USA Patriot Act II (Victory Act)

Beware! GOP Pushes Stealth Patriot Act II
USA Patriot Act II (Victory Act)

"Under the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II provisions passed in the Intelligence Authorization Act last year, the FBI doesn't need a court order or probable cause to obtain the transaction records for patrons of libraries, Internet service providers, telephone co's, casinos, travel agents, jewelers, car dealers or other businesses. The FBI can simply draft a 'national security letter' stating records are needed, without being specific about the data being sought or the people being investigated. A nondisclosure provision prevents the letter recipient from telling anyone about it, including patrons whose records may be investigated. Under HR 3179, anyone who knowingly violates the secrecy clause could be imprisoned for a year, and anyone who violates it with 'the intent to obstruct an investigation or judicial proceeding' could be imprisoned up to five years. The bill also lets authorities force individuals and companies to comply with security letters under contempt-of-court threats."

Bush Signs Parts of Patriot Act II into Law -- Stealthily
USA Patriot Act II (Victory Act)

David Martin writes: "On December 13, when U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein, President George W. Bush not only celebrated with his national security team, but also pulled out his pen and signed into law a bill that grants the FBI sweeping new powers. A White House spokesperson explained the curious timing of the signing - on a Saturday - as 'the President signs bills seven days a week.' But the last time Bush signed a bill into law on a Saturday happened more than a year ago - on a spending bill that the President needed to sign, to prevent shutting down the federal government the following Monday. By signing the bill on the day of Hussein's capture, Bush effectively consigned a dramatic expansion of the USA Patriot Act to a mere footnote. Consequently, while most Americans watched as Hussein was probed for head lice, few were aware that the FBI had just obtained the power to probe their financial records, even if the feds don't suspect their involvement in crime or terrorism."

Florida Supreme Court Justice Questions the 'Victory Act'
USA Patriot Act II (Victory Act)

"A Florida Supreme Court justice told law students Thursday that he is concerned about Bush's request to expand provisions of the Patriot Act that would allow investigators to bypass grand juries when seeking subpoenas for suspected terrorists. 'Bush is suggesting by this story that he wants to forego the requirement for going to a neutral agency, neutral in this case the grand jury, to get subpoenas or to get search requirements out,' Justice Bell said. 'As a former judge, that scares me.' The Post story also said Bush wants investigators to have the authority to withhold bail from suspects and to allow for the death penalty in more cases. 'That is the beauty of the system of checks and balances,' Bell said.... 'I respect law enforcement very much, but that check and balance is very important,' he said. 'That's a judicial responsibility, and the advocate for the individuals involved, or for the community should say, 'That's too far. We need that check.''"

Patriot Act II Has a Name -- The Victory Act
USA Patriot Act II (Victory Act)

Patriotwatch.org quotes a Wired article: "Congress may consider a bill that not only expands the government's wiretapping and investigative powers but also would link low-level drug dealing to terrorism and ban a traditional form of Middle Eastern banking. The draft legislation -- titled the Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003, or Victory Act -- includes significant portions of the so-called Patriot Act II, which faced broad opposition from conservatives and liberals alike and embarrassed the Justice Department when it was leaked to the press in February." 'Victory Act' -- catchy name -- victory of what -- Big Brother Totalitarianism? Why not call it the 'Triumph of the Will' Act?