Just before coming home for the Memorial Day weekend, Georgia's senators voted in Washington to extend three key provisions of the Patriot Act, the post-Sept. 11 law intended to help law enforcement that has faced criticism, especially from Libertarians.
"These three key provisions in the Patriot Act have been integral tools in disrupting terrorist plots and protecting innocent Americans," said Sen. Chambliss. "Now more than ever, we must ensure that our intelligence personnel have the means to apprehend those who seek to destroy our way of life."
Sen. Johnny Isakson agreed that the extension would help keep Americans safe from terroristic threats.
"As the grandfather of nine, I am committed to keeping our country safe. These three provisions in the Patriot Act have been very effective in saving American lives and even helped authorities prosecute two men in our home state of Georgia who were plotting a terrorist attack in 2006," Isakson said. "I firmly believe that this law protects our country from terrorists while also preserving the civil liberties for our citizens that are at the core of the U.S. Constitution."
The legislation extends the lone-wolf, roving wiretap and Section 215 business-records authorities until 2015.
The roving wiretaps and 215 orders have criminal law corollaries that are permanent. The lone-wolf provision is specifically designed to catch non-U.S. terrorists who may not be affiliated with a terrorist organization. Losing or changing these authorities would have adversely affected the intelligence community's ability to collect, analyze and share important intelligence information, a press release from the senators said.
Next week, Gwinnettians will have a chance to hear from local legislators.
The Chamber of Commerce's annual legislative summit is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at its Duluth edifice.
While the event is free, the Chamber is offering sponsorships that would enable the booster to join delegates and other officials at the Gwinnett Braves game later that evening.
For more information about the event, go to www.gwinnettchamber.org.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at email@example.com.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdaily