Patriot Act II

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The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 was a piece of draft legislation leaked in February 2003, but never introduced to Congress in its entirety. The draft bill was quickly deemed Patriot Act II for the proposed expansion of the federal government's surveillance, detention, and and prosecution powers even beyond that of the original Patriot Act.

Provisions of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 would have give the Executive power to revoke Americans' residency or citizenship, reauthorize the CIA and FBI to conduct domestic spying, force collection of DNA samples, revoke key portions of the Freedom Of Information Act (including the right to obtain information about detained family members deemed "terrorists,") and other powers that would impact civil liberties.

Despite initial claims that the bill was only a draft not intended to be introduced, the Justice Department Office of Legislative Affairs later admitted that they had indeed covertly transmitted a copy of the legislation to then- Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, (R-Il), Vice President Dick Cheney, and the executive heads of federal law enforcement agencies.

Although the bill was never introduced in Congress, a number of its key provisions were passed as riders to other bills.

The Act

Read the full DRAFT Patriot Act II document dated January 9, 2003, or read the original photocopied version in pdf format. Read the ACLU's section-by-section analysis of the draft Act here.

Inadvertently Proves That Bush Administration 2001 Warrantless Wiretaps Were Illegal?

In 2001, President George W. Bush issued a secret order permitting the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless domestic wiretaps of Americans' international calls. When the program was later revealed, the Bush administration claimed that the Executive had inherent legal authority to make such an order, despite restrictions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 2003. However, provisions of Patriot Act II would have provided legal backing for this wireless eavesdropping program, which critics of the NSA program state effectively undermines the administration's claimed authority.[1]

Or is it the "Stealth Act of 2003"?

The Act was "signed one Saturday morning in the stealthy shadows of media elation over the capture of Saddam Hussein. ... Bush effectively consigned a dramatic expansion of the USA Patriot Act to a mere footnote. Consequently, while most Americans watched as Hussein was probed for head lice, few were aware that the FBI had just obtained the power to probe their financial records, even if the feds don't suspect their involvement in crime or terrorism." [1]


  • "Congress passed the legislation around Thanksgiving. Except for U.S. Representative Charlie Gonzalez, all San Antonio's House members voted for the act. The Senate passed it with a voice vote to avoid individual accountability."
  • "If these new executive powers are necessary to protect United States citizens, then why would the legislation not withstand the test of public debate? If the new act's provisions are in the public interest, why use stealth in ramming them through the legislative process? "

Acts of Confusion

Another bill, S.22: Justice Enhancement and Domestic Security Act of 2003, was introduced but never became law in its entirety.[2]

Also see Intelligence Authorization Agreement of 2004 (HR 2417).

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links






  1. 2003 Draft Legislation Covered Eavesdropping, January 28, 2006, Washington Post, accessed September 8, 2010.
  2. S. 22: Justice Enhancement and Domestic Security Act of 2003, GovTrack.US.