What Was Really in the Intelligence Reform Bill

Judge Andrew Napolitano, one of the best news analysts going, in my opinion, does not like the Intelligence Reform Bill at all:

The Patriot Act was cobbled together in secret after 9/11, and the final version contained language offensive to the Constitution that was not in the version distributed to members of the House and Senate. But Congress voted for it anyway.
When Congress adopted the Intelligence Reform Act, it secretly squeezed in what I refer to as an addendum to the Patriot Act, also without debate, by making changes to elements of the 2001 Patriot Act.

Here’s what it provides: At present, if the government wants a defendant held without bail, it must demonstrate to a judge that the defendant is a flight risk. Under this Patriot Act addendum, if the government declares a defendant a terrorist and a flight risk, the defendant must prove that he is not a flight risk, rather than the government proving that he is. This turns the presumption of innocence on its head, since in criminal cases, the Constitution requires that defendants don’t have to prove anything in order to enjoy their freedom.

Even though Patriot Act-authorized self-written search warrants have been held unconstitutional by the only federal court asked to review them, in New York City, the new addenda broaden the category of permissible recipients of self-written search warrants. They now include automobile, plane and boat dealers, telegraph companies, travel agencies and jewelry stores. Lawyers’ offices and the U.S. Postal Service were added last year. Congress merely ignored the unconstitutionality of the original law dealing with the warrants.
The Patriot Act and its progeny are the most abominable, unconstitutional congressional assaults on personal freedom since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 made it a crime to libel the government. With them, Congress and the president have attempted to legitimize the exchange of liberty for security. In effect, the government says, “Give us your freedoms, and we will protect you.” Such a satanic bargain misunderstands the nature of freedom and historically never has worked.
(Emphasis added.)

Judge Napolitano is a pretty conservative guy. But then, contrary to what left-liberals would have you believe, freedom is an ideal cherished most highly by true conservatives–not the socialists in conservative clothing who’ve hijacked the Republican Party.

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