September 15, 2009
[efoods]The Obama administration has blessed three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act that expand the government’s reach in counter-terrorism investigations.
In a Sept. 14 letter to lawmakers, Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich said the Justice Department supports the use of roving wiretaps, the authority to access business records and the ability to track so-called “lone-wolf” terrorists, or those without visible ties to a foreign terrorist organization. The provisions sunset at the end of the year.
The Justice Department’s position was expected. During his confirmation hearings, Attorney General Eric Holder told members Congress he would review the provisions but said he would likely endorse their re-authorization.
“The tools that we have been given by Congress in FISA are important ones, so I would look at all three and make the determination of whether I would be able to support them,” Holder told member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I expect that I will.”