Debating the Patriot Act

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photoThe Patriot Act is the most controversial legislation to emerge in the post 9-11 era. It passed while the rubble of the Twin Towers still lay in Lower Manhattan three-and-a-half years ago and sharply expanded the American government's surveillance and prosecutorial powers. Fifteen of the Act's provisions will expire this December, unless Congress renews them.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress today that the Patriot Act has been critical in disrupting terrorist plots. But many lawmakers, from both the Republican and Democratic parties, say the government has taken on too many powers and that the Patriot Act should not be renewed in its current form.

Hear a discussion on the current debate in Congress over the renewal of the Patriot Act.


Gail Chaddock, congressional reporter for The Christian Science Monitor.;

Heather MacDonald, senior fellow at Manhattan Institute.;

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a member of the board of Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances.;

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and a senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on April 5, 2005.


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