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WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI would get expanded powers to subpoena records without the approval of a judge or grand jury in terrorism investigations under Patriot Act revisions approved Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Some senators who voted 11-4 to move the bill forward said they would push for limits on the new powers the measure would grant to law enforcement agencies.
"This bill must be amended on the floor to protect national security while protecting Constitutional rights," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
Ranking Democrat Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., supported the bill overall but said he would push for limits that would allow such administrative subpoenas "only if immediacy dictates."
Rockefeller and other committee members, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., also are concerned that the bill would grant powers to federal law enforcement agencies that could be used in criminal inquiries rather than intelligence-gathering ones.
Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the bill places new checks and balances on the powers it would grant, such as new procedures that would allow people to challenge such administrative orders. He called the Patriot Act "a vital tool in the war on terror" and lauded the Democrats who voted for it in spite of misgivings.
Portions of the Patriot Act - signed into law six weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks - are set to expire at the end of 2005. The bill would renew and expand the act.
Yeah, but we are the agenda. We are the threat, the American people, you and me.
Originally posted by infinite
What does everyone make on this? Im not American, so i dont know how Americans feel deep down about the Patriot Act.
Report Finds Cover-Up in an F.B.I. Terror Case
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: December 4, 2005
WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 - Officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation mishandled a Florida terror investigation, falsified documents in the case in an effort to cover repeated missteps and retaliated against an agent who first complained about the problems, Justice Department investigators have concluded.
In one instance, someone altered dates on three F.B.I. forms using correction fluid to conceal an apparent violation of federal wiretap law, according to a draft report of an investigation by the Justice Department inspector general's office obtained by The New York Times. But investigators were unable to determine who altered the documents.
Mr. German would alert F.B.I. officials that the Orlando agent handling the case had "so seriously mishandled" the investigation that a prime opportunity to expose a terrorist financing plot had been wasted. He said agents had not adequately pursued leads, had failed to document important meetings with informants, and had tolerated violations of rules and federal law on the handling of wiretaps.
Nonetheless, the inspector general found that the F.B.I. had "mishandled and mismanaged" the investigation, partly through the failure to document important developments for months at a time. The report also found that supervisors were aware of problems in the case but did not take prompt action to correct them.
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Moreover, after Mr. German raised concerns about the lack of documentation, an unnamed agent in Orlando "improperly added inaccurate dates to the investigative reports in order to make it appear as though the reports were prepared earlier," the inspector general found.
In addition, someone used correction fluid to backdate by two months a set of forms that the main informant had signed as part of a bugging operation, in which he agreed that he had to be present for all undercover taping.
The backdating was significant, the inspector general said, because the informant had taped a 2002 meeting with several suspects but had left the recording device unattended while he went to use the restroom - a violation of federal law.