Sometimes the irony of two news events that happen on the same day is almost surreal. Today, we have news that the Obama administration is pushing the Mubarak government to immediately end the Egypt’s “Emergency Law,” which gives the President sweeping powers to violate the rights of the country’s citizens.
For years the U.S. has been pressing the Egyptians to rescind the 1967 Emergency Law, which gives broad powers to Mubarak and his government that they have used to essentially do whatever they want in the name of security regardless of civil liberties or constitutional protections. Mubarak has been dragging his feet, saying his government first needs to have a counterterrorism law written to take its place.
Today Vice President Biden pushed Suleiman to “immediately” rescind the law, according to a White House statement.
On the very same day, we also learn that the Obama administration is pushing for another three-year extension of our emergency and “temporary” Patriot Act, even after a new EFF report found that the “FBI may have committed upwards of 40,000 possible intelligence violations” since the law passed.
From The Hill: “White House wants longer extension of Patriot Act than House Republicans“:
The Obama administration said Tuesday it wants a three-year extension of Patriot Act surveillance authorities, far longer than the timeline proposed by House Republicans.
The White House released a Statement of Administration Policy that says it “would strongly prefer enactment of reauthorizing legislation that would extend these authorities until December 2013.”