Official calls for Patriot Act renewal

May 6, 2005 at 8:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) -- A U.S. Justice Department official says provision of the USA Patriot Act should be renewed since they serve an important role in the war on terrorism.

Christopher A Wray, who marks his final day as assistant attorney general Friday, told The Washington Times the Patriot Act "has been vital to our success" against possible terrorist attacks.

Congress has set hearings about expiring sections of the act. The USA Patriot Act was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to help prevent additional actions. Supporters say it is needed to allow government investigations of suspected terrorists while opponents claim the act impinges on the rights of the innocent.

Wray told the Times the entire act should be renewed.

"As the recent 9-11 congressional joint report confirms, before Sept. 11 out capacity to connect the dots was hampered by the difficulty of coordinating throughout our government. The act has been vital to our success," he said.

Wray said act opponents have "misled the public" on the breadth of the Patriot Act. He said the act is subject to congressional and judicial oversight.

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