PATRIOT GAMES: The Patriot Act in Review

Monday, October 27, 2003

In October 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the USA Patriot Act. The law is intended to prevent future terrorist acts by enhancing various law enforcement tools. Critics argue that the Patriot Act is a dangerous infringement on American civil liberties. Now, more than two years after the passage of the Patriot Act, do we have any evidence that the critics are right? For that matter, do we even know whether the Patriot Act is working to deter terrorism? Should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire, or should its provisions become a permanent part of the war on terrorism?

Recorded on Monday, October 27, 2003

Peter Robinson: Today on Uncommon Knowledge: Is the Patriot Act, unpatriotic?

Announcer: Funding for this program is provided by the John M. Olin Foundation.


Peter Robinson: Welcome to Uncommon Knowledge, I'm Peter Robinson. Our show today: the Patriot Act--essential to the defense of the nation or an infringement on our civil liberties? After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, in October 2001, Congress passed and President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act. Intended to deter terrorist attacks, the Patriot Act expanded certain tools of law enforcement and--critics charged--shrank our civil liberties. Today, more than two years after the enactment of the Patriot Act, do we have any evidence that the critics were right? For that matter, do we have any evidence that the Patriot Act is actually helpful in deterring terrorism?

Joining us today, two guests. Dorothy Ehrlich is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. Edwin Meese, III is former Attorney General of the United States.

Title: A Tough Act to Follow

Peter Robinson: Dahlia Lithwick and Julia Turner writing in Slate: "Attorney General John Ashcroft contends that had the Patriot Act been in place earlier, 9/11 wouldn't have happened and that absent a Patriot Act, the country may have seen more 9/11's over the past two years, a double negative that's unprovable but enough to scare you witless." Is John Ashcroft correct that the Patriot Act is essential to the defense of the nation or is he merely attempting to scare us out of our wits? Dorothy?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, I think the fact that they say it's unprovable is the fact that we should rely on. It is unprovable and one of the problems since the Patriot Act was passed and since September 11th, has been the fact that there are so many actions the government's taken in secret that we have so little information and we can't hold the government accountable.

Peter Robinson: Former Attorney General of the United States, Ed Meese?

Edwin Meese, III: I think John Ashcroft is absolutely right. The Patriot Act is an act that's important in order for us to protect the country against terrorism. But at the same time, it is one of the best protections against--for civil liberties and against the abuse of civil liberties that we have.

Peter Robinson: Well, now this is the kind of television I like, two cleanly opposed positions. Off we go. The Patriot Act runs through more than 300 pages and contains dozens of provisions. It's television, our time is limited, let's examine a handful of the most controversial provisions. Section 215, which has been widely publicized, is the provision that would permit federal agents to march into libraries to demand records of books that targeted individuals have checked out. The provision never mentions libraries specifically but it does permit the government to inspect records held by third parties, financial records, travel records, medical records, library records, without the knowledge or consent of the targeted individual. Before the Patriot Act, the government needed at least a warrant and probable cause to examine private records. Now the FBI needs only to certify to a FISA judge--that is a judge sitting according to the provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that a search would help defend the nation against terrorism. The FBI may now search records without warrants and without showing probable cause. Ed?

Edwin Meese, III: Well, that's always been the law. There is nothing--the law that applied previously to such things as organized crime, to almost any kind of federal offense, did not require a warrant. This is a base canard. Basically it required a subpoena which could be obtained without any judge intervening at all, a Grand Jury subpoena. What this does actually is interposes a judge in the process and actually is more protection than you had previously and, of course, it applies what existed for other crimes to the crime of terrorism.

Peter Robinson: Dorothy? So this is a point--that a grand jury could have issued a subpoena before the Patriot Act and as the old saying goes, a DA can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, let alone to issue any kind of subpoena he wants. So we now have tighter protections, not looser.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, in the past, the FISA court was able to order these records to be obtained. When the focus of the investigation had to do with international terrorism, when it had to do with those kinds of--not those kinds of ordinary crimes…

Peter Robinson: Right. FISA for terrorism…

Dorothy Ehrlich: Right.

Peter Robinson: …and then grand juries for criminal investigations.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Or there were other ways in which criminal investigations take place. Under these new rules that expands that power. It doesn't have to be in international, you know, terrorism that you're looking at. It can be almost anything. And I should say, without a warrant, there has--there have been times in this country and there certainly are those times even today where law enforcement officers have gone to libraries and they've asked for information. Often they do it informally and they do it frequently. There was a whole program--the Library Awareness Program--during the fifties and the sixties where librarians were constantly being asked for information about patrons who had Russian sounding names. So there's a long and dishonorable history of focusing on libraries, of getting this information through all kinds of informal needs. These are the more specific rules that have been changed.

Peter Robinson: But shouldn't you feel at ease though that this law sort of tightens things up and formalizes them?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, now they're doing both. You have librarians being asked informally for information. We have hundreds of those examples. You have librarians also being asked for information through national security letters. That's why there's so much--you know, so much disagreement about how many visits have taken place.

Edwin Meese, III: I'm sorry to say but, you know, some of this just isn't true. First of all, the law did not apply to terrorism before this act--the FISA law didn't apply to terrorism. It applied only to foreign intelligence activities. This statute applies it now to terrorism as well. Beyond that, there are not hundreds of examples of people going to libraries. As a matter of fact, libraries are seldom the source of investigation unless there's some relevance to the particular offense.

Peter Robinson: On to another of the Patriot Act's controversial provisions.

Title: Hide and Go Sneak

Peter Robinson: Section 213, so-called Sneak and Peek Provision: Before executing search warrants or wire tapes, law enforcement officers used to have to--legal phrase is "knock and announce"--that's the traditional phrase. That is, make clear what they were about to do. In 1978, FISA changed the law allowing the FISA court to authorize "Sneak and Peek" warrants, warrants that permitted law enforcement officials to conduct searches without notifying the targets beforehand but only in cases in which "foreign powers or their agents were suspected of terrorism." Under the Patriot Act, "Sneak and Peek" warrants, that is, permission to search and notify after the search, are no longer limited to terrorism investigations but now extends to criminal investigations as well. Now, Ed, isn't it hard to imagine any criminal investigation in which the FBI or other law enforcement officials wouldn't much rather be able to conduct their search first and notify later?

Edwin Meese, III: Well, you have the law a little bit wrong, Peter.

Peter Robinson: Go ahead, correct me then.

Edwin Meese, III: Before 1978, or before the--and before the Patriot Act, you had a situation in which generally since again, these were intelligence type searches.

Peter Robinson: Right.

Edwin Meese, III: There was absolutely no limitation on them whatsoever. Then there was a limitation put on but they never applied to terrorism until the Patriot Act. It was always to gain intelligence about foreign agents. Now in the--with the--with the…

Peter Robinson: Patriot Act…

Edwin Meese, III: …Patriot Act, there is again--it's a matter of a judge being intervened for the first time…

Peter Robinson: Right.

Edwin Meese, III: …and the judge has to find that there is reason to believe that notification of the subject would either allow people to escape or allow them to continue their criminal enterprises or would otherwise thwart the purposes of the investigation. There are some people who think that that law ought to be changed. I call it the terrorist tip-off act, if they were to change that particular provision.

Peter Robinson: Dorothy, that sounds like common sense.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, but it is common sense in part. And in the past, there were always the allowance for five specific reasons. You could always have an unannounced search in that manner. That law existed in the past. What's changed now is that it gives broad authority for law enforcement to engage in these kind of searches, in ordinary criminal cases as well as in cases having to do with terrorism. What's disturbing about this is that people feel very strongly about the right to privacy in this country. And they also are extremely concerned about innocent people. It's one thing when the target is the correct target but frequently it's a incorrect target. That's why an announcement can make us not make those kinds of mistakes. One of the things about the effort to bring to the public's attention the danger of the Patriot Act and the danger of this expansion of government power since September 11th, has been a broad coalition. The people who oppose the "Sneak and Peek" portion of the Patriot Act are people who are not usually on our side. You know, it's Dick Otter from--the congressman from Idaho who introduced the amendment in congress that passed overwhelmingly to take away anymore funding for "Sneak and Peek" measures. It's now part of a new piece of legislation that has a broad, you know, right-left coalition. Grover Norquist, all--you know…

Peter Robinson: …libertarians for your cause?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Not just libertarians. It's, you know, Bob--Bob Barr, there are all kinds of people who are ordinarily…

Peter Robinson: …traditional conservatives?

Dorothy Ehrlich: …traditionally conservative who believe we are conserving real American values.

Peter Robinson: Let's discuss one last controversial provision of the Patriot Act.

Title: Letters of the Law

Peter Robinson: Section 505. I promised you we'd talk about national security letters. Here the Patriot Act authorizes the Attorney General or his delegate to compel holders of personal records to make them available to the government simply by writing a national security letter. This is essentially an administrative subpoena, so far as I can make it out. Before the Patriot Act, national security letters could only have been issued against individuals suspected of espionage, again this question of intelligence. National security letters may now be issued against anyone and they are subject to no judicial oversight, no FISA court or judge involved here. Isn't that a virtual invitation to go back to the bad old days of J. Edgar Hoover?

Edwin Meese, III: No, no, it's not at all. And it's for…

Peter Robinson: You find this--these charges so wide of the mark that they're actually amusing to you.

Edwin Meese, III: Well they are.

Peter Robinson: All right, go ahead.

Edwin Meese, III: They are because they've been--you know, the interesting thing is the people…

Edwin Meese, III: When you make Dorothy laugh too, you'll have gone--you'll have done something.

Edwin Meese, III: Well the people that Dorothy talks about, for example, who have introduced this legislation to change the Patriot Act, when asked have there been any abuses of the Patriot Act, they've had to say no. In two years, there've been no abuses.

Dorothy Ehrlich: But Ed…

Edwin Meese, III: The other thing that it's important to recognize and you say how will we know about these things--one of the provisions of the Patriot Act that's very important is the Attorney General has to regularly report to congress on the use of the Patriot Act on these provisions we've been talking about so that congress has its oversight ability to see whether they're being abused. Now in terms of national security letters, these are unusual situations where there is an emergency or some urgent need and that's why the Attorney General himself has to authorize the use of national security letters. It's not a matter of everyday activity. And, in fact, these are rarely used.

Peter Robinson: What about this provision that it can be his delegate?

Edwin Meese, III: The delegation…

Peter Robinson: Could you end up with an FBI officer in any field office in the country writing one of these?

Edwin Meese, III: The delegation according to the law only goes down so far and it cannot go any further than a very top official in the FBI. In other words, an Assistant Special Agent in Charge, of which there are only a very limited number in the whole country.

Dorothy Ehrlich: And they have the authority to approve them and they have been used widely in the past. And now it's extended so that the power to obtain this information is simply greater. What has happened to September 11th, both because of the Patriot Act but also because of various executive orders is the government has far more power. You know, USA Today describes the Patriot Act and the various executive orders as the greatest expansion of government power in our nation's history. This isn't just coming from the mouth of the ACLU. It is widely seen as traumatic to a nation that cares about democracy and that doesn't believe that government secrecy is the way to solve these problems.

Peter Robinson: All right. Now, hold on for a second.

Peter Robinson: According to Ed Meese, there is judicial and legislative oversight of almost every aspect of the Patriot Act. So what are Dorothy and the ACLU so worried about?

Title: Suspicious Minds

Peter Robinson: We've just been through three of the provisions. There are dozens of provisions. We've been through three of the more controversial ones. In many of them a judge is involved. In all of the, regular reporting to congress is involved and again, in many of them, there's an automatic expiration date of 2005. So doesn't that give you some sense of security that there's quite rigorous oversight involved?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, I wish I shared your confidence and a lot of Americans wish they shared your confidence. I mean, right now more than two hundred local cities and jurisdictions have passed resolutions including three states, one of them a Republican-controlled state, to ask for the repeal…

Peter Robinson: What specifically makes you nervous?

Dorothy Ehrlich: You did three things. Let me respond to all three.

Peter Robinson: Okay, ahead.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Number one, on the FISA court…

Peter Robinson: Yes.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Prior to the enactment of the expansion of the FISA law, you had 15,000 requests for information under FISA since 1978. Courts--the judges turned them down five times. 15,000…

Peter Robinson: These are ex parte proceedings. Only…

Dorothy Ehrlich: Ex parte…

Peter Robinson: …only the government side is being heard.

Edwin Meese, III: Right. Well, no obviously because you don't advertise that you're going to tap somebody's phone.

Peter Robinson: The whole point is judicial proceedings are usually adversarial. This is not. Right?

Edwin Meese, III: That's right.

Peter Robinson: Okay.

Edwin Meese, III: But that's what--but you still have an independent judge. And the reason there have been so few is the care that's been taken. It's because you have the highest officials in the government who are proving these things. It's not a matter that's being taken lightly. Furthermore, the only th--and, you know, there's been a--this idea that this is a big change. USA Today is absolutely wrong. What you're doing is you're taking principles in the law that have been there for at least decades. And you're applying them--which were once applied only to organized crime and to drugs--and now you're applying them to terrorism.

Peter Robinson: …circumstances of terrorism.

Edwin Meese, III: And it seems to me that terrorism is at least as much of a threat to the people of this country as organized crime.

Peter Robinson: Dorothy's giving us three points though. So the FISA judges and then the regular reporting to Congress.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, Congress has been at odds with the administration and with the Department of Justice over these regulations ever since they were promulgated. We've had to file on behalf of Congress…

Peter Robinson: Right.

Dorothy Ehrlich: …a Freedom of Information Act Request in order to try to get information…

Edwin Meese, III: Well, you haven't…

Dorothy Ehrlich: …as well as filing a lawsuit. So Congress has…

Edwin Meese, III: But not on behalf of Congress but on behalf of certain members of Congress largely because they've been misinformed by the ACLU.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Republicans and Democrats--people who are not usually our allies have come forward…

Peter Robinson: But shouldn't that cheer you? Isn't that good news from your point of view because that suggests that congress is giving all this stuff a very rigorous and indeed skeptical scrutiny?

Dorothy Ehrlich: I am very encouraged by the dialogue that's taking place in this country. I am very encouraged when three state legislatures…

Peter Robinson: What I'm trying to get at Dorothy, is where in the system here--Ed's been talking about safeguards, safeguards, safeguards and it seems to me he's making a largely persuasive common sense case. And what I'm asking you is where in the system do you see the opportunity for a breakdown, for corruption, for bad judgment, that would permit these things to be abused?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, there are significant places in which the law has been changed where you don't have a judge involved, where you can do a national security letter without any kind of judicial involvement.

Peter Robinson: Okay. But you still have to report to Congress.

Dorothy Ehrlich: And there are ways in which you can get access to information of people who are wrongdoers as well as everybody else. Now under the--the way in which the "Trap and Trace" measures can be put into place, you can get access to internet--what websites you visit as well as the content. Much of the content of your email communication is now available to the government.

Edwin Meese, III: That's absolutely false, not without a warrant.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, then why does a child get…

Edwin Meese, III: Not without a warrant. You can only get who it's from and who it's to, the same way you can under the existing law in regard to a telephone. But let me mention because I think it's important because we've mentioned some of the safeguards. There are also several other safeguards in the Patriot Act. A person against whom information gained through the Patriot Act is being misused by any federal official has now the ability to sue the government for money damages, in order to civilly go as well as criminally. Secondly, there is a new privacy office established in the Department of Justice as well as in the Department of Homeland Security, a new Civil Liberty section in the Department of Homeland Security. And third, you have the requirement in the Patriot Act that when there are abuse of the Patriot Act or any other law pertaining to terrorism, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice must investigate now.

Peter Robinson: And now a question for Ed. Why should we presume that the government will not abuse its powers under the Patriot Act?

Title: Someone to Watch Over Me

Peter Robinson: Let me just try to put to you what I take here as the basic psychology. The government gets to do a lot of snooping without our even knowing about it.

Edwin Meese, III: Not really.

Peter Robinson: That I think is what…

Dorothy Ehrlich: And there's a long and dishonorable history in this country of the government engaging in snooping in a way that should be met with great skepticism and it is.

Peter Robinson: One provision after another, unless the government took against me let's say, I would never know if I had been wiretapped--the "Sneak and Peek" provision, they would have to notify me after doing a search. But all--there are all kinds…

Dorothy Ehrlich: But they could notify you many months later.

Peter Robinson: Well…

Dorothy Ehrlich: Ninety days.

Peter Robinson: But in other words, in--what I'm trying to suggest is the mental image that I think a lot of people have of files of material about them piling up and they'll never even know about it.

Edwin Meese, III: This is absolutely false. For example, the wire tap warrants are only in existence for a certain period of time. And these are not things that can go on perpetually. And there has to be a reason. If you're Peter Robinson, private citizen, the FBI cannot go at you. They cannot get the warrants. They cannot get the information from libraries or anyplace else. It has to be a legitimate terrorist investigation. And I think that we want to have…

Dorothy Ehrlich: All they have to say is that it's related. That's all they have to say. The only language is that it's related to ongoing terrorist investigation.

Peter Robinson: Dorothy, let me try something…

Dorothy Ehrlich: And let me say this with the "Trap and Trace" this new power under the "Trap and Trace" rule…

Peter Robinson: "Trap and Trace," explain that in a sentence or two.

Dorothy Ehrlich: This is where they used to be able to with old telephones just to see what calls you made and what calls were connected. And it wasn't--it didn't really get into very deep private information. Now with email, having extended that to email without the sort of judicial requirements that are required in other wire taps, you are able to get at the content of people's emails and you're able to get at websites.

Peter Robinson: Dorothy?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Let me give you an example. A child is visited at his elementary child in Baltimore who's doing research on the Bay Bridge over the Chesapeake Bay. He checks a lot of websites as kids will do doing a book report. It turns out he asked questions and tried to find out, you know, how much cement was used, what the engineering was.

Peter Robinson: Right.

Dorothy Ehrlich: The FBI shows up because they're monitoring all of those emails from the local library. People are…

Peter Robinson: Dorothy, you have to be very careful because there's going to be a big part of the audience that says rah, rah for the FBI. They ought to turn up when somebody's asking detailed information about…

Edwin Meese, III: The whole idea is to prevent…

Dorothy Ehrlich: And I think so too but let me just say this. In terms of turning up when they should, here's the problem. You have this great expansion of power and you can pick up pieces where there's judicial involvement but the judicial involvement is very minor. And even historically it's been very minor. This doesn't make us safer.

Peter Robinson: Hold on. Dorothy, let me give you…

Dorothy Ehrlich: It makes our privacy less safe.

Peter Robinson: Let me give you a fundamental question here. All right? Let me put it to you that the greatest threat to our civil liberties is not the Patriot Act but the legislation that will be--that is likely to be enacted--indeed that the American people are likely to demand to be enacted if there's ever another terrorist attack. And so what the American Civil Liberties Union should be doing, your priority, should be to make sure right now that the Justice Department and all the up branches of intelligence gathering and law enforcement in this country have every tool they need to prevent another terrorist act and that the position--the profile of the ACLU in the public right--you're acting like minnows nibbling away when there's at a--what is, in fact, an enormous problem and one that is understood to be an enormous problem by the American public. Nobody made up 9/11. It really happened. And how do you answer that charge?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well I think part of the issue is it's not a matter of tools. The tools that existed before September 11th could have prevented that from happening. It isn't a question of tools. It's analysis. It's the information now that law enforcement is unwilling to give to congress that they're asking for having to do with the investigation of why September 11th happened. We are in support of tools and we're in support of analysis that will make Americans safer. What you're being told is that we can't be both free and safe. That's what we disagree with.

Ed Meese, III: Let me say that that's probably the worst canard yet. I have always said in every speech that I've given and every conversation that we have to be able to be both safe and free. And indeed, that we are safer and freer when we don't have the specter of terrorism and the civil liberties that are protected by the Patriot Act moreso than the law before the Patriot Act was enacted is another protection. I've gone through the protections. If those protections weren't there, I would worry.

Peter Robinson: Last topic. If she could, what would Dorothy do to fix the Patriot Act?

Title: Patriot Games

Peter Robinson: Again, we've gone through this kind of mantra. There are FISA judges for some provisions. There are sunset provisions for other sections of the Patriot Act and for all sections of the Patriot Act, there's congressional oversight and regular reporting required. What additional safeguards would you add? How would you fix this act?

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, I would require that in order for those expanded powers to even be put into place, we need to at least have some showing that they will make us safer. No such showing has ever been made. In fact, this measure was passed days following the September 11th tragedy. Most members of congress didn't read this. So for all your confidence, these people in Congress now admit they didn't even have a chance to read it, and yet it's the greatest expansion of power ever.

Peter Robinson: She's asked a kind of summary question for you. Chief Just--or not Chief Justice but Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson said famously, "The Bill of Rights is not to be read as a suicide pact." And I think that's widely, at one level or another, Americans are willing to permit certain limitations on their freedom if they're getting--they can be sure that it's necessary to the defense of the nation. So the question is for the ordinary layman such as myself who doesn't know a great deal, how do you know that this is enough, that it's being properly used, that indeed it truly is necessary? Where do you repose your faith and confidence?

Edwin Meese, III: Well we know that it's being properly used because of the oversight by the judges, the oversight by the congress. Those are the checks to make sure it's being properly used as well as…

Peter Robinson: So you're satisfied with…

Edwin Meese, III: …as well--let me--let me finish.

Peter Robinson: Okay, go ahead.

Edwin Meese, III: As well as the requirement of the Attorney General and top officials in government having to be held responsible for their duties under the law. But the fact that it's necessary is the fact that most of the investigations that are going on as Attorney General Ashcroft said, would not have been possible without the Patriot Act, particularly the sharing of information between law enforcement and diligence agents.

Peter Robinson: There's one--we mentioned J. Edgar Hoover earlier. You're talking about your faith in the Attorney General. Now I know you're a friend of John Ashcroft personally, but somebody of my generation says Attorney General, one of the names that comes to mind is John Mitchell, Watergate--in other words, you've got a generation of Americans who lived through the Watergate and have the feeling that there were files collected on Martin Luther King, Jr. There is suspicion about the Department of Justice, about the FBI and as a historical matter, it's well grounded.

Edwin Meese, III: Well, Martin Luther King…

Peter Robinson: You've got to address that right?

Edwin Meese, III: Yeah, well, the Martin Luther King thing was done by Robert Kennedy. He was the one that authorized the…

Peter Robinson: But another Attorney General…

Edwin Meese, III: Another Attorney General but...

Peter Robinson: Who was a schneak!

Edwin Meese, III: …but don't forget--don't forget that none of the protections that I've talked about today that are in the U.S. Patriot Act were there when these things went on.

Peter Robinson: Dorothy?

Dorothy Ehrlich: I think to describe the U.S. Patriot Act as providing more protection is extraordinarily misleading.

Peter Robinson: Last question. Alas, it's television. As we've mentioned, many--many of the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act contain sunset clauses under which they will expire in 2005. Let me ask you to make a prediction. In 2006, will the Patriot Act have become substantially a thing of the past or will congress have deemed it necessary to reenact those provisions, making the Patriot Act in effect, a permanent feature of the war on terrorism? Your prediction, Dorothy.

Dorothy Ehrlich: Well, two years ago, a year ago, I would have said absolutely permanent fixture. Today I think there's an incredibly vibrant movement in this country where there's a real dialogue about these fundamental values. People think they are being abused and there's evidence of their being abused. When there isn't evidence…

Peter Robinson: So substantially rewritten, muted or permitted simply to die?

Dorothy Ehrlich: There are portions that will sunset and I think they may well sunset. There is activity right now in congress--there's a safe act that will reform some of the worst abuses. So there really is some real motivation right now to change things.

Peter Robinson: Ed, does it die, get reformed or remain in place?

Edwin Meese, III: Well, first of all, let me correct one thing. There has never been a proven abuse yet of the Patriot Act and even the people in Congress who are urging the new legislation have admitted publicly that there have been no abuses. They're saying but there might be in the future.

Peter Robinson: Complaints but no proven abuses.

Edwin Meese, III: No, there haven't even been complaints about abuses of the Patriot Act.

Peter Robinson: All right.

Edwin Meese, III: And so if you go beyond that, I think for that reason, the Patriot Act will be reenacted or reauthorized in substantially its present form.

Peter Robinson: Ed Meese, Dorothy Ehrlich, thank you very much.

Edwin Meese, III: Thank you.

Peter Robinson: I'm Peter Robinson for Uncommon Knowledge, thanks for joining us.