U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid brazenly gloats over political victory of killing the Patriot Act...
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is roundly fisked in this article, just as he was by President Bush in his press conference yesterday, after Reid had been caught on camera consuming his usual foot sandwich as he brazenly bragged of having "killed the Patriot Act."
Reid was so puffed-up with his anti-war/anti-administration political victory and sticking it to Republicans and the President, he just let his base motivations hang bare for all to see and hear.
Have a look for yourselves in excerpts below or in uncut version at above link.
"Patriot Act Showdown Let Democrats take responsibility for their filibuster."
"At midnight on December 31, while Americans are ringing in the New Year, terrorists will have something to celebrate too: The expiration of 16 key provisions of the USA Patriot Act. Excuse us if we don't break out the Champagne.
There's still a chance a deal can be reached to extend the anti-terrorism law before the deadline, but don't count on it. That would require an act of responsibility from Senate Democrats--something that's in short supply these days on matters of national security.
Instead, this Senate minority of 42 Democrats and four Republicans prefers to impose its will on bipartisan majorities by refusing to let the renewal of the Patriot Act come to the Senate floor for a vote. President Bush called the filibuster "inexcusable" this week, and most Republicans seem ready to fight this one out for a change. They ought to.
The Patriot Act was passed in 2001 by huge bipartisan majorities--357-66 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, most Members of Congress believed that the law provided reasonable protection of Americans' civil liberties. Its most important contribution was to tear down the infamous "wall" between intelligence gathering and law enforcement.
The Justice Department says that without the Patriot Act it could not have broken up terrorist cells in Buffalo, Portland (Oregon), Seattle, Detroit and Virginia. Critics say that claim is impossible to verify, but we do know for sure that no court has verified a single example of the Patriot Act being used to curtail anyone's civil liberties. Rest assured the Act's critics would have found one by now if it existed....
The Senate filibusterers include four Republicans--John Sununu, Chuck Hagel, Lisa Murkowski and Larry Craig.... this Republican foursome is abetting what looks to be nothing more than a political exercise to pin a defeat on President Bush.
Democrats don't even want to take responsibility for killing the legislation. Instead they want Republicans to let them extend the existing version for three months, which means they think it's just fine for Americans to live with the allegedly frightening terms of the original Act. This filibuster-and-pass-it-next-year strategy looks like an attempt to appease their vocal left-wing base that seems to think terrorism is a minor threat, while also dodging any responsibility for killing the Act as they head into next year's elections.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid gave this double game away when he boasted to a Democratic meeting last Friday that "I killed the Patriot Act." But after Mr. Bush cited him publicly for that quote, Mr. Reid turned around and said he really does want to pass it. If Democrats believe the Patriot Act is as terrible as they describe it, then let them take responsibility for their filibuster--and for killing it..."