Who could vote against a Bill known as the Patriot Act?
Wisconsin's Senator Russ Feingold spoke out against the anti-terrorism bill on October 25, 2001, and vowed to vote against the bill. He did this for very sound reasons - he wants Congress to work not only to stop terrorism, but also to protect our civil liberties as much as possible. His Statement to Congress is long, but well worth reading. In addition to stating his personal, and emotional reactions to the attacks on September 11th, he writes about the protection of civil liberties, the over reaching scope of the anti-terrorist bill, and the history of limitations on civil liberties during wars and other troubled times in our nation's history. "Sneak and Peak" searches, new treatments of computer crimes, and lowered standards of due process through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Courts are some of the issues that Feingold raises.
Russ Feingold was the only dissenting vote for the terrorism act that passed through the Senate. After reading his statement, I respect his conviction in standing for his beliefs. We can only hope that some of his very well reasoned concerns are addressed in the near future. His vote wasn't for terrorism, but rather against a bill that could have the power to strip us of our civil liberties.
Who voted against the Patriot Act? It was a patriot that did.
- William Slawski