September 22, 2003
Patriot Act, Part II
The complete article may be purchased online from the New York Times archives
... President Bush spoke out last week in favor of a three-point plan for expanding the law.
Patriot Act II would give the government broad powers to seize documents and force testimony without a court order, expand
use of the death penalty and make it harder to be released on bail. None of these tools are necessary to fight terrorism,
and each threatens to infringe on the civil liberties of Americans. ...
The new death penalty provision is not needed: antiterrorism laws already provide for capital punishment.
And it is worded so vaguely that it could be used against people with no ties to international terrorism, including domestic
The administration is acting as if it does not have the legal powers it needs to fight terrorism, when it
does. The drive to roll back civil liberties is a threat to freedom and a distraction. The administration would better use
its energy on more effective law enforcement strategies to keep us safe.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company