The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy in warning that the Bush Administration's proposed new cabinet-level Homeland Security Department threatens long-standing American freedoms while eliminating legal safeguards necessary to keep the agency open and accountable to the public. ACLU warns that the Bush proposal will "create an enormous agency with massive authority -- including more armed federal agents with arrest powers than any other branch of government." Bush also wants to exclude the new agency from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and whistleblower protections -- "the very law that helped expose intelligence-gathering missteps before September 11."
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