Patriot Act successes

Much has been said back and forth between the two parties about the controversial Patriot Act. Democrats hate it, the ACLU hates it (oh, but I repeat myself) and even some Republicans hate it. Deroy Murdock, contributing editor at NRO, gives a rundown here of the successes of the Patriot Act.

You be the judge. A few snippets:

* FBI efforts to nail the Lackawanna Six al Qaeda cell began in summer 2001. Separate teams probed their suspected drug and terrorist violations. According to the Justice Department’s “July Report from the Field: The USA Patriot Act at Work,” “there were times when the intelligence officers and the law enforcement agents concluded that they could not be in the same room during briefings to discuss their respective investigations with each other.” Under the Patriot Act, these officials began exchanging data, pooled their energies, and jailed all six upstate New York terrorists for seven to ten years for pro-al Qaeda subterfuge.

* In the Portland Seven case, the Patriot Act let the FBI follow one terrorist’s plans to attack domestic Jewish targets while other conspirators tried to reach Afghanistan to help al Qaeda and the Taliban battle American GIs. The FBI and prosecutors jointly imprisoned six of the Seven for three to 18 years. As the DOJ dryly adds: “Charges against the seventh defendant were dismissed after he was killed in Pakistan by Pakistani troops on October 3, 2003.”

* The Palestinian Islamic Jihad Eight were indicted for materially supporting foreign terrorists. Before that, Patriot Act Section 219 let the supervising federal judge quickly issue a search warrant in another jurisdiction, rather than consume precious time by involving an additional, local jurist.