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Fact Sheet: Safeguarding America: President Bush Signs Patriot Act Reauthorization

March 09, 2006

Today's Presidential Action

Today, President Bush Signed The USA PATRIOT Improvement And Reauthorization Act Of 2005. Since its enactment in October 2001, the Patriot Act has been vital to winning the War on Terror and protecting the American people. The legislation signed today allows intelligence and law enforcement officials to continue sharing information and using the same tools against terrorists already employed against drug dealers and other criminals. While safeguarding Americans' civil liberties, this legislation also strengthens the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) so that it can better detect and disrupt terrorist threats, and it also gives law enforcement new tools to combat threats. America still faces dangerous enemies, and no priority is more important to the President than protecting the American people without delay.

The Patriot Act Closes Dangerous Law Enforcement And Intelligence Gaps

The Patriot Act Has Accomplished Exactly What It Was Designed To Do - It Has Helped Us Detect Terrorist Cells, Disrupt Terrorist Plots, And Save American Lives.

  • The Patriot Act has helped law enforcement break up terror cells in Ohio, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.
  • The Patriot Act has helped in the prosecution of terrorist operatives and supporters in California, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois Washington, and North Carolina.

The Patriot Act Authorizes Vital Information Sharing To Help Law Enforcement And Intelligence Officials Connect The Dots Before Terrorists Strike. The Patriot Act enables necessary cooperation and information sharing by helping to break down legal and bureaucratic walls separating criminal investigators from intelligence officers.

The Patriot Act Eliminates Double Standards By Allowing Agents To Pursue Terrorists With The Same Tools They Use Against Other Criminals. Before the Patriot Act, it was easier to track a drug dealer's phone contacts than a terrorist's phone contacts, and it was easier to obtain a tax cheat's credit card receipts than to trace the financial support of an al-Qaida fundraiser. The Patriot Act corrected these double standards - and America is safer as a result.

The Patriot Act Adapts The Law To Modern Technology. The Patriot Act allows Internet service providers to disclose customer records voluntarily to the government in emergencies involving an immediate risk of death or serious physical injury and permits victims of hacking crimes to request law enforcement assistance in monitoring trespassers on their computers.

The Patriot Act Preserves Our Freedoms And Upholds The Rule Of Law. The legislation signed today adds over 30 new significant civil liberties provisions.

The Patriot Act Reauthorization Safeguards Our Nation

The Patriot Act Reauthorization Creates A New Assistant Attorney General for National Security. By creating a new Assistant Attorney General for National Security, this legislation fulfills a critical recommendation of the WMD Commission. This will allow the Justice Department to bring its national security, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and foreign intelligence surveillance operations under a single authority.

The Patriot Act Reauthorization Tackles Terrorism Financing. This bill enhances penalties for terrorism financing and closes a loophole concerning terrorist financing through "hawalas" (informal money transfer networks) rather than traditional financial institutions.

The Patriot Act Reauthorization Protects Mass Transportation. This bill provides clear standards and tough penalties for attacks on our land- and water-based mass transportation systems, as well as commercial aviation.

The Patriot Act Reauthorization Combats Methamphetamine Abuse

The Patriot Act Reauthorization Includes The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act Of 2005. This bill introduces commonsense safeguards that will make many ingredients used in methamphetamine manufacturing more difficult to obtain in bulk and easier for law enforcement to track. For example, the bill places limits on large-scale purchases of over-the-counter drugs that are used to manufacture methamphetamines- and requires stores to keep these ingredients behind the counter or in locked display cases. It increases penalties for smuggling and selling methamphetamines.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Safeguarding America: President Bush Signs Patriot Act Reauthorization Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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