicially-approved search warrant has been executed.  The USA
           PATRIOT Act codified the procedures for obtaining these warrants, 
    which
           require court approval.  Notice is always provided, but with 
    reasonable
           delay, enabling law enforcement to identify the criminal's 
    associates,
           eliminate immediate threats to our communities, and coordinate 
    the arrests
           of multiple individuals without tipping them off beforehand.
    
          The USA PATRIOT Act uses proven law enforcement methods in new 
    ways to
        reflect new technologies and new threats.  The Act brought the law 
    up-to-date
        with the new technologies actually used by terrorists, so America no 
    longer
        has to fight a digital-age battle with outdated legal authorities.
    
        o          Roving wiretaps ? in which a wiretap authorization 
    attaches to a
           particular suspect, rather than a particular communication device 
    ? have
           been used by law enforcement for years to investigate ordinary crimes
           including drug offenses and racketeering.  The USA PATRIOT Act 
    authorized
           the same techniques in national-security investigations. This 
    provision
           has enhanced the government's authority to monitor sophisticated
           international terrorists and intelligence officers, who are 
    trained to
           thwart surveillance, such as by rapidly changing cell phones, 
    just before
           important meetings or communications.
        o          Before September 11, law enforcement could more easily 
    obtain the
           business and financial records of white-collar criminals than of 
    suspected
           terrorists.  The USA PATRIOT Act ended this double standard ? 
    making it
           easier for investigators to catch suspected terrorists by 
    following their
           paper trail.
        o          Before the USA PATRIOT Act, federal judges could impose 
    tougher
           prison terms on drug traffickers than they could on terrorists. 
    Now, the
           penalties for crimes committed by terrorists have been strengthened.
    
    
          The USA PATRIOT Act gives investigators the tools, such as roving
        wiretaps and delayed-notification search warrants, which are needed 
    to stop
        terrorists before they strike, fulfilling America's duty to win the 
    War on
        Terror and never forget the lessons of September 11, 2001.  The USA 
    PATRIOT
        Act has not diminished our liberty ? it has defended our liberty and 
    made
        America more secure.  Congress must renew the USA PATRIOT Act and take
        further steps to improve our ability to fight terror within the United
        States.
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