Last Updated:November 29 @ 05:55 pm

Sensenbrenner: 'It goes far, far beyond the Patriot Act'

By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Former House judiciary chairman Jim Sensenbrenner criticized the Obama administration Thursday over the secret collection of communications records from a Verizon subsidiary.

"It goes far, far beyond the Patriot Act," Sensenbrenner, who wrote that 2001 law, said in an interview. "If the Bush administration was (also) doing it, they shouldn't have. ... It doesn't make any difference how long it has been going on. It never should have happened. And since it has happened, it ought to stop."

Revelations about the surveillance program have drawn mixed reactions from both sides of the aisle. But Sensenbrenner said he believes there is a bipartisan consensus on the House judiciary committee that the surveillance program is a serious overreach.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the Republican congressman from Menomonee Falls called the program "an over-broad interpretation of the (Patriot) Act," and said it raised "questions about whether our constitutional rights are secure."

The surveillance program also drew criticism from former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat who was the lone vote in the U.S. Senate against the Patriot Act in 2001.

In a statement, Feingold said:

"In 2001, I first voted against the Patriot Act because much of it was simply an FBI wish list that included provisions allowing our government to go on fishing expeditions that collect information on virtually anyone. Today's report indicates that the government could be using FISA in an indiscriminate way that does not balance our legitimate concerns of national security with the necessity to preserve our fundamental civil rights. This is deeply troubling. I hope today's news will renew a serious conversation about how to protect the country while ensuring that the rights of law-abiding Americans are not violated."

Sensenbrenner said when he found out about the program from news reports, "I said, 'Wow! This goes much beyond what we envisioned in the Patriot Act.'"


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  1. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    June 7, 2013 @ 7:09 am

    all this grand technology computers,tablets,i phones and i pads for the good of mankind.well i say thats bs,all this super technology has done is turn people into recluses and gave government and others ways to watch you and or steal your identity.take texting for instance,the more we as a people do it the less we talk to each other,there is a couple of generations of kids who dont know how to talk to others with out a phone,text or e-mail and that is just sad.

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  2. my04301933Comment by my04301933
    June 7, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    DEMOCRATS..especially our Congress and Senate holders of seats…

    Everyone of you HAS BEEN, or WILL BE, spied upon via your EMAIL and TELEPHONE conversations …


    This includes your family electronic communications, i.e., as your children talk to their friends about what daddy or mother discusses at home, as your spouse talks about Obama and other Democrats…even your desire to impeach him.

    And…if you choose to have such discussion with both your Democrat and Republican friends, those with whom you wish to plan for possible impeachment with, then you have to go “off campus” to some secluded spot…even then you will be haunted by “drones” that can even hear conversations through thick concrete. my friendly DEMOCRATS…”hows that hope and change ” going for you?

    Obama will know just who is and who isn’t DEDICATED to him, what their political preferences and desires are, everything you discuss in private.

    His fellow DEMOCRATS will be filed into a portfolio about them…for further use, planning, strategies…

    …and how to get rid of you and all other opponents and competitors.


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    • darma2uComment by darma2u
      June 15, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

      Lol- only Democrats, really…This started in 1978 FISA and then they added The Patriot Act /p 9/11 because the terrorist were going to get us. Orange alert! over and over bombarded, freaking parents out that their children were in eminent danger and over again. And what other regulations, amendments, legislation and LAWS were enacted to save us while giving away our Bill of Rights and The Constitution. Don’t forget NDAA. and more on the way. While we have sent our people to fight wars in other countries for the very rights our Government is covertly destroying…look to Syria, Iran, Turkey, China – Tiananmen Square. Anyone who doesn’t think they were caught up in all of this is either a fool, delusional or has their head in the sand. Much of this has been done with McCarthyism ‘speak’, along with divide and conquer by both parties, more so the GOP but Both parties. Look at How the BIG has this revolving door between them and DC/Government and of course their money, bribes, grift, payola call it whatever. Something has to change in this country…people need to accept responsibility for who they vote for and then hold them accountable! People at our level need to vote our own best interest- See the Lee Atwater story. Stop buying the hype and stop ‘carrying the water’ (sound familiar) for the top 5%.

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