Author of the PATRIOT Act: NSA Abuses Its Power

By: Alex Williams - November 16, 2013

On Veteran’s Day, US House representative Jim Sesenbrenner was in Brussels, Belgium, testifying before the European Parliament at the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs about the ongoing abuse of the bill he wrote, the Patriot Act. There, he unveiled his true feelings, protesting the NSA’s mass spying, saying James Clapper should be terminated and put on trial, and that Dianne Feinstein’s Fisa Improvements Act is a “scary” lapse of judgment since it allows the government to, without a warrant, search through data collected by the NSA.

Sesenbrenner said in his speech (PDF) to the EU parliamentarians that he never thought the Patriot Act would be used against the public so intrusively.

“Congress knew the country needed new tools and broader authorities to combat those who meant to harm us, but we never intended to allow the National Security Agency to peer indiscriminately into the lives of innocent people all over the world.”

Sesenbrenner defended the Patriot Act for its ability to foil terrorist schemes. However, he went on to state that those in power have abused the law, infringing on the rights of the public; the checks and balances are out of balance.

“I firmly believe the Patriot Act saved lives by strengthening the ability of intelligence agencies to track and stop potential terrorists, but in the past few years, the NSA has weakened, misconstrued and ignored the civil liberty protections we drafted into law.”

“Worse, the NSA has cloaked its operations behind such a thick cloud of secrecy that, even if the NSA promised reforms, we would lack the ability to verify them.”

To combat such offenses, Sesenbrenner paired with Senator Patrick Leahy, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in introducing the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eaves dropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act (USA FREEDOM Act).

The USA FREEDOM Act would end the NSA’s bulk collection of data under the Patriot Act whether it pertains to Americans or foreigners. The US Government would still be able to follow leads and obtain data when it has a reasonable suspicion that someone is connected to terrorism, but it would no longer be able to collect data indiscriminately in bulk from innocent people.”

Sesenbrenner had “worked under strict time constraints” when penning the Patriot Act and getting it passed. He said that the NSA “ignored restrictions painstakingly crafted by lawmakers and assumed a plenary authority we never imagined.”

About the Author

Alex WilliamsAlex Williams is a contract writer for WebProNews. He enjoys cooking new meals and swimming while listening to music. Follow him on Twitter: @alexjdwilliams, or send him a good ol' fashioned e-mail at:

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  • Interesting

    There are only two conspiracy theories I believe in. One about Kennedy and one about 9/11. I don’t know have any answers but I know we are not being told the truth. There is simply too many credible people that have come forth in both cases. There is a chance I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. I have grave concerns for this country. The Kennedy assassination showed those in power behind the scenes that they could do anything and the people will not do anything. That is the real power behind the assassination. Literally anything can be done and the people will buy it if it is packaged well. The Kennedy assassination culminated in 9/11. Both events led to long extended profitable wars. Look at what has transpired since 9/11 and none of these events impact terrorists — they only impact us:

    – We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prisoners.
    – No-warrant wire taps.
    – Indefinite detention of citizens without charges.
    – Approval of rendition of prisoners and torture.
    – Stop and frisk without probable cause.
    – Search and seizure without a warrant.
    – No-knock entry,
    – Confiscation and destruction of cameras that film police acting illegally.
    – Police brutality and police shootings that go without investigation.
    – Managed news that selectively report.
    – The civil-rights destroying “Patriot” Act.
    – FEMA camps.
    – TSA expansion beyond airports.
    – Internet entrapment cases and arrests of people for thing that do not even happen.
    – People going to prison for crimes against fictitious people who do not even exist.
    – Cameras on every street corner.
    – Facial recognition software being loaded in those cameras.
    – The NSA program.
    – RFID program push.
    – Country wide drone deployment and contracts for nano drones.

    All this in 10 short years. I should say that it has all gone too far. This country is in deep trouble. The sad part is the rest of the wold knows this but Americans are blind as bats to it. Travel outside the country and you will see.