The Center for Public Integrity reports that John Ashcroft's staff "is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act." The Center has obtained a draft of the bill and is making it available.
It's bad. Very bad. David Cole, a law prof at Georgetown, tells the Center that it would "radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive 'suspicion,' create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups." Don't believe him? Judge for yourself.
This is, of course, merely a draft. Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings hypothesizes that "the Justice Department leaked the maximalist version on purpose. That way, after all the outrage and compromise, they'll get a 'moderate' version that will still be plenty bad." If that sounds too cynical to you, consider the alternative: that the administration wants to pass the entire bill. Which is worse?