Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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they're uptight enough as it is.
When The New York Times
broke the story this morning that Pres. Bush had overruled previous prohibitions and allowed intelligence agencies to spy on U.S. citizens, it sparked a wave of bipartisan concern that threw up an obstacle to renewal of the Patriot Act.
A bipartisan group of senators voted against closing debate on renewal of the patriot act. After the vote, many senators of both parties said that they need to conduct an investigation into depradations against basic American civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Patriot Act has made most people wary. They have thought about whether they must give up their basic rights to be secure against terrorists. And most have decided that rights do not have to be relinquished in the name of security. They have registered their doubts to their senators, and some senators who voted against cloture on the debate said that constituents are what determined their votes.
The people have spoken and politicians have noted the restiveness in America about what they have been told about terrorism. The news that Bush suspended their Constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure weighed heavily against renewal of the Patriot Act.
America seems to have regained its ability to think critically about what it is told by its would-be leaders.
We will most likely have some provisions of the Patriot Act renewed, but we will also have hearings on the suspension of Constitutional freedoms.