Congress on Amending the Patriot Act, Captured Iraqi Documents

03.07.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

With final congressional reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act now imminent, new legislation was introduced in the Senate yesterday to amend the reauthorized Act.

“What this legislation does is reinstate provisions of the original Senate-passed [Patriot Act reauthorization] bill,” said Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). Those provisions were rejected by the House Republican leadership.

The new bipartisan legislation, jointly sponsored by Senators Specter and Leahy among others, would “require a more reasonable period for delayed-notice search warrants, provide enhanced judicial review of FISA orders and national security letters, require an enhanced factual basis for a FISA order, and create national security letter sunset provisions.”

The legislation does not confront the awkward fact that the Bush Administration appears to believe it does not have to comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

See the introduction of the new bill here.

Another bill, introduced by Rep. Pete Hoekstra, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, would require the Director of National Intelligence to release documents captured in Afghanistan or Iraq.

“The Director of National Intelligence shall make publicly available on an Internet website all captured documents.”

“The term ‘captured document’ means a document captured or collected in Afghanistan or Iraq, including a document collected from the Government of Iraq or from a private person and including a document in electronic form, during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom,” the legislation states.