Mukasey: Now's No Time to Weaken Patriot Act

Terror arrests show that national security needs trump privacy worries
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2009 5:53 AM CDT
Mukasey: Now's No Time to Weaken Patriot Act
Najibullah Zazi, center, is escorted off an NYPD helicopter by U.S Marshals after being extradited from Denver, Colo., last week.   (AP Photo/New York City Police Department)

The arrests last week of Najibullah Zazi and other terror suspects should make lawmakers think twice about making intelligence-gathering more difficult for those trying to keep America safe from terrorist attacks, writes Michael Mukasey. Congressional Democrats are considering imposing new requirements on Patriot Act provisions when they come up for renewal later this year, Mukasey writes, but doing so has the potential to thwart terror investigations.

Tools like roving wiretaps are vital to terror investigations, the former attorney general writes in the Wall Street Journal, and requiring authorities to show proof of terror links before they can be obtained turns the whole concept of an investigation upside down. Those "who would roll back current authorities in the name of protecting civil liberties, should consider what legislation will be proposed and passed if the next Najibullah Zazi is not detected," Mukasey concludes. (More Michael Mukasey stories.)

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