But when witnesses and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee raised questions and criticisms about renewing the Patriot Act -- one side of the debate was cut off -- electronically.
Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) helped write the original Patriot Act. When it came under criticism -- he simply shut the hearing down in midsentence -- then ordered the technicians to turn off microphones for the witnesses and Democrats on the committee.
The LA Times quotes one of the witnesses, James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute, saying:
"I'm troubled about what kind of lesson this gives" to the rest of the world.
Democrats has requested the hearing because of Constitutional concerns the witnesses were called to address. (LAT)