Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. If everyone who visited our website in the next week donated just $15, we would cover all of our operating costs for the year. We can't do it without you. Please donate today. It takes just a couple of minutes to do your part to make sure Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else.

Your Donation: $
Monday, October 29, 2001 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: "Divided We Stand: A Biography of New...
2001-10-29

Bush Signs Legislation Vastly Expanding Federal Powers to Wiretap, Eavesdrop, Detain Anddeport

download:   Video Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

President Bush signed legislation Friday dramatically expanding the ability of federal officials to tap telephonesand email traffic, and to detain and deport immigrants in the name of the so-called war on terrorism. Bush’s signingof the bill garnered little newspaper coverage over the weekend, and almost none on the major networks, even as civilliberties advocates warned that some of our most basic freedoms were being put at risk.

The bill, known as the USA Patriot Act, gives federal authorities unprecedented latitude in monitoring privatecommunications and expands the way such data is shared among federal agencies. The House of Representatives passedthe bill overwhelmingly on Wednesday, and the Senate on Thursday approved the measure 98-1. Russell Feingold ofWisconsin cast the only dissenting vote. Attorney General John Ashcroft vowed immediately to begin using his newpowers.

"If you overstay your visas even by one day, we will arrest you," he told a conference of mayors. He pledged thatcriminal suspects who commit the most minor of infractions will be "put in jail and be kept in custody as long aspossible."

Federal officials have arrested and detained nearly 1,000 people since Sept. 11, nearly all of them immigrants andpeople of Middle Eastern dissent. Most have been held on no evidence and with little or no access to lawyers. Andthis, privacy and civil liberties advocates caution, could be just the beginning.

Guest:

  • Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights

Related link:


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news