Sales Writes with Rep. Steve King in Politico
In an op-ed written for Politico, Rep. Steve King and Professor Nathan Sales support this week's action by the House Judiciary Committee to renew three provisions of the Patriot Act due to expire on May 27.
Arguing that bin Laden is dead, but Al Qaeda is very much alive, King and Sales point out that judged by the standard of the tea party's commitment to constitutional fidelity, the Patriot Act passes with flying colors.
"It just lets counterterrorism agents use some of the same tools that regular cops have used for decades," the authors state. "These tools have exacting safeguards to protect civil liberties, and federal courts have consistently upheld their constitutionality."
Patriot Act fits tea party standards, Politico, May 26, 2011. By Rep. Steve King and Nathan A. Sales.
"Finally, there’s the 'lone wolf' provision — for terrorists whose ties to overseas groups may be a bit murky.
"The FBI faced exactly this predicament before 9/11. Agents suspected that Zacarias Moussaoui – then in custody on immigration charges – was a terrorist. But they hadn’t yet connected him to Al Qaeda, so it was unclear whether they could search his apartment or laptop. The 9/11 Commission later speculated that, if agents had investigated Moussaoui more fully, they might have unraveled the entire Sept. 11 plot.
"The Patriot Act fixes this problem. It allows investigators to apply for a court order to monitor a suspected terrorist — even if they haven’t yet found enough evidence to prove he’s a member of a foreign terrorist organization.
"Again, the Patriot Act makes it a priority to protect civil liberties. Agents have to convince a judge to let them investigate and follow a lone wolf. This tool can only be used to investigate international terrorism, not domestic terrorism. And 'lone wolf' doesn’t apply to Americans. It applies only to temporary visitors – like tourists or students."