News

Bush Calls for Renewal of Patriot Act Provisions

Multimedia

Audio

President Bush wants Congress to make permanent broader law enforcement powers put in place following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Congressional Democrats say the Patriot Act is a threat to civil liberties.

President Bush says America's response to the attacks in New York and Washington has dealt terrorists a series of powerful blows. But while they are on the run, Mr. Bush says terrorists are still actively seeking to do the nation harm.

"The terrorists are patient and determined. And so are we," he said. "They are hoping that we will get complacent and forget our responsibilities. Once again, they are proving that they do not know our nation. The United States of America will never let down its guard."

Standing before state police at a training academy in the Midwest state of Ohio, the president reminded Americans of their fears after the 2001 attacks, saying the broader police powers that followed were the clear, considered response of a nation at war.

The Patriot Act was written to make its broader police powers temporary in a compromise meant to allay the fears of civil libertarians wary of state surveillance.

With 16 of those provisions set to expire at year's end, the president is campaigning to make them permanent. He is facing opposition from Congressional Democrats and some Republicans who say they support much of the act, including information sharing between law enforcement and intelligence officers.

It is greater powers of search and seizure that concern opponents as the act allows law enforcement officers to search homes and businesses without notifying the owners. There are also lower thresholds for searches and wire-taps that do not require subpoenas from federal judges.

Civil libertarians want law enforcement officials to show evidence of a connection to terrorism before employing the act's powers.

President Bush says all provisions of the Patriot Act are fully consistent with the U.S. Constitution and there is strong judicial oversight. In the four years it has been in force, he says Congressional Democrats have found no reported abuses.

"Remember that the next time you hear someone make an unfair criticism of this important, good law," the president said. "The Patriot Act has not diminished American liberties. The Patriot Act has helped to defend American liberties."

In confronting potential high tech threats of computer espionage and cyberterrorism, President Bush wants Congress to extend protections for internet service providers who can now voluntarily turn over e-mails to law enforcement without the fear of civil lawsuits from their customers.

"Terrorists are using every advantage they can to inflict harm," he said. "Terrorists are using every advantage of 21st century technology, and Congress needs to ensure that our law enforcement can use that same advantage as well."

Mr. Bush says U.S. law enforcement officers have brought charges against more than 400 suspects thanks to the Patriot Act and more than half of those have been convicted.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs