Friday, March 09, 2007
Reaction to government audit finding 'serious misuse' of Patriot Act
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Here is reaction to a government audit saying the FBI is guilty of "serious misuse" of the power to secretly obtain private information under the Patriot Act:
"The inspector general's report should come as no surprise. And it should
come as no surprise that Attorney General Gonzales is eager to blame the FBI,
or that the FBI engaged in these abuses. The attorney general and the FBI are
part of the problem and they cannot be trusted to be part of the solution.
Congress must act immediately to repeal these dangerous Patriot Act
"I have long been troubled by the lack of accountability on these
national security letters. They need to be reassessed. The report indicates
abuse of the authority. That needs to change. You've got to have people who are
responsible and in charge, and you cannot have people act as free agents on
something where they are going to be delving into your privacy.
"We all want to stop terrorists. We all want to stop criminals. But the
FBI work for us, the American people, not the other way around."
"There will be oversight hearings, and we may have to go farther than
that and change the law to revise the Patriot Act to impose statutory
requirements and perhaps take away some of the authority which we've already
given to the FBI, since they appear not to be able to know how to use it."
"I expect more from the FBI and its leaders, especially since during the
last Congress when we had the FBI in for hearings on this subject, we expressed
our concern regarding the potential abuse of NSLs and emphasized that strict
procedures be followed. Apparently, our concerns were well-founded. ... These
mistakes, while perhaps not intentional, must be rectified. I intend to hold
briefings and hearings to understand the scope of these problems and to ensure
corrective action has been taken."
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