USA PATRIOT Act Topics

An archive of Democracy Now! reports on the USA PATRIOT Act since it was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. It has been reauthorized several times by both President Bush and President Barack Obama.

Newest First | Oldest First
  • Attorney David Cole examines a recent court ruling that he says marks one of the biggest defeats for the Justice Department regarding the Patriot Act to date. A Saudi graduate student was jailed for over a year and a half for designing websites that linked to sites with terror ties. Cole asks, could the New York Times be charged for linking to sites with terror ties?
    Jun 16, 2004 | Story
  • We speak with Joyce Meskis, owner of the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, CO. A full year and a half before the Patriot Act, Meskis was confronted by police who demanded she turn over a patron’s records. Meskis refused and has since become a leading figure in librarians and booksellers’ struggle against civil liberties violations in Section 215 in the Patriot Act. [includes rush transcript]
    May 06, 2004 | Story
  • We speak with two whistleblowers from different eras about their experiences in speaking out: Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator hired to translate pre-9/11 intelligence, has said the U.S. had considerable evidence that al Qaida was planning to strike the U.S. with airplanes. The Bush administration is now trying to block her from testifying at a major 9/11 lawsuit. And Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps the most famous whistleblower in U.S. history...
    Apr 29, 2004 | Story
  • In addition to laying blame for counterterrorism failures on the Clinton administration, Ashcroft also defended the controverisal Patriot Act, as well as the Detain and Clear policy for immigrants. We speak with Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies. [includes rush transcript]
    Apr 14, 2004 | Story
  • We speak with renowned author, political analyst and activist Michael Parenti. His latest book is "The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome." [includes transcript]
    Feb 23, 2004 | Story
  • A district judge ruled unconstitutional one provision of the USA Patriot Act that bans certain types of support for terrorist groups saying the law was so vague that it risked running afoul of the First Amendment. We speak with the attorney who argued the case. [includes transcript]
    Jan 27, 2004 | Story
  • In the third State of the Union address of his term, President Bush defended the war on Iraq, called for the renewal of the Patriot Act, praised the improving economy and called for a ban on gay marriage. We spend the hour listening to responses to Bush’s address that paint a different picture of the State of the Union.
    Jan 21, 2004 | Story
  • In his State of the Union address, Bush claimed if the US did not invade Iraq, "the dictator’s weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day." He did not acknowledge, however, that U.S. inspectors have uncovered no unconventional weapons.
    A year ago at the 2003 State of the Union, Bush made the case for war by claiming that Iraq had 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tones of sarin,...
    Jan 21, 2004 | Story
  • We speak with Leslie Cagan of the antiwar coalition United for Peace and Justice about Bush’s statements on Iraq. She criticizes Bush for "talking about a war but not mentioning that anybody has died in the war–either Iraqis or U.S. soldiers."
    And we hear from columnist and Institute for Public Accuracy director Norman Solomon who likens the State of the Union address to the "sanitized" media coverage of the Iraq...
    Jan 21, 2004 | Story
  • Bush called for a renewal of the controversial Patriot Act saying, "key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year. The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule." We speak with the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. [includes transcript]
    Jan 21, 2004 | Story