The Alaska Legislature passed a resolution by a majority of 56-1. The legislative resolve "implores the United States Congress to correct provisions of the USA Patriot Act and other measures that infringe on civil liberties."
We in Juneau played a significant role. After our local Assembly passed a resolution by a vote of 6-1, Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch held the first hearing on the statewide measure.
Some provisions of the USA Patriot Act are due to be renewed or dropped. Alaska's U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has signed on as a co-sponsor of corrective legislation known as the SAFE Act. Rep. Don Young has been an outspoken critic of the Patriot Act, referring to it as the worst piece of legislation that has received his vote. But Sen. Ted Stevens does not seem to be on board.
The USA Patriot Act is deliberately misnamed. Its true function is to enable the government to more aggressively spy upon, and more easily imprison, people in the United States. Every government spies on its people. The U.S. Congress must decide how much our government may spy on us before our claims of freedom are empty words.
The act is currently under debate in Congress, and both of Alaska's senators' words and actions should reflect the will of the citizens of this state.
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