From a group I greatly admire, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, in looking ahead in 2005....
"USA PATRIOT Act Sunsets: Several of the more controversial sections of the USA PATRIOT Act will sunset on December 31, 2005, unless Congress votes to reauthorize them. Expect debate about these sections to begin this spring. In enacting those sections, Congress gave the Executive Branch new powers with very little accountability to Congress. In place of data on how the FBI has used the new powers, the Justice Department merely informs Congress that the new powers have been very helpful in preventing terrorist attacks, and that the best evidence that the USA PATRIOT Act is working is that there have been no terrorist attacks on our shores since September 11, 2001.
What you can do: The American people must ensure a more substantive debate about the USA PATRIOT Act. Information on how the DOJ is using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is classified and unavailable even to Congress. However, we can uncover how the USA PATRIOT Act and executive orders have affected people in our communities and bring that information to the attention of our local governments, our senators and representatives, and the media.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how your community can help ensure a productive, meaningful, nonpartisan debate about the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act."
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