Bush administration misusing the "PATRIOT" Act

The Bush administration has begun using the so-called "PATRIOT" Act in many investigations that have little or no connection to "terrorism".

The Department of Justice is very open about its abuse of the law's provisions:
A guide to a Justice Department employee seminar last year on financial crimes, for instance, said: "We all know that the USA Patriot Act provided weapons for the war on terrorism. But do you know how it affects the war on crime as well?"

"There are many provisions in the Patriot Act that can be used in the general criminal law," Mark Corallo, a department spokesman, said. "And I think any reasonable person would agree that we have an obligation to do everything we can to protect the lives and liberties of Americans from attack, whether it's from terrorists or garden-variety criminals."
Right... defending the "liberties" of Americans by trampling all over them.

For those who do not recall - like Mr. Corallo - the full name of the so-called "PATRIOT" Act is the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism" Act. The law was supposedly designed to deal with "terrorism", not "garden-variety" crime. The fact that it is being used primarily for non-terrorism-related cases ("...75 percent of the convictions that the department classified as 'international terrorism' were wrongly labeled) indicates that the law is being abused, as opponents said it would be.

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