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Nat Hentoff: The Worst Assault On Our Liberties

Nat Hentoff: The Worst Assault On Our Liberties
''...the worst assault on our liberties in the USA PATRIOT Act is not subject to the sunset clause. It is now a permanent part of our laws.

The new act includes "Sneak and Peek Warrants," as they are cosmetically called—known in J. Edgar Hoover's days as warrantless "black bag jobs." It legalizes, with warrants, burglars with FBI badges. Now the new FBI director, Robert Mueller, can enhance that tradition.

As described by the American Civil Liberties Union, this provision "would allow law enforcement agencies to delay giving notice when they conduct a search. This means that the government could enter a house, apartment, or office with a search warrant when the occupant was away, search through her property and take photographs, and in some cases, seize physical property and electronic communications, and not tell her until later. This provision would mark a sea change in the way search warrants are executed in the United States."''

- Nat Hentoff, Village Voice

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