Two very conservative leaders are sounding the alarm about additions to the Patriot Act being rushed through Congress on the sly. Are they worried about a weakening of Ashcroft’s powers? Nope — they’re scared of an expansion of the attorney general’s domain. H.R. 3179 — the Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Tools Improvement Act of 2003 — “involves new powers for searches ordered by National Security Letters. These can be used to demand access to individual or business records even absent a showing of individual suspicion. There is no way either the target of the investigation or those on whom the letters are served can challenge them as too broad. The statute, in fact, makes it a crime for a recipient to raise alarms in the press.” [Emph. added.] This is enough of an impingement on the first amendment to make it of concern to any media critic, but given the likely application of the expaned powers — against businesspeople who happen to be Muslim — The Revealer sees this is a religion story as well. Christian conservatives have cause for concern of their own — it’s not hard to imagine that a different administration might use this law to harass big donors to anti-abortion groups. Heck, pretty much anyone who ever believed in anything should demand to know more about this legislation.