Bush Says Patriot Act is Saving Lives

3-9-06 - President Bush has signed a renewal of the anti-terrorist Patriot Act, saying its provisions have "saved American lives.” The renewal finally cleared Congress this week after months of debate on how to fight terrorism while protecting civil liberties.

The debate included a Senate filibuster joined by several Republicans. Passed in the days after 9/11, the act gives police and intelligence agents enhanced powers to hunt information and share it with each other. At an East Room signing ceremony, the president said those powers have been crucial to detecting and disrupting terrorist plots.

But in order to win the act's renewal, Bush was forced to accept several compromises. They include curbs on secret subpoenas and the government's ability to demand library records.