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Betsy Combier

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The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Joan Klingsberg
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
Is Intelligence Reform Actually Patriot Act Reform?

'Patriot Act II' Irks Civil Libertarians
FOX News, Friday, December 10, 2004

WASHINGTON - The intelligence reform bill President Bush is about to sign contains anti-terrorism language long sought by outgoing Attorney General John Ashcroft and long opposed by civil libertarians.

The new legislation gives the Justice Department vast new powers to prosecute the War on Terror. Legal analysts say, in this regard, the bill might as well carry another name - Patriot Act II.

"The pressure to pass some intelligence reform ultimately worked to the advantage of the (Bush) administration," said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. "They were able to take a few of the provisions of what's called Patriot II and put them in this bill."

Ashcroft had long sought tougher anti-terror laws, and had long been formulating a second bill to build on the USA Patriot Act (search), passed just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. But concerns about civil liberties stalled the measure in Congress. Lawmakers supporting the measures managed to tuck a few into the intelligence reform bill that passed overwhelmingly this week.

"If this had gone to the next Congress, it's very likely some of these provisions would have gotten much closer scrutiny and would have been opposed," Turley said.

One example of the new provisions: The Justice Department can now ask a federal court that operates in secret to allow surveillance of a so-called lone-wolf terrorist - a suspect with no connection to a terrorist organization like Al Qaeda (search) or to any nation. An example of someone who would qualify is Timothy McVeigh (search).

"We're always going to be faced with the Timothy McVeigh scenario, or the Unabomber (search), or a person who just wants to go out and wreak havoc. That is a gap that had to be filled," said James Carafano, senior research fellow for defense and homeland security at the Heritage Foundation.

Civil libertarians say they fear the court that adjudicates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (search), which grants authority to law enforcement personnel to watch individuals in secret, could grant federal agents the power to track anyone.

"You have a combination of a secret court that is operating below the constitutional standard for search and seizure and now against individuals who can simply be declared lone wolves without any connection to terrorists," Turley said.

The bill also allows the government to deport immediately any alien who knowingly received financial support for terrorists.

"When you find bad people who are doing bad things, you have to get them out of the country, even if you can't convict them of a crime," Carafano said.

The bill also gives federal judges the authority to deny bail to any terrorism suspect, currently permitted in federal drug cases. The goal is to keep indicted terrorists from fleeing before trial.

Main Features of The Intelligence Reform Bill:

- Creates a new position, Director of National Intelligence, who will be the principal adviser to the president and coordinate the nation's spy agencies. The position will be above the CIA director.
- Establishes a National Counterterrorism Center for planning intelligence missions and coordinating information on terror threats and responses.

- Creates a Privacy and Civil Liberties Board of private citizens, with access to all government agencies, to oversee privacy protections.

- Establishes minimum standards for birth certificates and driver's licenses and improves security of Social Security cards.

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation