Obama '04: Govt. Must Tell Citizens They're Being Investigated

Obama '04: Govt. Must Tell Citizens They're Being Investigated

In 2004, then-State Senator Barack Obama on Illinois Public Radio answering constituents’ questions during his campaign for United Sates Senator, said, “[The Patriot Act] contained a whole series of provisions that violated a couple of basic tenets of jurisprudence–a couple of basic tenets of law that we always want to be mindful of. Number One: that a judge should find probable cause, or at least a reasonable suspicion before issuing a warrant for searches, seizures, wiretaps. Those provisions, in many cases, were violated. Number Two: that when the government is investigating you and obtains your records, that at some point, you should be notified about it so that you can defend yourself against these charges–particularly when it comes to U.S. citizens. And there were provisions in the Patriot Act that allowed, for example, the government to ask librarians about the books that you checked out, and the librarian was prohibited by law from letting you know that the government had asked about those materials. Those are areas in which a [sic] executive branch and a Justice Department can potentially abuse them in ways that, I think, run against the grain of our Constitution and the kinds of liberties we want to preserve.”

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