Congressional Record: April 20, 2004 (Senate)
Page S4147-S4150

                              Patriot Act

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I rise to speak about the PATRIOT Act, a 
subject which has been much misunderstood. I think some of the 
misunderstanding has been perhaps just from lack of information or has 
been misinformation that has been spun in an effort to confuse people 
and perhaps even to scare people about what is in this important 
legislation. Indeed, we are all committed to making sure not only that 
our Nation is secure, and I believe the PATRIOT Act has contributed 
tremendously to improving the security of the United States of America, 
but at the same time we have a fundamental commitment in this country 
to civil liberties. I believe, and I think the American people believe, 
the Founders of this country believed firmly that we can have both our 
national security and our civil liberties. Particularly, in a time of 
war such as we are in now, while there will be some tension, we need 
not sacrifice our civil liberties.

  Nevertheless, there are those who would play politics with this issue 
in an effort to score political points, or I think others who perhaps 
for more benign reasons might just be not very well informed and kind 
of go along, not really knowing the truth. So I want to talk just a few 
minutes about the PATRIOT Act and what it has done.
  Of course the PATRIOT Act has passed overwhelmingly, just a short 
time after the terrible events of September 11. Indeed, the purpose of 
the PATRIOT Act was to give law enforcement the tools and our 
counterterrorism experts and agents the tools they needed in order to 
prevent future 9/11s.
  Indeed, the evidence is clear that the PATRIOT Act has served that 
important purpose. The Department of Justice has broken up four 
terrorist cells in the United States since September 11, in Buffalo, 
Portland, Detroit, and Seattle. It has filed criminal charges related 
to terrorism against more than 300 individuals. So far it has secured 
176 convictions or guilty pleas. Perhaps the best evidence of the 
success of the PATRIOT Act has been the fact that, thank goodness, 
America has not suffered another horrific event like 9/11 since that 
terrible day some 2\1/2\ years ago.
  I might add we have also been successful in freezing some of the 
funding that has been essential to financing terrorism around the 
world. In fact, the PATRIOT Act has allowed us to freeze more than $200 
million in funds from organizations that have been sponsoring and 
funding international terrorism.
  Particularly, last week, I guess it was, when we heard the testimony 
of the former FBI Director Louis Freeh, the former Attorney General 
Janet Reno, and the current Attorney General John Ashcroft, the 
American people became introduced more or less the same way that law 
students are to fundamental principles of law enforcement and due 
process. Even more than that, the American people were introduced to 
something that was referred to as ``the wall.''
  The wall was the subject of a 1995 memo by Jamie Gorelick, then 
Deputy Attorney General, now on the 9/11 Commission. Indeed, as she has 
pointed out, the wall between our antiterrorism and intelligence-
gathering efforts and our law enforcement efforts has been 
longstanding. But it is not a matter that is constitutionally required; 
it is something the American Government had done to itself. It is a 
limitation that Congress had placed on information sharing between law 
enforcement officials. Some only investigate crimes after they have 
occurred, trying to root out the guilty and then to convict the guilty 
of the crimes they have committed. The wall is between those law 
enforcement officials and those intelligence agencies, counterterrorism 
officials whose job it is to prevent a terrorist attack from even 
occurring and to preempt that terrible event from occurring. So it was 
through the PATRIOT Act that we saw this wall come down that has been 
so important to information sharing.
  Indeed, this is not a partisan issue. Attorney General Janet Reno 
said just a few short days ago, on April 13, with respect to the 
problems of information sharing within the FBI and other Federal 
officials, that:

[[Page S4148]]

       Many of these issues will be or have been resolved by the 
     passage of the PATRIOT Act or other statements.

  Indeed, to my recollection, that is not the same words but 
essentially the same testimony that was presented by former FBI 
Director Louis Freeh. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who served 
during the previous administration, in talking about this wall that had 
been brought down as a result of the PATRIOT Act said:

       . . . the wall is not an appropriate one with respect to 
     counterterrorism, and that's been repaired both by the 
     PATRIOT Act and the court of review.

  I believe the court of review he is referring to is the Foreign 
Intelligence Surveillance Act, which creates a court of seven Federal 
judges who review requests for various intelligence mechanisms that try 
to make sure or, in fact, do make sure as much as is humanly possible 
that the rights of people who are accused of crimes are not unfairly 
jeopardized in this process.
  The point is that the wall that had been erected separating our law 
enforcement personnel and preventing them from sharing information with 
our counterterrorism officials has now been torn down and we now allow 
information sharing which, indeed, has made America safer.
  The PATRIOT Act specifically makes it easier to track terrorists in 
the digital age. When journalist Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street 
Journal was kidnapped in Pakistan, the terrorists made the mistake, as 
it turned out, of sending the ransom demands by e-mail. The PATRIOT 
Act, having brought our laws into the information age, allowed 
investigators to quickly obtain essential information from the Internet 
service provider that the terrorists were using. This in turn led them 
to cybercafes in Pakistan and then to some of Daniel Pearl's killers, 
who are now in prison thanks to the expanded tools provided by the 
  Some have worried aloud that we are jeopardizing our civil liberties 
by creating a law which allows expanded authority to law enforcement 
and counterterrorism authorities. But what many people don't 
understand, or don't know--there is no reason they should know other 
than the fact that they have now learned more about it--is the PATRIOT 
Act actually applies tools that have already been in use in other 
contexts. For example, before September 11, investigators had better 
tools to fight organized crime than they did to fight terrorism. For 
example, for years law enforcement officials used roving wiretaps to 
investigate organized crime. I think it was Senator Joe Biden who said 
if roving wiretaps are good enough for the mob, then they are good 
enough for terrorists. He, of course, advocated, as many on this floor 
did, for that. Here is a copy of his remarks. I paraphrased it. Let's 
go to the exact quote. He said:

       . . . the FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the Mafia, 
     but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put 
     it bluntly, that was crazy. What's good for the Mob should be 
     good for terrorists.

  Those are statements with which I agreed, made by Senator Joe Biden 
on October 25, 2001, which I submit were true then and remain true 
  I already mentioned that aspect of the PATRIOT Act which has made it 
easier for us to cut off the financial support that has been used to 
support terrorist acts. Osama bin Laden, when he first left Saudi 
Arabia and went to Afghanistan as part of the anti-Communist Jihad, 
after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, he and other Jihadists declared 
holy war against the Soviets at the time. The way he got started in his 
terrorist activities was financially supporting the acts of other 
Jihadists, other Muslim extremists. At that time, he directed their 
fire at the Soviet Union until, of course, the Soviet Union left 
Afghanistan. Then they turned their fire on America and other freedom-
loving countries.
  My point is, getting at the financial support for terror was very 
important. Indeed, the PATRIOT Act has made it much easier to get to 
that and was responsible for capturing some $200 million in terrorist 
financing, which has been very important.
  One of the things that has concerned me, and no doubt others, about 
the PATRIOT Act has been the way people have used the PATRIOT Act as 
almost a dirty word. It has been used to scare people. It has been used 
to mislead people about what the act does. It is important to 
understand what the act does and what it does not do.
  It has also been used to raise money. This is part of the scare 
campaign the American people deserve to know about and we as Members of 
this body need to remind ourselves of and make ourselves aware of. I 
happened to get a solicitation from the American Civil Liberties Union 
at my home. This is an excerpt. It caught my eye because I thought, now 
I understand why there are so many people who are misled and frightened 
by the PATRIOT Act because there are organizations such as the ACLU 
that are misleading people about what it does. They are using that fear 
to raise money. We know one of the strongest motivations there is for 
human beings is to scare them. Indeed, that is exactly what is 
happening by misleading the American people about what the PATRIOT Act 
does, by organizations such as the ACLU.
  This solicitation letter I received at my residence said in part:

       We need your immediate help to stop radical anti-liberty 
     proposals from becoming radical anti-liberty laws of the land 
     with Congress' and the White House' seal of approval.

  Indeed, that sort of statement is not alone. We have another chart 
that talks specifically about the PATRIOT Act, and another excerpt from 
the same solicitation by the ACLU:

       The USA PATRIOT Act expands terrorism laws to include 
     ``domestic terrorism'' which could subject political 
     organizations to surveillance, wiretapping, harassment, and 
     criminal action for political advocacy.

  If that were true, I would be standing and saying we need to look at 
this twice. We need to do something about it. We need to look further 
to see whether perhaps we have done something wrong or it needs 
correction or review.
  I was at a hearing of a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee, and Senator Feinstein put her finger on this and pointed out 
the kind of hysterical scare tactics the ACLU and others have used in 
mischaracterizing what the PATRIOT Act does are flatly unfounded. I was 
there at this hearing, but I had the statement made into a chart so the 
quote is clear. Senator Feinstein, to her credit, is always a Senator 
who does her homework. She does her homework in every case, sometimes 
to my aggravation when she is on the other side of an issue, but 
sometimes I am glad she does. This is a case where I am glad she did 
her homework as she always does.

       I have never had a single abuse of the PATRIOT Act reported 
     to me.

  She was not just sitting passively back waiting for people to write 
or call as they do to our offices to complain or to register some 
concern about legislation or some Federal activity.
  She went on to say:

       My staff e-mailed the ACLU and asked them for instances of 
     actual abuses. They e-mailed back and said they had none.

  It is very disturbing that the same organization that mails 
solicitations to houses of not just Members of Congress but to people 
all across America, trying to frighten them, mislead them, and scare 
them into believing Congress has acted without concern for civil 
liberties or perhaps some law we passed has been abused by Attorney 
General John Ashcroft and others, when, in fact, it is just not true. 
Everyone should be concerned about that. It ought to be exposed for 
what it is.

  Notwithstanding the comments of people like Senator Biden, who 
supports the PATRIOT Act, Senator Feinstein, who has done this 
investigation to find out whether, in fact, there has been abuse--and 
there has been none reported, even when asked for examples to support 
their scare tactics--there are some now who say it is time to eliminate 
the PATRIOT Act or to replace it, using other similar scare tactics.
  I might point out this is not limited to the Congress. I had my staff 
refresh my recollection because I had remembered--indeed, the Presiding 
Officer may remember, too--there are press reports about city councils 
around the United States that passed resolutions condemning the PATRIOT 
Act based on the disinformation and scare tactics the ACLU and others 
have used to mislead them about whether there was, indeed, a threat to 
the civil liberties of their constituents. In fact, 287 local 
governments across the United States

[[Page S4149]]

of America have passed such resolutions condemning the PATRIOT Act. I 
am sad to say, three of those were in Texas: If my recollection is 
correct, the Dallas City Council, Austin City Council, and one from a 
smaller municipality.
  So we know at least there is some evidence that the kind of scare 
tactics and misinformation people have been spreading, people at the 
ACLU have been spreading, is, unfortunately, working, because not 
enough people like me and others in this body are standing up and 
correcting the record and providing the truth.
  Unfortunately--it is not unfortunate; it is our system. We have 
elections for President every 4 years. We have elections for the House 
every 2 years and every 6 years for the Senate, but it should not be 
too surprising some of this disinformation and misinformation and scare 
tactics have gotten into the Presidential campaign.
  Indeed, I listened with some concern during the race for the 
Democratic nomination for President where various candidates for that 
Democratic nomination for President continued along this line of 
disinformation, misinformation, and scare tactics specifically 
regarding the PATRIOT Act. The current nominee for President of the 
Democratic Party participated in that, what I call ``piling on.'' He 
said in a speech at Iowa State University:

       So it is time to end the era of John Ashcroft.

  Unfortunately, this is an instance, I will interject in the quote, in 
which Attorney General Ashcroft has been reviled, he has been called 
all sorts of names, held up as a boogeyman in part of the scare tactic 
for doing his job, for enforcing the laws Congress has passed and the 
President has signed. If the Attorney General of the United States of 
America will not enforce the laws Congress passes and the President 
signs in order to make America more secure, who will? Thank goodness, 
we have a courageous individual who is willing to stand up against 
unwarranted criticism and this sort of misinformation or disinformation 
campaign and enforce the law Congress passes because he believes, as 
Congress believed when it passed the law, as the President believed 
when he signed the law, the PATRIOT Act makes America more secure.
  Going back to the quote by Senator Kerry at the Iowa State 

       So it is time to end the era of John Ashcroft.

  He goes on to say:

       That starts with replacing the PATRIOT Act with a new law 
     that protects our people and our liberties at the same time.

  He later had an interview on ``Morning Edition'' on National Public 
Radio on August 18, 2003. He said:

       If you are sensitive to and care about civil liberties, you 
     can make provisions to guarantee that there is not this blind 
     spot in the American justice system that there is today under 
     the Patriot Act.

  Unfortunately, this disinformation campaign, which stands in stark 
contrast to the lack of any evidence that Senator Feinstein found in 
her investigation about abuses, continues now into the Presidential 
campaign, now that the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party has 
been chosen.
  Indeed, this is on Senator Kerry's Web site, John Kerry for President 
Web site. He said:

       John Ashcroft has used new authority under the Patriot Act 
     to perform ``sneak and peek'' searches without ever notifying 
     anyone and without any judicial oversight.

  Well, besides this campaign of disinformation and misinformation and 
scare tactics, I can assure you neither the Attorney General nor any 
other United States attorney or Federal law enforcement official can 
legally perform any kind of search without judicial oversight. That is 
wrong. It is a false statement.
  Even if we pulled this out of all the other contexts I have talked 
about--the disinformation, the misinformation, and the scare tactics--
this is a flat misstatement. I hope Senator Kerry will correct that on 
his Web site because no search under any kind of warrant can be 
conducted without the approval of a judge or an impartial magistrate. 
That is a basic part of our criminal law. But, here again, I am worried 
that unless people stand up and correct the record, this kind of 
disinformation will continue.
  But the worst part of it is this: Notwithstanding the kind of 
statements I covered by Senator Kerry and others, these are some of the 
same people who voted for the PATRIOT Act when it passed. Indeed, on 
October 25, 2001, Senator Kerry said:

       I am pleased at the compromise we have reached on the 
     antiterrorism legislation, as a whole, which includes the 
     sunset provision on the wiretapping and electronic 
     surveillance component.

  Then later, more specifically to the subject at hand, this quote is 
talking generically about the laws that changed included in the PATRIOT 
Act and others. But he was interviewed on Fox News on October 25, 2001. 
John Gibson of Fox News said:

       Senator Kerry, today, Attorney General Ashcroft said that 
     terrorists have reason to be afraid, very afraid of this new 
     terror legislation. Why? What's in it that has so much 
     sharper teeth?

  Senator Kerry said:

       It streamlines the ability of law enforcement to do its 
     job. It modernizes our ability to fight crime.

  Well, I agree with the comments of Senator Kerry in October of 2001 
about the benefits of the PATRIOT Act. And I disagree with the comments 
Senator Kerry--the same person--made when he decided to run for 
President, and now that he is a Presidential nominee, where he is using 
the misinformation, this disinformation, these scare tactics, 
unfortunately, in contrast to the lack of evidence Senator Feinstein 
was able to glean from even the ACLU about any evidence of abuses.
  The fact is, the PATRIOT Act has made America a safer place. And no 
political campaign, no fundraising goal justifies misleading the 
American people about what is good about the PATRIOT Act and how it has 
contributed to bringing down this wall separating law enforcement and 
counterterrorism officials from sharing information. Indeed, as I said, 
the best evidence about why the PATRIOT Act is good law, good public 
policy, is the fact we have not been hit like we were on 9/11. Thank 
God for that. I know, of course, we hope and pray we never will again 
be hit in that way. But we are not going to be safer if we play 
politics with our national security, even in a Presidential year when 
the attraction is so irresistible, it appears, to some.

  The PATRIOT Act has made America safer. Janet Reno, John Ashcroft, 
Louis Freeh, people on both sides of the aisle, people who have put 
their hand on a Bible and sworn to uphold the laws of the United States 
of America, to protect the Constitution--these are people who have 
testified under oath the PATRIOT Act has made America safer.
  So I say, let's not play politics with this important law. Let's not 
play politics and risk American lives by continuing the disinformation 
and misinformation and the scare tactics to the point where we would go 
back and eliminate or revise or neuter this important protection which 
has made our country so much safer.
  So, Mr. President, with that, I would like to turn to some additional 
matters on behalf of the majority leader.
  I see Senator Reid on the floor. At this time, on behalf of the 
majority leader, I would ask----
  Mr. REID addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Alexander). The assistant Democratic 
  Mr. REID. If the Senator would yield for a comment?
  Mr. CORNYN. I would be happy to yield.
  Mr. REID. The staffs are not quite ready to do the close yet. They 
should be ready in a matter of a few minutes. So if the Senator would 
allow us a few more minutes?
  Mr. CORNYN. Under the circumstances, Mr. President, I ask----
  Mr. REID. I will make a statement that will take a couple minutes. 
Senator Daschle is going to make a statement. We can go ahead and do 
the close, and he can speak after the close, but we are not quite ready 
on this side to close. It will take another few minutes.
  Mr. President, if the Senator will yield for me to make a very brief 
  Mr. CORNYN. I will be glad to yield.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The assistant Democratic leader.

                              Patriot Act

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I would agree with my friend, the former 
attorney general of Texas, the PATRIOT

[[Page S4150]]

Act has made America a safer place. I think that is a fair statement. 
But I would also say the PATRIOT Act is something we have to watch very 
closely. We realized when we passed this legislation there may be 
provisions in it that went too far, not far enough. As a result of 
that, we have put a provision in this very important bill, the PATRIOT 
Act, that it would sunset; that if we did not renew that legislation, 
it would fail; therefore, next year we have to renew this act.
  I am confident, based on what is going on around the country, in 
spite of the statement from the American Civil Liberties Union--we can 
look to Las Vegas, my home, on one criminal prosecution, what the 
authorities did there. It is my understanding they used the PATRIOT 
Act. A person bought a car with global positioning in it. The reason 
they bought that, of course, is in case something went wrong you could 
press a button and come and find out where the car is, or, if it was an 
emergency, someone trying to hijack the car, emergency authorities 
would be notified. The person never realized law enforcement 
authorities could focus on that vehicle and listen to everything that 
went on in that car. That is what they did.
  I would have to think without getting a judge's order, without doing 
some things in addition to what I have described, that was probably 
going a little too far. The point being, the PATRIOT Act is something 
we need to take a look at. That is why we have this legislation that 
will sunset.
  I hope the Judiciary Committee and other committees that believe they 
have jurisdiction will begin as soon as possible taking a look at this 
legislation to see if there are provisions that should be revised, 
eliminated, added to. I don't think we need to criticize Senator Kerry 
because he thinks we need to take a look at the PATRIOT Act. I believe 
we do, and that is certainly appropriate. The Senate agreed. That is 
why we included a sunset provision in this most important legislation.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


Congressional Record: April 20, 2004 (Senate)
Page S4165-S4166

                              PATRIOT ACT

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I come to the floor this evening to 
address the pending issue of asbestos reform legislation. It is a very 
serious and complicated issue. I look forward to speaking for a few 
moments about what I consider to be the history of this issue and the 
way we should respond to it.
  Before doing so, I am compelled to address the previous speaker, my 
colleague and friend from the State of Texas, Senator Cornyn, who, 
within the last hour or so, spoke on this floor about the PATRIOT Act. 
The reason why this is an issue of great importance to many of us is 
that it is a law which all but one Senator voted for, and it is a law 
which many of us, on both sides of the aisle, Democrat and Republican, 
believe has some serious weaknesses and flaws that need to be remedied.
  In response, I have introduced a bill called the SAFE Act with 
Senator Larry Craig of Idaho. Senator Craig and I are about as far 
apart on the political spectrum as humanly possible. Yet we have come 
together with the understanding that whether you are conservative or 
progressive liberal--whatever your label may be--we all value our 
constitutional rights in America.
  Senator Craig and I looked closely at the PATRIOT Act and think that 
there are three or four specific areas that need to be addressed.
  However, President Bush wants to keep the PATRIOT Act as it is, 
making it permanent law, and change some provisions to give the 
Government even more power and further reduce judicial oversight. He 
has chosen to make this one of the bedrocks of his campaign for 
reelection. My friend from Texas, Senator Cornyn, and the President 
have made an issue over differences that they have with Senator John 
Kerry on this issue.
  I call the attention of the President and his supporters to the fact 
that the SAFE Act, which we brought to the floor, enjoys bipartisan 
sponsorship. In fact, when we had the press conference announcing the 
changes we proposed for the PATRIOT Act, we were joined by some of the 
most liberal and the most conservative organizations in Washington.
  Rarely do they come together. But on the issue of civil rights and 
constitutional rights, we finally find common ground. Yet the President 
sees it differently, and Senator Cornyn as well.
  A little history is worth noting at this moment. We all remember 
September 11, 2001, and what happened, the fear we had that another 
attack might be imminent, and because of the belief that the Government 
needed additional tools and weapons to fight terrorism, there was a 
bipartisan effort between Congress and the White House to write a bill 
giving our Government more authority and more power to deal with 
terrorism, changes in the law which were long overdue to deal with 
modern technology and the scope of the terrorist threat.
  The bill was debated on a bipartisan basis and passed the Senate and 
the House with overwhelming numbers of support. We understood as well 
that September 11, 2001, was a unique moment in American history and 
that our response was not only to the terrible tragedy of September 11 
but also to many of the fears which were welling in the breasts of 
every American family. Because of our concern that this fear and 
emotion may have taken us too far in the PATRIOT Act, we put in an 
insurance policy. We said, after a period of time, after a few years, 
we are going to come back and look at many elements of this law. We are 
not going to make it permanent forever. We will come back after a few 
years and decide whether we went too far.
  In the heat of the moment with the fear of September 11, did we give 
the Government more power than was necessary to protect us? Did we 
endanger or in any way lessen our constitutional protections more than 
necessary? So this review provision, this sunset clause, was just 
basically common sense.
  The President has chosen this as one of his areas of attack, and his 
argument yesterday was, why do we need to review this law? Is the 
threat of terrorism gone now?
  I think the President does not understand why this sunset provision 
was put in the law. I am certain we will decide that the majority of 
the elements of the PATRIOT Act are still necessary, but that does not 
mean that every word in that act should be treated like the Ten 
Commandments. We need to take that act and honestly ask whether it was 
done in the heat of the moment, whether too much authority was given to 
the Government, and whether we have infringed basic liberties and 
rights which we are here to protect.
  The President and Senator Cornyn seem to argue that it is the burden 
of the citizens of America to come forward and explain why their rights 
should not be taken away by the Government. I think they are both 
totally wrong. It is the burden of the Government to announce and 
rationalize why any individual rights of American citizens should ever 
be taken away. These God-given rights, as we refer to them in the 
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, are basically ours by 
virtue of our human existence. For any government to take them away, 
there must be a compelling reason.
  The PATRIOT Act gets to the issue of privacy and freedom versus 
security and government control. We recognized in the PATRIOT Act the 
need for the government to monitor the new powers carefully. The 4-year 
sunset provision will force Congress and the administration to honestly 
look at the PATRIOT Act and see if we have gone too far.
  Some provisions expire at the end of 2005. None of them expire at the 
end of this year. So there is no need to reconsider the PATRIOT Act 
this year. This has a lot more to do with an election in November than 
the act itself. If nothing is done by Congress, the Government will 
continue to have all of its authority under the PATRIOT Act through 
this year and into next year.
  We wanted to keep the review of the PATRIOT Act out of election year 
politics, and that is why the sunset was 2005. Sadly, the Bush 
administration and their supporters in Congress want to put the PATRIOT 
Act on the 50-yard line, right in the middle of this titanic gridiron 
battle between the two political parties for the Presidency. That is 
unfortunate. The issues of security for America--stopping terrorism--
should not be politicized this year. I hope they will not be, but sadly 
that is what is happening.
  Think of this for a moment: The President and the White House 
threatened to veto the reform bill which Senator Craig and I have 
introduced, the bipartisan SAFE Act, even before it was heard in 
committee, even before there was an attempt to amend it, even before 
there was a vote in either the Senate or the House. It is rare, if not 
unprecedented, for the President and White House to threaten a veto on 
a bill so soon after it has been introduced. It shows me that the 
President is raising this bill to such a high profile in an effort to 
make it a central part of a political campaign, rather than focusing on 
protecting America.
  During the course of his campaign, Senator Kerry said that in his 
first 100 days as President he wants to end the era of John Ashcroft. 
John Kerry has promised to strengthen terrorism laws that work, 
strengthen money laundering laws to end funds for terrorists, improve 
information gathering and protect the basic rights and liberties of all 
of our citizens.
  Senator Kerry and I support the SAFE Act, this bipartisan effort to 
reform the PATRIOT Act. Here are several of the most important 
provisions: It will protect innocent people from Government snooping by 
eliminating John Doe roving wiretaps, which do not identify the person 
or place being tapped. It requires warrants for roving wiretaps to 
identify either the target

[[Page S4166]]

of the wiretap or the places to be tapped. So we say to the Government, 
if they are going to intercept my conversations at unspecified 
locations, they must say to the court that they are going after this 
particular person. They cannot have a wiretap that might sweep up the 
conversations of my family, my business, my church, whatever it happens 
to be, without specifically saying to the court, this is the person 
that we want to wiretap, or this is the phone, this is the place that 
we want to wiretap. That specificity has always been part of the law. 
To get away from John Doe roving wiretaps, which allow the Government 
to just swoop in and collect information and then take a look at it to 
see if there is anything there of concern, goes way beyond the 
authority needed to protect America.
  This SAFE Act will also impose limits on the Government's ability to 
carry out what are called sneak-and-peek searches by requiring that 
immediate notice of a search be given unless the notice would endanger 
a person's life or physical safety, or result in flight from 
prosecution or the destruction of evidence.
  We have seen on television and in the movies and perhaps in real life 
the knock on the door and someone has a warrant in their hand, issued 
by a judge, which says, we have a warrant to search the premises and we 
are coming in. This is very common. But when it comes to these sneak-
and-peek warrants, the search can be undertaken on anyone's premises 
without immediate notification if that notice would jeopardize an 
investigation or delay a trial. This could apply in almost every case. 
We say that immediate notification has to be given of a search unless 
there is a compelling reason not to--a person's life or physical safety 
is in danger or there is a risk of flight from prosecution or evidence 
being destroyed.
  Third, it protects libraries and bookstores from Government fishing 
expeditions, but still allows the FBI to follow up on legitimate leads. 
This is an issue that really touched a lot of people. To think that 
because I use the Springfield public library or the library in the City 
of Chicago that somehow the books that I check out are going to be 
examined by the FBI to see if I am a suspicious person even though 
there is no specific reason to look at me goes way too far.
  None of the changes we suggest will interfere with law enforcement 
and intelligence officials preventing terrorism. We retain all of the 
powers of the PATRIOT Act, but we restore safeguards that are 
indispensable to democracy and civil liberties. These safeguards are a 
continuing source of our country's strength. They are not luxuries or 
inconveniences to be dumped in time of crisis.
  I am afraid the administration wants just the opposite. The President 
wants even broader powers than the PATRIOT Act now allows. Yesterday he 
called for a new law to let Federal agents obtain private records and 
conduct secret interrogations without the approval of a judge or even a 
Federal prosecutor. This goes way beyond anything that we have ever 
seen in terms of trying to make America safe. It really infringes on 
our basic rights. We all agree that law enforcement needs the tools to 
protect us, but President Bush cannot point to a single terrorism 
investigation in which officials had any problem obtaining the court 
orders they needed. Yet he is asking for expanded authority that would 
undermine civil liberties and judicial review. Frankly, our current 
laws are adequate to the task. We need to bring terrorism under control 
but not at the expense of our basic rights as citizens.