Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Bush wants Patriot Act made permanent

The Bush administration has refused to give ground to critics of the controversial Patriot Act, saying that all the provisions of the act, which is due to expire at the end of this year, must be made permanent.

In his first testimony on the legislation, Alberto Gonzales, the new attorney-general, said on Tuesday that new powers given to investigators under the act “have proven to be essential weapons in our arsenal to combat the terrorists, and now is not the time for us to be engaging in unilateral disarmament”.

In response to criticisms that aspects of the legislation were too vague and as such open to abuse, Mr Gonzales said that the administration was “open to suggestions” to clarify and strengthen the act. But he added that the administration would not support any changes that might compromise US ability to combat terrorism.


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