The Patriot Act took a chainsaw and obliterated our inalienable rights to ‘defeat terrorism.’
Our country became less free in the process.
In a flashback to the months after 9/11, then-Senator Joe Biden said he first introduced the Patriot Act in the 1990s.
“Right after 1994, and you can ask the attorney general this, because I got a call when he introduced the Patriot Act. He said ‘Joe I’m introducing the act basically as you wrote it in 1994,’” Biden said.
“Almost the same thing that got passed, The Patriot Act, was introduced by me in 1994, and it was the right-wing that defeated it,” he added.
Did you know that Joe Biden is who first wrote and introduced the patriot act in 1994?
He plays into the political theater and argues that it was the “right wing” that defeated it, and then they got it passed under the neo-con Bush administration post 9/11.
“Director Mueller testified about mistakes made at the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. and his plans to reorganize the FBI to meet challenges posed by terrorist organizations,” C-SPAN wrote.
Fast forward to 4:09:00 to watch Joe Biden talking about introducing the Patriot Act.
Biden was a passionate promoter of the Patriot Act and repeatedly claimed that it was based on his proposals from the 1990s, including the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. He has bragged that he passed earlier surveillance legislation even though “civil libertarians were opposed to it.” And Biden chided his colleagues for not supporting even further-reaching measures that he wanted at the time. “There were those who decided that the threat to Americans was apparently not serious enough to give the president all the changes in law he requested,” Biden said.
In his Senate floor speech on October 25, 2001, Biden said, “The anti-terrorism bill we consider today is measured and prudent.” He boasted that the Patriot Act “contains several provisions which are identical or nearly identical to those I previously proposed.” Biden predicted that the Patriot Act “will not upset the balance between strong law enforcement and protection of our valued civil liberties.” He also said the criticisms of the law from the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil liberties groups were “ill-informed and overblown.” From 2001 to 2002, the ACLU gave Biden a lukewarm 60 percent approval rating on civil rights and civil liberties.
“The bill Biden is boasting about was called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995, which itself contained two subsidiary bills dedicated to fighting domestic terrorism,” The American Conservative noted.
Biden introduced the legislation in the Senate, while then-congressman Chuck Schumer introduced it in the House, with the Clinton administration in full support. The package was backed by other Democrats too, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, and opposed by civil libertarians and many Republicans who were worried it would be used to, as Biden said, target conservative groups.
Those concerns weren’t necessarily unjustified. Two months later, after a domestic terrorist named Timothy McVeigh bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City, President Bill Clinton made comments that seemed to blame conservative talk radio for the attack, which some on the right interpreted as a threat. At any rate, Biden’s legislation never passed. But the Patriot Act did, rushed through a jumpy Congress after 9/11. From there it was used to establish a pervasive surveillance regime that’s still in place today. (Interestingly enough, the Patriot Act’s most frequent targets haven’t been al-Qaeda or right-wing militias but domestic drug dealers.)
Is anyone surprised Joe Biden would take credit for such a disgusting piece of legislation?