Bush Urges Renewal Of "Patriot Act"

Bush urges renewal of anti-terrorist "Patriot Act" provisions

President Bush is urging Congress again to renew provisions of the anti-terrorist "Patriot Act" which are due to expire this year.

The president says lawmakers must not be lulled by "the passage of time or the illusion of safety." The act passed in the aftermath of the Nine-Eleven attacks. It bolstered FBI surveillance and law-enforcement powers, including of the use of material witness warrants in terrorist cases that allow officials to hold suspects incommunicado for months.

Civil liberties groups complain the law undermines the very freedom it seeks to defend. But at a swearing-in ceremony for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Bush said the act has been "vital" in "tracking terrorists and disrupting their plans."