White House Pushes Outlandish Claims About PATRIOT Act


In an effort to get PATRIOT Act renewed by midnight tonight, the White House told ABC News that if the expiring provisions "are allowed to lapse, even temporarily, the nation will be less safe." 

While this is not actually true–current investigations will be grandfathered in and allowed to do all the domestic spying they want–the White House also succeeded in spinning the New York Times

If there is a lapse, a senior administration official said, the F.B.I. would be able to continue using orders it had already obtained, but it would not be able to apply for new ones if further tips and leads came in about a possible terrorist operation. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, reacted with alarm to that prospect, saying no one could predict what the consequences of a temporary lapse might be.

"This is unprecedented," the official said. "We don't believe the risk is worth it."

In noting this, Glenn Greenwald writes that the NYT granted "anonymity to a 'senior administration official' to voice the same fear-mongering claims [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] is voicing over the Patriot Act." But I think he's got the order of influence wrong. Intelligence officials met privately with House Republicans last month, and with Senate Democrats this week to push for reauthorization. And yesterday, reports the Washington Post"Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote to Reid and McConnell on Wednesday urging them to move forward with the reauthorization."

These talking points are coming from the White House, not the other way around. I think we're seeing them from the White House now because the White House is desperate. If the PATRIOT Act lapses, and a sarlacc does not swallow LAX immediately after, it'll be that much harder to convince Americans that those provisions are necessary. 

NEXT: Reason.tv: The Government's War on Cameras

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  1. I would fucking pay to see that happen.

    And I don’t need to quote, because you know damn well which part of the article I’m referring to. Nerds!

    1. I didn’t realize Obama was a Jedi name.

  2. And that fearmongering article appears to be the only article on the Patriot Act in the last week in the NYT, at least when I searched this morning.

  3. Ho ho ho. The Patriot Act has expired, now you’re Bantha fodder!

    1. marry me?

  4. Once again playing for the team supersedes any principles among the mainstream. Real liberals would be standing with Rand Paul on this issue even though they disagree with him on other points.

    1. Buh, buh, they started it!

    2. “Real liberals would be standing with Rand Paul…”

      Real liberals are.
      Statists aren’t.

      1. This. Most of the partisan noise I’ve seen is along the lines of “I don’t trust him, Tea party blargl, it must be a trick” to “he’s right on this issue, but I still don’t trust him kochtopus blargl”

        1. Which can be translated directly to “GO TEAM BLUE FUCK TEAM RED”. But I will enjoy crushing the metaphorical skulls of any liberal who tries to defend why they didn’t support him on this.

  5. Anyone know if the ACLU is standing up with Paul on this one?

    1. They haven’t been as loud as they were when it meant opposing Bush instead of Obama, but they have the correct position.

  6. Glenn’s pissed because once again a journalist for a major publication granted anonymity without any feasible compelling reason to do so.

    These assholes pat themselves on the back about how they’re professional journalists with a code of ethics and all that nonsense, but as soon as anyone in power whistles they bend over.

  7. Why is Reason scaring little boys with imaginary monsters?

    As it is, you have them convinced if they don’t donate to Reason, they are going to lose it to a vagina dentata

    1. No, we convinced them. That’s what happens when they comment on our blog. Once we know where they live, we already have their dick in our second jaw.

    2. Please leave. Nobody likes you.

      1. ^^^^

      2. Just incif the ignorant cuntpuddle. You can still throw insults at her, if you like.

  8. Amazing. Even one fucking day without the PATRIOT Act will let the turrists win. It is amazing to hear pols like Graham and Obama point-blank tell us that our freedoms are trifles compared to the TURRIST WIN (arbitrarily and loosely defined, of course).

    1. But, don’t you realize that the Al Caders watch our news, and if the PATRIOT act isn’t reauthorized, the Caders will see it on the TV, and will use that window to launch savage attacks all across America, killing the children.

      Why does Rand Paul hate children?

    2. Because if we let the PATRIOT Act lapse, law enforcement will no longer be able to investigate potential terrorist activity or get warrants! Law enforcement will have to sit on its hands as bearded mullahs and drug lords laughingly construct weapons of mass destruction right in our faces!

      At least, either Congress is simple enough to believe this, or thinks we’re simple enough to believe it.

      1. I’m convinced it doesn’t care so long as their media lapdogs eat it up and spit it back out.

  9. Jennifer is fighting the good fight:

    A patriotic duty: repeal the Patriot Act
    This draconian law was never about public safety. Americans’ constitutional liberties have been trashed for the war on drugs

  10. What was that about Obama being different from Bush? The Obama White House isn’t even bothering to write up a new scare story; they’re just pulling Bush’s off the shelf.

    1. What was that about Obama being different from Bush? The Obama White House isn’t even bothering to write up a new scare story; they’re just pulling Bush’s off the shelf.

      You sound as if genuinely surprised when confronted (daily) by Obama’s booming, pinwheeling displays of unbridled swinishness and barefaced mendacity, at this late date.

      That… just doesn’t seem possible, really.

      1. Does it bother you when I raise my voice?

  11. This reminds me of the fight over TARP. Then, as now, you have experts warning of the End Times if this legislation is not passed, RIGHT NOW. IMO, legislation should NEVER be passed under those circumstances. (Declarations of War excepted).

    1. But this IS war.

      1. This is a necessary good peace war.

  12. This is absurd. The sarlacc is way smaller than even a tiny airport. It’s not going to swallow it. It would have to chew it up bit by bit. Be realistic, for crying out loud.

  13. If the PATRIOT Act lapses, and a sarlacc does not swallow LAX immediately after, it’ll be that much harder to convince Americans that those provisions are necessary.

    Oh, I’m sure the Feds have already supplied explosives to some idiot Christmas Tree Bomber type who they’re “investigating”, explosives which they could “forget” to deactivate first and have the big, unthwarted boom prove to America how unsafe the loss of the Patriot Act made it.

    (And that’s how to be cynical.)

  14. Is that a white house quote or TallDave?



  16. “the White House also succeeded in spinning the New York Times”

    Definitely a first, eh?

  17. Thank god the democrats are so good on civil liberties and the republicans are so good with the free market.

  18. How did we survive all those decades without the Patriot Act?

  19. We didn’t survive.

    We’re the zombies we’ve been waiting for.

    1. It’s absurd that we could deal with a major opponent like the Soviet Union without all of this, but we have to have it for people who pose one billionth of the threat.

  20. The days of “Give me liberty or give me death” are long gone. Now its: “Give me safety at all costs”, people are willing to give up their money, their freedom and their dignity to feel safer.

    1. You must allow us to rape you for security’s sake.

  21. Have you noticed that in virtually every liberal rag (a needless redundancy, I know), they qualify Paul’s stalling with Paul won’t allow a vote to continue unless debate can be had about various amendments “including a measure that would exempt gun records from being searched under the Patriot Act“?

    I fucking hate the media. Intellectually dishonest fucks, the lot of them.

    No word on warrantless searches or roving wiretaps. They focus on the “but Paul wants Terrists to have TEH GUNZ!!” angle.

    Fuck. You.

  22. Nice Star Wars reference 🙂

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