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2003-02-10

Justice Department Secretly Drafts Legislation to Strengthen the Patriot Act

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The Justice Department is drafting legislation that would strengthen the already sweeping powers granted by the USA Patriot Act.

Under the bill, the government could strip people of their citizenship and expatriate them if they provide material support to a group the government decides is a "terrorist organization."

All municipal and state laws that regulate police spying on domestic groups would become invalid.

The bill would automatically deny bail for anyone accused of terrorist-related crimes.

All governmental agencies would be barred from releasing any information about individuals detained in terrorism investigations.

A DNA database would be set up to include suspects not convicted of any crimes.

The bill is entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003. A draft copy was obtained and released on Friday by the watchdog group Center for Public Integrity.

Guests:

  • Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity.
  • David Cole, Georgetown University Law professor and author of "Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security."

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