Senate committee to mull expanded police powers (Wed May 18, 2005 09:50 PM ET, REUTERS)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican leadership of the Senate intelligence committee will propose giving the Bush administration broad new subpoena powers as part of legislative efforts to reauthorize the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act, officials said on Wednesday.
A bill due to be put forward by the panel's Republican chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, would allow the FBI to subpoena materials ranging from health and library records to tax documents without a judge's initial approval, as part of federal terrorism and intelligence probes, committee aides said.
The aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the change would provide counterterrorism officials with the same subpoena powers wielded by criminal investigators.
"The discussion that led to drafting the provision was, if it's a tool that's available in hundreds of criminal contacts then why not provide that same tool to national security investigators as well," said one committee aide.
I dunno about you, but the thought that the police can look at various of our records without judicial review is scarey. I don't care under what circumstances it is, without judicial review there's the opportunity for rampant misuse.