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7/14/2004

More Selective Declassification

The Justice Department released a memo showing some concrete uses of the USA PATRIOT ACT

The report did not mention some more controversial powers, such as the FBI's ability to obtain library and bookstore records in terrorism cases or the so-called "sneak and peek" search warrants in which agents need not immediately tell suspects their home or business had been searched.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, accused the department of selectively releasing information and refusing to address civil liberties concerns.

"Coupled with the department's consistent record of exaggerating their record about terrorism, this entire report is suspect," Conyers said. [AP]
This is good advice. John Ashcroft should follow it:
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he considered the report a political document rather than a serious examination of the Patriot Act's impact. The Bush administration, he said, should "spend less time waging public relations campaigns and more time responding to the specific, legitimate concerns of the American people."
More on selective declassification here, here, here, here, and here.

Update 7:42 EST: Volokh has a link to the DOJ document.

 

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