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Critics of the Patriot Act

topic posted Wed, April 13, 2005 - 5:10 PM by  Ron
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For those people who want to do away entirely with the Patriot Act, rather thans ay modifying it, do you actually know what's in the Patirot Act? I have met so many people attacking the Patriot Act, but when I get them to express what they think is wrong with it, they really don't know what's in it. They start criticizing the treatment of the Guantanamo detainees, or the arrest of "unlawful combatants", etc., none of which have anything to do with the Patriot Act.
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Ron
offline Ron
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    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

    Wed, April 13, 2005 - 7:14 PM
    In an effort to snuff out the growing movement to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act, the Bush administration is proposing minor changes to the law to pacify critics. The liberal Register Guard newspaper of Eugene, Oregon (sadly it's mostly only liberals who are awake about the threats of this draconian piece of legislation) had these comments about the government's move:

    "In its defense of indefensible provisions of the USA Patriot Act, Justice Department officials boast that no violations of civil rights under the anti-terrorism law have been established. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales apparently isn't familiar with Brandon Mayfield.

    "Mayfield is the Portland attorney whose life became a screeching nightmare last year after he was jailed in connection with train bombings in Spain. He was released two weeks later after the FBI admitted that it had wrongly accused Mayfield of complicity. In a recent letter to Mayfield's attorneys, the Justice Department admitted that FBI agents conducted secret searches of Mayfield's house under a particularly Orwellian provision of the Patriot Act.

    "During those searches, agents took 10 DNA samples preserved on cotton swabs and removed six cigarette butts for DNA analysis. They took 335 digital photographs of Mayfield's personal effects, his house and property. They inventoried his safe-deposit box. They seized a book that chronicled the history of al-Qaeda, two guns and material that agents say related to U.S. weapons systems, but that Mayfield's attorneys say was a U.S. Army manual from Mayfield's time in the military. They seized three computer hard drives. They wiretapped his home."

    They did this all without a warrant because of USA PATRIOT Act provisions. They have also denied three other US citizens their constitutional right to habeas corpus and right to a public and speedy trial by a jury of their peers.

    So now, according to the Washington Post, "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will propose some technical modifications to the controversial USA Patriot Act today in an effort to address the concerns of critics and ensure that the anti-terrorism legislation is renewed by Congress later this year, according to a Justice Department official. In an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales will support changes in the law concerning secret warrants for financial documents, library data and other business records, according to the Justice official. The changes would clearly limit the use of such warrants to national security investigations and would allow targets to mount legal challenges to the search, the official said."

    These small changes do nothing to change the most egregious aspects of the law, which permit indefinite incarceration without charges or a public hearing. Even if these warrant changes pass as initially announced, the government still has a nasty habit of eavesdropping on Americans, illegally, and searching without warrants. They have done so for years. Ask telephone workers at Ma Bell, who know about the special rooms installed for government agents to maintain thousands of wire taps. No warrants were ever shown for these infringements.

    In a rare moment of contrition, yesterday, Gonzales admitted that the FBI had used the PATRIOT Act on Mayfield. Sadly, they won't admit to other cases of PATRIOT Act use (and abuse) because they haven't yet been spread all over the internet.
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      some stuff that I find troubling

      Wed, April 13, 2005 - 7:27 PM
      Here is a quick thumbnail sketch of just some of the draconian measures encapsulated within this tyrannical legislation:


      SECTION 501 (Expatriation of Terrorists) expands the Bush administration’s “enemy combatant” definition to all American citizens who “may” have violated any provision of Section 802 of the first Patriot Act. (Section 802 is the new definition of domestic terrorism, and the definition is “any action that endangers human life that is a violation of any Federal or State law.”) Section 501 of the second Patriot Act directly connects to Section 125 of the same act. The Justice Department boldly claims that the incredibly broad Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act isn’t broad enough and that a new, unlimited definition of terrorism is needed.


      Under Section 501 a US citizen engaging in lawful activities can be grabbed off the street and thrown into a van never to be seen again. The Justice Department states that they can do this because the person “had inferred from conduct” that they were not a US citizen. Remember Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act states that any violation of Federal or State law can result in the “enemy combatant” terrorist designation.


      SECTION 201 of the second Patriot Act makes it a criminal act for any member of the government or any citizen to release any information concerning the incarceration or whereabouts of detainees. It also states that law enforcement does not even have to tell the press who they have arrested and they never have to release the names.


      SECTION 301 and 306 (Terrorist Identification Database) set up a national database of “suspected terrorists” and radically expand the database to include anyone associated with suspected terrorist groups and anyone involved in crimes or having supported any group designated as “terrorist.” These sections also set up a national DNA database for anyone on probation or who has been on probation for any crime, and orders State governments to collect the DNA for the Federal government.


      SECTION 312 gives immunity to law enforcement engaging in spying operations against the American people and would place substantial restrictions on court injunctions against Federal violations of civil rights across the board.

      SECTION 101 will designate individual terrorists as foreign powers and again strip them of all rights under the “enemy combatant” designation.

      SECTION 102 states clearly that any information gathering, regardless of whether or not those activities are illegal, can be considered to be clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power. This makes news gathering illegal.

      SECTION 103 allows the Federal government to use wartime martial law powers domestically and internationally without Congress declaring that a state of war exists.

      SECTION 106 is bone-chilling in its straightforwardness. It states that broad general warrants by the secret FSIA court (a panel of secret judges set up in a star chamber system that convenes in an undisclosed location) granted under the first Patriot Act are not good enough. It states that government agents must be given immunity for carrying out searches with no prior court approval. This section throws out the entire Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

      SECTION 109 allows secret star chamber courts to issue contemp charges against any individual or corporation who refuses to incriminate themselves or others. This sections annihilate the last vestiges of the Fifth Amendment.

      SECTION 110 restates that key police state clauses in the first Patriot Act were not sunsetted and removes the five year sunset clause from other subsections of the first Patriot Act. After all, the media has told us: “this is the New America. Get used to it. This is forever.”

      SECTION 111 expands the definition of the “enemy combatant” designation.

      SECTION 122 restates the government’s newly announced power of “surveillance without a court order.”

      SECTION 123 restates that the government no longer needs warrants and that the investigations can be a giant dragnet-style sweep described in press reports about the Total Information Awareness Network. One passage reads, “thus the focus of domestic surveillance may be less precise than that directed against more conventional types of crime.”

      *Note: Over and over again, in subsection after subsection, the second Patriot Act states that its new Soviet-type powers will be used to fight international terrorism, domestic terrorism and other types of crimes. Of course the government has already announced in Section 802 of the first USA Patriot act that any crime is considered domestic terrorism.

      SECTION 126 grants the government the right to mine the entire spectrum of public and private sector information from bank records to educational and medical records. This is the enacting law to allow ECHELON and the Total Information Awareness Network to totally break down any and all walls of privacy.

      The government states that they must look at everything to “determine” if individuals or groups might have a connection to terrorist groups. As you can now see, you are guilty until proven innocent.

      SECTION 127 allows the government to takeover coroners’ and medical examiners’ operations whenever they see fit. See how this is like Bill Clinton’s special medical examiner he had in Arkansas that ruled that people had committed suicide when their arms and legs had been cut off.

      SECTION 128 allows the Federal government to place gag orders on Federal and State Grand Juries and to take over the proceedings. It also disallows individuals or organizations to even try to quash a Federal subpoena. So now defending yourself will be a terrorist action.

      SECTION 129 destroys any remaining whistleblower protection for Federal agents.

      SECTION 202 allows corporations to keep secret their activities with toxic biological, chemical or radiological materials.

      SECTION 205 allows top Federal officials to keep all their financial dealings secret, and anyone investigating them can be considered a terrorist. This should be very useful for Dick Cheney to stop anyone investigating Haliburton.

      SECTION 303 sets up national DNA database of suspected terrorists. The database will also be used to “stop other unlawful activities.” It will share the information with state, local and foreign agencies for the same purposes.

      SECTION 311 federalizes your local police department in the area of information sharing.

      SECTION 313 provides liability protection for businesses, especially big businesses that spy on their customers for Homeland Security, violating their privacy agreements. It goes on to say that these are all preventative measures – has anyone seen Minority Report? This is the access hub for the Total Information Awareness Network.

      SECTION 321 authorizes foreign governments to spy on the American people and to share information with foreign governments.

      SECTION 322 removes Congress from the extradition process and allows officers of the Homeland Security complex to extradite American citizens anywhere they wish. It also allows Homeland Security to secretly take individuals out of foreign countries.

      SECTION 402 is titled “Providing Material Support to Terrorism.” The section reads that there is no requirement to show that the individual even had the intent to aid terrorists.

      SECTION 403 expands the definition of weapons of mass destruction to include any activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

      SECTION 404 makes it a crime for a terrorist or “other criminals” to use encryption in the commission of a crime.

      SECTION 408 creates “lifetime parole” (basically, slavery) for a whole host of crimes.

      SECTION 410 creates no statute of limitations for anyone that engages in terrorist actions or supports terrorists. Remember: any crime is now considered terrorism under the first Patriot Act.

      SECTION 411 expands crimes that are punishable by death. Again, they point to Section 802 of the first Patriot Act and state that any terrorist act or support of terrorist act can result in the death penalty.

      SECTION 421 increases penalties for terrorist financing. This section states that any type of financial activity connected to terrorism will result to time in prison and $10-50,000 fines per violation.

      SECTIONS 427 sets up asset forfeiture provisions for anyone engaging in terrorist activities.
      • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

        Wed, April 13, 2005 - 8:40 PM
        owned. ^_^
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          Re: some stuff that I find troubling

          Wed, April 13, 2005 - 8:41 PM
          owned. ^_^ ????

          huh
          • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

            Wed, April 13, 2005 - 8:51 PM
            owned = you just "owned" the debate, and shown how incorrect Ron was.

            and ^_^ is just a little japanese smilie face that I like.
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              Re: some stuff that I find troubling

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 5:25 AM
              and ^_^ is just a little japanese smilie face that I like.>>>>

              thankyou >;-)~
              • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 10:56 AM
                Billy - thanks for putting the time in. GREAT post.

                And yes. Ron got served a mighty big plate of ...
                • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                  Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:23 AM
                  "And yes. Ron got served a mighty big plate of ."

                  plate of what? As I have pointed out, Billy made two critical errors: 1, he erroneously claimed that the Patriot Act authorized a warrantless search of Mayfield's residence, when in fact it didn't. The Patriot Act provisions under which Mayfield's residence was searched required a warrant, and 2. Billy's second post cited provisions that weren't from the Patriot Act! They were from a draft proposed legislation for Patriot Act II that was leaked from the White House but subsequently scrapped.

                  Now who got served what again?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 11:24 PM
                    Ron you never reply to any of the issues posted.
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                      Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 11:35 PM
                      Ron you never reply to any of the issues posted.
                      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>




                      He needs to regroup or he fell a sleep lol
                      Give him time he will reply...he is dedicated to his believes and is passionate in his support of the PA he will defend it to the end.

                      I don't all ways agree with Ron but he is consistent.

                      The beef I am having with Ron in this debate is he not telling me why I am wrong.
                      I am looking to be educated concerning the PA not ridiculed for seeing it through different eyes.
                      • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                        Sun, April 17, 2005 - 7:55 PM
                        "He needs to regroup or he fell a sleep lol
                        Give him time he will reply...he is dedicated to his believes and is passionate in his support of the PA he will defend it to the end."

                        You're either not being honest or you need to learn to scroll better. I responded to your post. Just scroll down to see my post on April 15 at 1:16am.

                        "The beef I am having with Ron in this debate is he not telling me why I am wrong."

                        Sure I did. You made two major mistakes. You claimed that a search was done of mayfield's residence without a warrant based on the Patriot Act, when in fact a search warrant was in fact issued to conduct that search, and the Patriot Act provision which authorized the type of search in question REQUIRED a warrant.

                        You second major error was that your second post, where you list a bunch of paraphrased items, were not from the Patriot Act! They were from a leaked draft of Patriot Act II that was subsequently scrapped. There is no "Patriot Act' that contains those provisions.
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                          Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                          Sun, April 17, 2005 - 8:15 PM
                          April 17, 2005 - 07:55 PM
                          Re: some stuff that I find troubling
                          "He needs to regroup or he fell a sleep lol
                          Give him time he will reply...he is dedicated to his believes and is passionate in his support of the PA he will defend it to the end."

                          You're either not being honest or you need to learn to scroll better. I responded to your post. Just scroll down to see my post on April 15 at 1:16am. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>


                          You need to learn to look at who and what your posting to Ron :-)
                          April 15, 2005 - 11:35 PM
                          Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                          My post was at 11:35 silly

                          You had not posted at that point our timing is off.
                          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
                          You made two major mistakes. You claimed that a search was done of mayfield's residence without a warrant based on the Patriot Act, when in fact a search warrant was in fact issued to conduct that search, and the Patriot Act provision which authorized the type of search in question REQUIRED a warrant

                          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
                          I did not make the claim the artical I posted did.


                          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
                          You second major error was that your second post, where you list a bunch of paraphrased items, were not from the Patriot Act! They were from a leaked draft of Patriot Act II
                          >>>>>>>>>>
                          Which became the victory act new name same game
                          • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

                            Tue, April 19, 2005 - 1:03 PM
                            "My post was at 11:35 silly

                            You had not posted at that point our timing is off."

                            Your post was at 11:35 PM (evening) of April 15. My post was at 1:16 AM (morning) of the same day, 22 hours and 19 minutes before your 11:35 PM post.

                            "I did not make the claim the artical I posted did."

                            You introduced the article as summarizing portions of the patriot Act, which was a mistake, because the portions summarized were not from the Patriot Act.

                            "Which became the victory act new name same game"

                            Different act. If you want to criticize that act (whatever was eventually passed of it; the final version is not the version you summarized), then go ahead. But there is an act called the Patriot Act which I was addressing, and it was not the Victory Act. Not all intelligence legislation is part of the Patriot Act. When people call for a repeal of the Patriot Act, they're asking for a very specific piece of legislation to be repealed. If you repeal the Patriot Act, you're not repealing the Victory Act. It's inaccurate to treat them equivalently.
            • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

              Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:27 AM
              "owned = you just "owned" the debate, and shown how incorrect Ron was."

              Except that Billy ended up being a very good example of what I was criticizing (critics of the patriot Act who don't know what's in it)since Billy was wrong that Mayfield's residence was searched without a warrant, and Billy's second post cited provisions that weren't even from the Patriot Act!
      • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

        Thu, April 14, 2005 - 1:27 AM
        Sounds like pretty fucked up unamerican shit to me. Bullshit like that should be done away with, not modified. It should be whole-handedly removed as against the spirit and letter of the constitution. It's caca you hear me?
      • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

        Thu, April 14, 2005 - 6:30 AM
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          Re: some stuff that I find troubling

          Thu, April 14, 2005 - 7:41 AM
          I have also read and heard on C-Span and other news media from our great leaders that there is a positive in torture as well.
          Or as they would call it in the Orwellian world of News speak information extraction techniques.
          I still don't like it, the trouble with legislation like the patriot act is that in the wrong hands it is tyrannical.
          Any government and I mean any government that has power over its people at the end of a gun will abuse this power.
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            Re: some stuff that I find troubling

            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 7:56 AM
            And to add, are not the people the ones supposedly having power over the government?

            This is where we are in the 21st century.... Those in "power" have forgotten that they are OUR servants!
          • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 8:47 AM
            "I still don't like it, the trouble with legislation like the patriot act is that in the wrong hands it is tyrannical."

            If you had read my post in that recent Patriot Act thread you started, one of the links points out that the abundance of abuses that critics said would happen has not happened. That's not to say that they won't ever happen to that degree nor am I condoning the few incidents that may have already happened, but people can sometimes get too paranoid about these kinds of things. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, but don't ever let it become total paranoia of the federal government.

            "Any government and I mean any government that has power over its people at the end of a gun will abuse this power."

            So are you advocating no governemnt? Cause there's never been a government that hasn't abused its people in one way or another.
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              Re: some stuff that I find troubling

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 9:09 AM
              So are you advocating no governemnt? Cause there's never been a government that hasn't abused its people in one way or another.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

              No not at all............ I want less Government I want freedom & liberty.
              I want a Government that doesnt feel my mother up at the airport.
              I thought it was muslims that hated our freedom?
              Not little old ladies from Kentucky.
        • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

          Thu, April 14, 2005 - 8:45 AM
          Patriot Act is a good read. As are the rules its based on.
          • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 8:55 AM
            "Patriot Act is a good read. As are the rules its based on."

            It's interesting to me how many people have not actually read the Patriot Act- and yet still feel knowledgable enough to make sweeping generalizations about it. And many people do not know that most of those powers already existed in one form or another(U.S. Code, Rico, International Emergency Powers Act, National Security Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Crime Identification Technology Act) and were amended, standardized or brought together under the PA.
      • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:16 AM
        "Here is a quick thumbnail sketch of just some of the draconian measures encapsulated within this tyrannical legislation"

        Billy, what you're not making clear (perhaps you don't know) is that the provisions you cite are not from the Patriot Act passed by Congress. There are from a draft of Patriot Act II proposed by the Bush administration but which was subsequently scrapped. Parts of it were subsequently passed as parts of other bills, but none of them are referred to as the Patriot Act. If you have a problem with the non-Patriot Act bills that were passed, please focus on them. But again, THIS IS NOT THE PATRIOT ACT.
        • Re: some stuff that I find troubling

          Sat, April 16, 2005 - 10:22 AM
          Technicallities Ron -- Let's talk about ALL of the evidence that this administration and YES the dems to are dismanlting hte Consitutionand the Bill of rights and not get tangled up in your ridiculously held distinctions.... shall we...

          See it is fine you may be technically correct... and still be morally repugnant.
    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 12:50 AM
      "(sadly it's mostly only liberals who are awake about the threats of this draconian piece of legislation)"

      Sadly far too many "liberals" vociferously oppose it and yet know little to nothing as to what's actually in it.
    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:00 AM
      "They did this all without a warrant because of USA PATRIOT Act provisions."

      This is just plain false Billy. The very article that you quoted this from says that the search was done under the "sneak and peek" provisions of the Patriot Act, which require a warrant. The only difference between having the Patriot Act and not having the Patriot Act is that without it, the police would have had to inform Mayfield that a search would be conducted before the search rather than after. But a warrant is required in either case. There's no reason to believe that the police wouldn't have seized virtually the same things with or without prior notice. In fact, a sneak and peek search can only be done if a warrant is acquired after convincing a judge that evidence could and likely would be destroyed if the subject of the search is warned beforehand.

      "These small changes do nothing to change the most egregious aspects of the law, which permit indefinite incarceration without charges or a public hearing."

      This is another myth about the Patriot Act. Nothing in the Patriot Act allows incarceration without charges or a public hearing. If I'm wrong please cite where.

      Sorry, but this is just another case in point of critics attacking the Patriot Act without knowing what's actually in it.
  • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

    Wed, April 13, 2005 - 7:42 PM
    It is a bill of Attainder. As such it is an illegal law, to be shredded. As long as it exists the Constitution is being treated like toilet paper.
    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

      Wed, April 13, 2005 - 9:32 PM
      One of the greatest threats to the integrity of our constitution and courts are these kinds of laws passed under the guise of national security and war efforts.
      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

        Thu, April 14, 2005 - 12:11 AM
        what he said. ^^

        and regardless of what's in the damn thing, the whole point was to get fascism jump started.

        that is, get folks used to sudden reactive laws that remove more "freedoms" using fear as a leverage. and next time there is an attack we will be less surprised at even deeper fascism.

        given the behavior of the US around the world, i was not at all surprised that the US was attacked. was more surprised that it hadn't happened sooner. isn't the best terrorism prevention just pissing fewer people off around the world? where are the new acts for that?
        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

          Thu, April 14, 2005 - 8:59 AM
          fascism is fascism not matter how you slice and dice it.
          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 9:19 AM
            Yup, facism is government and society organized on a corporate model. The governtment and corporate media are certainly doing a lot to make that happen.
            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:00 AM
              I don't understand how anyone who considers themselves a patriot or an American can support an act that at EVERY turn - treats the Consitution and the Bill of Rights as a 'nice afterthought but not really tenable'... it is unsupportable if you are a patriotic American.

              This is no longer "The United States" in any form the founders would recognize.
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 7:53 PM
                "This is no longer "The United States" in any form the founders would recognize."

                Yeah, they would be shocked that we let people outside the upper middle class male WASP sector to vote and have other rights.
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:35 AM
                "I don't understand how anyone who considers themselves a patriot or an American can support an act that at EVERY turn - treats the Consitution and the Bill of Rights as a 'nice afterthought but not really tenable'... it is unsupportable if you are a patriotic American."

                Orlando, before you condemn as unpatriotic people who support the Patriot Act, it would do your credibility wonders if you actually read it (and don't lie that you have, because by the above remark of yours, you clearly haven't). Morally condemning someone for supporting something you don't even understand is risible at best and irresponsbly offensive and demagogic at worst. Especially when you make a remark about how the Act "at every turn" treats the Constitution as an afterthought, as if you're familiar with each of the Patriot Act's provisions. You're not, and you know it. All you're basing your opinion on is the representations of it presented by like minded ideologues.
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              Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:04 AM
              "They hate us for our Freedoms."

              Therefore, let's do away with our "Freedoms" and we'll all be nice and safe from the er, ummm, "Terrorists."

              I wish there could be some Dickensian justice system wherein people that support the Patriot Act could be taken from their homes in the middle of the night, denied access to legal representation, beaten and tortured and held indefinitely... THEN we could ask them about what they thought about the Patriot Act. Then again, that gives them the credit of being ignorant to the real dangers of something like the Patriot Act, what is truly terrifying is to think that amongst our population there are people that DO understand it and apparently are quite ready and willing to have a Government void of basic civil liberties. Hey, if you like the idea of being butt-fucked by government agents at the drop of a hat so much, why not move to Syria? People who support USA Patriot Act are representative of minds that cannot conceive of what civil liberties and democratic dissent actually mean. Very "un-american." Obviously people that support USA Patriot Act have no regard for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and "freedom." Yet I bet they want to keep their guns.....
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:51 AM
                great (warped?) minds think alike...this is something i wrote back in october after finding this article:

                www.bend.com/news/ar_vie...E3D18712.htm

                salon made the point of asking "Why does the Bush-Cheney campaign assume people wearing shirts that say "Protect Our Civil Liberties" are opposed to the president's re-election? Would the campaign welcome guests as obvious Bush supporters if they're wearing shirts that say "Civil Liberties, Civil Schmiberties"?


                so i wrote this daily showesque piece:


                Taking a bold, new tack in the war on terror, president bush's latest policy speech stressed the importance of "addressing the root causes of terrorism." When asked about the policy shift, Bush explained that he'd "heard a lot of talk about this 'reality-based' thing on the internets. That sounded decisive; it appealed to me." Bush said it was "disappointing" and not at all what he expected, but one of the ideas there really resonated with him: terrorism could better be addressed through policy and intelligence gathering, as opposed to war. He also related another insight, lamenting, "Turns out, I had 'pre-emptive' confused with 'pro-active.' I sure wish Laura'd told me sooner, but, hey - live and learn!"

                He further stated, "After that, everything just clicked, you know? It's so simple, I don't know how I didn't see it sooner - if we stop doing what makes them hate us, they'll stop attacking us!" He praised our progress in exporting democracy and fighting terrorism, but added that "We have more work to do. And it's hard. Hard work." But he was optimistic for the plan, saying that "luckily, we already have all the tools we need in the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Defense."

                "The thing is, you see, we have these monsters - these evil doers, these terrorists - who hate us because we're free. Our freedom just makes them crazy, you know? So I'm gonna take away their reasons for hating us." Under the new plan, Bush said the DHS would work closely with the FBI and the CIA in unprecedented surveillance efforts. He also mentioned that freedom of speech is the biggest concern, asking, "What kind of message does it give the terrorists if everybody gets to express their opinion and dissent all the time? It's practically an open invitation to attack!"

                The new strategy is already being successfully implemented, according to the President, who cited an example from his recent campaign stop in Medford, Oregon. Three teachers wearing t-shirts with a provocative slogan were evicted from Bush's speech and faced arrest if they did not leave the grounds. "I couldn't believe it...here we're fighting this war against terrorists, who hate us because we're free, and these women show up with 'Protect our civil liberties' written on their shirts! That's exactly the kind of thing we cannot have - dangerous speech such as this. People have got to understand that to freedom-hating terrorists, 'protect our civil liberties' is very inflammatory speech. To say something political like that at a political rally, of all places, is just reckless. It makes the terrorists hate us. It's unpatriotic."

                He gave no further details of the plan, but stated triumphantly that "Freedom is definitely on the march!"


                : p
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:40 AM
                "I wish there could be some Dickensian justice system wherein people that support the Patriot Act could be taken from their homes in the middle of the night, denied access to legal representation, beaten and tortured and held indefinitely"

                Again, this is precisely the leftist mythology that has grown around the Patriot Act that I complained about, nutured by people who frankly must be too lazy to read the damn thing, beacuse there is NOTHING in the Patriot Act that authorizes any of this.

                What it comes down to is that leftist Bush haters have boiled down everything they have disliked about Bush's justice department and manufactured a mythical "Patriot Act' that in no way resembles the actual one and projected all their Bush complaints into it.
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                  Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Sat, April 16, 2005 - 1:16 PM
                  Well Ron, apparently you're the one that knows nothing about the Patriot Act... have you read it? Or is it that you don't understand it? Maybe the nuances are too complex for you to understand? lol... You seem to feel the need, once again, like all your posts on Tribe, to resort to pathetic personal attacks when confronted with opposing views... for instance, you have to resort to calling me "lazy" and assume I haven't read the Patriot Act, etc..so are you saying it doesn't give the right to Agents to listen to our conversations, watch what we check out at the libraries, buy at bookstores, monitor travel, arrest us under suspicion of being terrorists and hold us without a right to an Attorney, elimination of Habeus Corpus... you actually don't see that in the Patriot Act? Wow.... were you ever in Politics? Perhaps an assistant to someone? Like a Page in Congress or something or something? God, you must have wished you had power, and how you wish everyone could see how smart Ronny was...
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Sat, April 16, 2005 - 7:46 PM
                    >>are you saying it doesn't give the right to Agents to listen to our conversations, watch what we check out at the libraries, buy at bookstores, monitor travel, arrest us under suspicion of being terrorists and hold us without a right to an Attorney, elimination of Habeus Corpus...

                    Only if youre a suspected terrorist or involved with suspected terrorist.

                    Feel free though to point out where it says it can be applied to ANY citizen.
            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 8:03 PM
              Why do I get the feeling that this was copy and pasted from some meandering post on DemocratUnderground.com? All the "buzz-words" are making my liver ache. . .

              The Patriot Act is not to be feared. . .fear those who would use it to their own advantage. If you dislike those in power - remove them. Dont remove the ability for those who come after to effectively do their JOB. I know in a perfect "liberal" world - wed all hold hands and listen to CORNER SHOP, but its not gonna happen in your lifetimes.

              As for AQ and those "poor Arabs with their feelings hurt" - you all are advocating them getting their "licks" in. . .the hell is the matter with you? 'Cause some cock-ups screwed with geopolitical policy making, WE should suffer. . .sorry but F-That.

              Liberals: Histories apologists. But hey, when you built your home defending communists. . .
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 8:29 PM
                Anderson, the powers of the PATRIOT act are directly unconstitutional. It is a case of police state wanting more powers because they can't put the effort to be COMPETANT. If they were competant they would have briefly interviewed Brandon Mayfield and cleared him within 24 hours.

                Instead with power and no competance, they jailed him without access to the courts or legal counsel for 2 weeks. Murderers get to see the judge in 72 hours. The FBI clearly and egregiously abused their illegal powers, and if there is any justice, then Brandon Mayfield's case will be the test case that will shred the entire Patriot Act .
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:44 AM
                  "Anderson, the powers of the PATRIOT act are directly unconstitutional."

                  Silverknight, please cite provisions of the patriot Act that you think are unconstitutional. The Act is very large. Is ALL of it unconstitutional? If so, why? Your example does not support your case, because nothing in the Patriot Act authorizes holding someone without charges or legal counsel. If that happened to Mayfield, it wasn't pursuant to the Patriot Act.
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Sat, April 16, 2005 - 10:46 AM
                Surveillance Under the USA PATRIOT Act


                What is the USA PATRIOT Act?

                Just six weeks after the September 11 attacks, a panicked Congress passed the "USA/Patriot Act," an overnight revision of the nation's surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government's authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court.

                Why Congress passed the Patriot Act

                Most of the changes to surveillance law made by the Patriot Act were part of a longstanding law enforcement wish list that had been previously rejected by Congress, in some cases repeatedly. Congress reversed course because it was bullied into it by the Bush Administration in the frightening weeks after the September 11 attack.

                The Senate version of the Patriot Act, which closely resembled the legislation requested by Attorney General John Ashcroft, was sent straight to the floor with no discussion, debate, or hearings. Many Senators complained that they had little chance to read it, much less analyze it, before having to vote. In the House, hearings were held, and a carefully constructed compromise bill emerged from the Judiciary Committee. But then, with no debate or consultation with rank-and-file members, the House leadership threw out the compromise bill and replaced it with legislation that mirrored the Senate version. Neither discussion nor amendments were permitted, and once again members barely had time to read the thick bill before they were forced to cast an up-or-down vote on it. The Bush Administration implied that members who voted against it would be blamed for any further attacks - a powerful threat at a time when the nation was expecting a second attack to come any moment and when reports of new anthrax letters were appearing daily.

                Congress and the Administration acted without any careful or systematic effort to determine whether weaknesses in our surveillance laws had contributed to the attacks, or whether the changes they were making would help prevent further attacks. Indeed, many of the act's provisions have nothing at all to do with terrorism.

                The Patriot Act increases the governments surveillance powers in four areas

                The Patriot Act increases the governments surveillance powers in four areas:

                1. Records searches. It expands the government's ability to look at records on an individual's activity being held by a third parties. (Section 215)
                2. Secret searches. It expands the government's ability to search private property without notice to the owner. (Section 213)
                3. Intelligence searches. It expands a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment that had been created for the collection of foreign intelligence information (Section 218).
                4. "Trap and trace" searches. It expands another Fourth Amendment exception for spying that collects "addressing" information about the origin and destination of communications, as opposed to the content (Section 214).

                1. Expanded access to personal records held by third parties

                One of the most significant provisions of the Patriot Act makes it far easier for the authorities to gain access to records of citizens' activities being held by a third party. At a time when computerization is leading to the creation of more and more such records, Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the FBI to force anyone at all - including doctors, libraries, bookstores, universities, and Internet service providers - to turn over records on their clients or customers.

                Unchecked power
                The result is unchecked government power to rifle through individuals' financial records, medical histories, Internet usage, bookstore purchases, library usage, travel patterns, or any other activity that leaves a record. Making matters worse:

                * The government no longer has to show evidence that the subjects of search orders are an "agent of a foreign power," a requirement that previously protected Americans against abuse of this authority.
                * The FBI does not even have to show a reasonable suspicion that the records are related to criminal activity, much less the requirement for "probable cause" that is listed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. All the government needs to do is make the broad assertion that the request is related to an ongoing terrorism or foreign intelligence investigation.
                * Judicial oversight of these new powers is essentially non-existent. The government must only certify to a judge - with no need for evidence or proof - that such a search meets the statute's broad criteria, and the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.
                * Surveillance orders can be based in part on a person's First Amendment activities, such as the books they read, the Web sites they visit, or a letter to the editor they have written.
                * A person or organization forced to turn over records is prohibited from disclosing the search to anyone. As a result of this gag order, the subjects of surveillance never even find out that their personal records have been examined by the government. That undercuts an important check and balance on this power: the ability of individuals to challenge illegitimate searches.

                Why the Patriot Act's expansion of records searches is unconstitutional
                Section 215 of the Patriot Act violates the Constitution in several ways. It:

                * Violates the Fourth Amendment, which says the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe that the person has committed or will commit a crime.
                * Violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech by prohibiting the recipients of search orders from telling others about those orders, even where there is no real need for secrecy.
                * Violates the First Amendment by effectively authorizing the FBI to launch investigations of American citizens in part for exercising their freedom of speech.
                * Violates the Fourth Amendmentby failing to provide notice - even after the fact - to persons whose privacy has been compromised. Notice is also a key element of due process, which is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

                2. More secret searches

                For centuries, common law has required that the government can't go into your property without telling you, and must therefore give you notice before it executes a search. That "knock and announce" principle has long been recognized as a part of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

                The Patriot Act, however, unconstitutionally amends the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to allow the government to conduct searches without notifying the subjects, at least until long after the search has been executed. This means that the government can enter a house, apartment or office with a search warrant when the occupants are away, search through their property, take photographs, and in some cases even seize property - and not tell them until later.

                Notice is a crucial check on the government's power because it forces the authorities to operate in the open, and allows the subject of searches to protect their Fourth Amendment rights. For example, it allows them to point out irregularities in a warrant, such as the fact that the police are at the wrong address, or that the scope of the warrant is being exceeded (for example, by rifling through dresser drawers in a search for a stolen car). Search warrants often contain limits on what may be searched, but when the searching officers have complete and unsupervised discretion over a search, a property owner cannot defend his or her rights.

                Finally, this new "sneak and peek" power can be applied as part of normal criminal investigations; it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism or collecting foreign intelligence.

                3. Expansion of the intelligence exception in wiretap law

                Under the Patriot Act, the FBI can secretly conduct a physical search or wiretap on American citizens to obtain evidence of crime without proving probable cause, as the Fourth Amendment explicitly requires.

                A 1978 law called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) created an exception to the Fourth Amendment's requirement for probable cause when the purpose of a wiretap or search was to gather foreign intelligence. The rationale was that since the search was not conducted for the purpose of gathering evidence to put someone on trial, the standards could be loosened. In a stark demonstration of why it can be dangerous to create exceptions to fundamental rights, however, the Patriot Act expanded this once-narrow exception to cover wiretaps and searches that DO collect evidence for regular domestic criminal cases. FISA previously allowed searches only if the primary purpose was to gather foreign intelligence. But the Patriot Act changes the law to allow searches when "a significant purpose" is intelligence. That lets the government circumvent the Constitution's probable cause requirement even when its main goal is ordinary law enforcement.

                The eagerness of many in law enforcement to dispense with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment was revealed in August 2002 by the secret court that oversees domestic intelligence spying (the "FISA Court"). Making public one of its opinions for the first time in history, the court revealed that it had rejected an attempt by the Bush Administration to allow criminal prosecutors to use intelligence warrants to evade the Fourth Amendment entirely. The court also noted that agents applying for warrants had regularly filed false and misleading information. That opinion is now on appeal.

                4. Expansion of the "pen register" exception in wiretap law

                Another exception to the normal requirement for probable cause in wiretap law is also expanded by the Patriot Act. Years ago, when the law governing telephone wiretaps was written, a distinction was created between two types of surveillance. The first allows surveillance of the content or meaning of a communication, and the second only allows monitoring of the transactional or addressing information attached to a communication. It is like the difference between reading the address printed on the outside of a letter, and reading the letter inside, or listening to a phone conversation and merely recording the phone numbers dialed and received.

                Wiretaps limited to transactional or addressing information are known as "Pen register/trap and trace" searches (for the devices that were used on telephones to collect telephone numbers). The requirements for getting a PR/TT warrant are essentially non-existent: the FBI need not show probable cause or even reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. It must only certify to a judge - without having to prove it - that such a warrant would be "relevant" to an ongoing criminal investigation. And the judge does not even have the authority to reject the application.

                The Patriot Act broadens the pen register exception in two ways:

                "Nationwide" pen register warrants
                Under the Patriot Act PR/TT orders issued by a judge are no longer valid only in that judge's jurisdiction, but can be made valid anywhere in the United States. This "nationwide service" further marginalizes the role of the judiciary, because a judge cannot meaningfully monitor the extent to which his or her order is being used. In addition, this provision authorizes the equivalent of a blank warrant: the court issues the order, and the law enforcement agent fills in the places to be searched. That is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment's explicit requirement that warrants be written "particularly describing the place to be searched."

                Pen register searches applied to the Internet
                The Patriot Act applies the distinction between transactional and content-oriented wiretaps to the Internet. The problem is that it takes the weak standards for access to transactional data and applies them to communications that are far more than addresses. On an e-mail message, for example, law enforcement has interpreted the "header" of a message to be transactional information accessible with a PR/TT warrant. But in addition to routing information, e-mail headers include the subject line, which is part of the substance of a communication - on a letter, for example, it would clearly be inside the envelope.

                The government also argues that the transactional data for Web surfing is a list of the URLs or Web site addresses that a person visits. For example, it might record the fact that they visited "www.aclu.org" at 1:15 in the afternoon, and then skipped over to "www.fbi.gov" at 1:30. This claim that URLs are just addressing data breaks down in two different ways:

                * Web addresses are rich and revealing content. The URLs or "addresses" of the Web pages we read are not really addresses, they are the titles of documents that we download from the Internet. When we "visit" a Web page what we are really doing is downloading that page from the Internet onto our computer, where it is displayed. Therefore, the list of URLs that we visit during a Web session is really a list of the documents we have downloaded - no different from a list of electronic books we might have purchased online. That is much richer information than a simple list of the people we have communicated with; it is intimate information that reveals who we are and what we are thinking about - much more like the content of a phone call than the number dialed. After all, it is often said that reading is a "conversation" with the author.
                * Web addresses contain communications sent by a surfer. URLs themselves often have content embedded within them. A search on the Google search engine, for example, creates a page with a custom-generated URL that contains material that is clearly private content, such as: www.google.com/search

                Similarly, if I fill out an online form - to purchase goods or register my preferences, for example - those products and preferences will often be identified in the resulting URL.

                The erosion of accountability

                Attempts to find out how the new surveillance powers created by the Patriot Act were implemented during their first year were in vain. In June 2002 the House Judiciary Committee demanded that the Department of Justice answer questions about how it was using its new authority. The Bush/Ashcroft Justice Department essentially refused to describe how it was implementing the law; it left numerous substantial questions unanswered, and classified others without justification. In short, not only has the Bush Administration undermined judicial oversight of government spying on citizens by pushing the Patriot Act into law, but it is also undermining another crucial check and balance on surveillance powers: accountability to Congress and the public.

                Non-surveillance provisions

                Although this fact sheet focuses on the direct surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act, citizens should be aware that the act also contains a number of other provisions. The Act:

                * Puts CIA back in business of spying on Americans. The Patriot Act gives the Director of Central Intelligence the power to identify domestic intelligence requirements. That opens the door to the same abuses that took place in the 1970s and before, when the CIA engaged in widespread spying on protest groups and other Americans.
                * Creates a new crime of "domestic terrorism." The Patriot Act transforms protesters into terrorists if they engage in conduct that "involves acts dangerous to human life" to "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion." How long will it be before an ambitious or politically motivated prosecutor uses the statute to charge members of controversial activist groups like Operation Rescue or Greenpeace with terrorism? Under the Patriot Act, providing lodging or assistance to such "terrorists" exposes a person to surveillance or prosecution. Furthermore, the law gives the attorney general and the secretary of state the power to detain or deport any non-citizen who belongs to or donates money to one of these broadly defined "domestic terrorist" groups.
                * Allows for the indefinite detention of non-citizens. The Patriot Act gives the attorney general unprecedented new power to determine the fate of immigrants. The attorney general can order detention based on a certification that he or she has "reasonable grounds to believe" a non-citizen endangers national security. Worse, if the foreigner does not have a country that will accept them, they can be detained indefinitely without trial.

                Section 215 FAQ

                October 24, 2002

                What is Section 215?

                * Section 215 allows the FBI to order any person or entity to turn over "any tangible things," so long as the FBI "specif[ies]" that the order is "for an authorized investigation . . . to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
                * Section 215 vastly expands the FBI's power to spy on ordinary people living in the United States, including United States citizens and permanent residents.
                o The FBI need not show probable cause, nor even reasonable grounds to believe, that the person whose records it seeks is engaged in criminal activity.
                o The FBI need not have any suspicion that the subject of the investigation is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power.
                o The FBI can investigate United States persons based in part on their exercise of First Amendment rights, and it can investigate non-United States persons based solely on their exercise of First Amendment rights.
                + For example, the FBI could spy on a person because they don't like the books she reads, or because they don't like the web sites she visits. They could spy on her because she wrote a letter to the editor that criticized government policy.
                o Those served with Section 215 orders are prohibited from disclosing the fact to anyone else. Those who are the subjects of the surveillance are never notified that their privacy has been compromised.
                + If the government had been keeping track of what books a person had been reading, or what web sites she had been visiting, the person would never know.

                Is Section 215 Constitutional?

                * Normally, the government cannot effect a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause to believe that the person has committed or will commit a crime. Section 215 violates the Fourth Amendment by allowing the government to effect Fourth Amendment searches without a warrant and without showing probable cause.
                o The violation of the Fourth Amendment is made more egregious by the fact that Section 215 might be used to obtain information about the exercise of First Amendment rights. For example, the FBI could invoke Section 215 to require a library to produce records showing who had borrowed a particular book or to produce records showing who had visited a particular web site.
                o Section 215 might also be used to obtain material that implicates privacy interests other than those protected by the First Amendment. For example, the FBI could use Section 215 to obtain medical records.
                * The provision violates the First Amendment by prohibiting those served with Section 215 orders from disclosing that fact to others, even where there is no real need for secrecy.
                * The provision violates the First Amendment by effectively authorizing the FBI to investigate U.S. persons, including American citizens, based in part on their exercise of First Amendment activity, and by authorizing the FBI to investigate non-U.S. persons based solely on their exercise of First Amendment activity.
                * The provision violates the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by failing to require that those who are the subject of Section 215 orders be told that their privacy has been compromised.

                Doesn't the government need these powers?

                * The government already has the authority to prosecute anyone whom it has probable cause to believe has committed or is planning to commit a crime. It also has the authority to engage in surveillance of anyone whom it has probable cause to believe is a foreign power or spy - whether or not the person is suspected of any crime.
                * Section 215 takes away a great deal of our liberty and privacy but isn't likely to get us any security in return.
                o There's a real possibility that setting the FBI loose on the American public will have a profound chilling effect on public discourse. If people think that their conversations and their e-mails are their reading habits are being monitored, people will inevitably feel less comfortable saying what they think, especially if what they think is not what the government wants them to think.

                Is the FBI abusing its powers?

                * Attorney General Ashcroft has gone to great lengths to keep secret even the most basic information about the FBI's spying. For example, in answering questions posed by the House Judiciary Committee, he classified information that should not have been classified, including information that would have shown how often the FBI is spying on people based on their exercise of First Amendment rights.
                * The little information that we do have suggests that the FBI is abusing its powers.
                o For example, a survey conducted by the University of Illinois suggested that, by December 2001, the FBI had already approached 85 out of some 1500 libraries.
                * The ACLU obtained some information about the FBI's use of Section 215 through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. More information about our FOIA request and related litigation can be found at www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm

                To: Interested Persons
                From: Timothy H. Edgar, Legislative Counsel
                Date: February 14, 2003
                Re: Section-by-Section Analysis of Justice Department draft “Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003,” also known as “Patriot Act II”

                The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been drafting comprehensive anti-terrorism legislation for the past several months. The draft legislation, dated January 9, 2003, grants sweeping powers to the government, eliminating or weakening many of the checks and balances that remained on government surveillance, wiretapping, detention and criminal prosecution even after passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, Pub. L. No. 107-56, in 2001.

                Among its most severe problems, the bill

                Diminishes personal privacy by removing checks on government power, specifically by

                * Making it easier for the government to initiate surveillance and wiretapping of U.S. citizens under the authority of the shadowy, top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. (Sections 101, 102 and 107)
                * Permitting the government, under certain circumstances, to bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court altogether and conduct warrantless wiretaps and searches. (Sections 103 and 104)
                * Sheltering federal agents engaged in illegal surveillance without a court order from criminal prosecution if they are following orders of high Executive Branch officials. (Section 106)
                * Creating a new category of “domestic security surveillance” that permits electronic eavesdropping of entirely domestic activity under looser standards than are provided for ordinary criminal surveillance under Title III. (Section 122)
                * Using an overbroad definition of terrorism that could cover some protest tactics such as those used by Operation Rescue or protesters at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico as a new predicate for criminal wiretapping and other electronic surveillance. (Sections 120 and 121)
                * Providing for general surveillance orders covering multiple functions of high tech devices, and by further expanding pen register and trap and trace authority for intelligence surveillance of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. (Sections 107 and 124)
                * Creating a new, separate crime of using encryption technology that could add five years to any sentence for crimes committed with a computer. (Section 404)
                * Expanding nationwide search warrants so they do not have to meet even the broad definition of terrorism in the USA PATRIOT Act. (Section 125)
                * Giving the government secret access to credit reports without consent and without judicial process. (Section 126)
                * Enhancing the government’s ability to obtain sensitive information without prior judicial approval by creating administrative subpoenas and providing new penalties for failure to comply with written demands for records. (Sections 128 and 129)
                * Allowing for the sampling and cataloguing of innocent Americans’ genetic information without court order and without consent. (Sections 301-306)
                * Permitting, without any connection to anti-terrorism efforts, sensitive personal information about U.S. citizens to be shared with local and state law enforcement. (Section 311)
                * Terminating court-approved limits on police spying, which were initially put in place to prevent McCarthy-style law enforcement persecution based on political or religious affiliation. (Section 312)
                * Permitting searches, wiretaps and surveillance of United States citizens on behalf of foreign governments – including dictatorships and human rights abusers – in the absence of Senate-approved treaties. (Sections 321-22)

                Diminishes public accountability by increasing government secrecy; specifically, by

                * Authorizing secret arrests in immigration and other cases, such as material witness warrants, where the detained person is not criminally charged. (Section 201)
                * Threatening public health by severely restricting access to crucial information about environmental health risks posed by facilities that use dangerous chemicals. (Section 202)
                * Harming fair trial rights for American citizens and other defendants by limiting defense attorneys from challenging the use of secret evidence in criminal cases. (Section 204)
                * Gagging grand jury witnesses in terrorism cases to bar them from discussing their testimony with the media or the general public, thus preventing them from defending themselves against rumor-mongering and denying the public information it has a right to receive under the First Amendment. (Section 206)

                Diminishes corporate accountability under the pretext of fighting terrorism; specifically, by

                * Granting immunity to businesses that provide information to the government in terrorism investigations, even if their actions are taken with disregard for their customers’ privacy or other rights and show reckless disregard for the truth. Such immunity could provide an incentive for neighbor to spy on neighbor and pose problems similar to those inherent in Attorney General Ashcroft’s “Operation TIPS.” (Section 313)

                Undermines fundamental constitutional rights of Americans under overbroad definitions of “terrorism” and “terrorist organization” or under a terrorism pretext; specifically by

                * Stripping even native-born Americans of all of the rights of United States citizenship if they provide support to unpopular organizations labeled as terrorist by our government, even if they support only the lawful activities of such organizations, allowing them to be indefinitely imprisoned in their own country as undocumented aliens. (Section 501)
                * Creating 15 new death penalties, including a new death penalty for “terrorism” under a definition which could cover acts of protest such as those used by Operation Rescue or protesters at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, if death results. (Section 411)
                * Further criminalizing association – without any intent to commit specific terrorism crimes – by broadening the crime of providing material support to terrorism, even if support is not given to any organization listed as a terrorist organization by the government. (Section 402)
                * Permitting arrests and extraditions of Americans to any foreign country – including those whose governments do not respect the rule of law or human rights – in the absence of a Senate-approved treaty and without allowing an American judge to consider the extraditing country’s legal system or human rights record. (Section 322)

                Unfairly targets immigrants under the pretext of fighting terrorism; specifically by

                * Undercutting trust between police departments and immigrant communities by opening sensitive visa files to local police for the enforcement of complex immigration laws. (Section 311)
                * Targeting undocumented workers with extended jail terms for common immigration offenses. (Section 502)
                * Providing for summary deportations without evidence of crime, criminal intent or terrorism, even of lawful permanent residents, whom the Attorney General says are a threat to national security. (Section 503)
                * Completely abolishing fair hearings for lawful permanent residents convicted of even minor criminal offenses through a retroactive “expedited removal” procedure, and preventing any court from questioning the government’s unlawful actions by explicitly exempting these cases from habeas corpus review. Congress has not exempted any person from habeas corpus -- a protection guaranteed by the Constitution -- since the Civil War. (Section 504)
                * Allowing the Attorney General to deport an immigrant to any country in the world, even if there is no effective government in such a country. (Section 506)

                Given the bipartisan controversy that has arisen in the past from DOJ’s attempts to weaken basic checks and balances that protect personal privacy and liberty, the DOJ’s reluctance to share the draft legislation is perhaps understandable. The DOJ’s highly one-sided section-by-section analysis reveals the Administration’s strategy is to minimize far-reaching changes in basic powers, as it did in seeking passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, by characterizing them as minor tinkering with statutory language designed to bring government surveillance authorities, detention and deportation powers, and criminal penalties “up to date.”

                This ACLU section-by-section analysis of the text of the legislation, however, reveals that the DOJ’s modest descriptions of the powers it is seeking, and the actual scope of the authorities it seeks, are miles apart. The USA PATRIOT Act undercut many of the traditional checks and balances on government power. The new draft legislation threatens to fundamentally alter the constitutional protections that allow us as Americans to be both safe and free. If adopted, the bill would diminish personal privacy by removing important checks on government surveillance authority, reduce the accountability of government to the public by increasing government secrecy, further undermine fundamental constitutional rights of Americans under an already overbroad definition of “terrorism,” and seriously erode the right of all persons to due process of law.

                Our detailed section-by-section analysis follows.

                Title I – Diminishing Personal Privacy by Removing Checks on Government Intelligence and Criminal Surveillance Powers

                Title I amends critical statutes that govern intelligence surveillance and criminal surveillance. Both forms of surveillance are subject to Fourth Amendment limitations. See Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967) (criminal surveillance); United States v. United States District Court (“Keith”), 407 U.S. 297 (1972) (intelligence surveillance). Yet while traditional searches are governed by warrant procedures largely drawn from the common law, wiretapping and other forms of electronic surveillance are governed by standards and procedures embodied in two federal statutes that respond to Katz and Keith – Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2510-22, which governs surveillance of criminal suspects, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-63 which governs surveillance of foreign powers and agents of a foreign power for intelligence purposes.

                Making it easier for the government to initiate surveillance and wiretapping, including of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, through the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Sections 101-111). The draft bill’s proposed amendments to FISA attack key statutory concepts that are critical to providing appropriate limits and meaningful judicial supervision over wiretapping and other intrusive electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes. These limits were approved by Congress in 1978 because of a history of abuse by government agents who placed wiretaps and other listening devices on political activists, journalists, rival political parties and candidates, and other innocent targets. These so-called “national security wiretaps” and other covert surveillance were undertaken without any court supervision and without even the slightest suspicion that the targets of such surveillance were involved in criminal activities or were acting on behalf of any foreign government or political organization. This pattern of abuse culminated in the crimes of Watergate, which led to substantial reforms and limits on spying for intelligence purposes.

                FISA represented a compromise between civil libertarians, who wanted to ban “national security wiretaps” altogether, and apologists for Presidential authority, who claimed such unchecked intelligence surveillance authority was inherent in the President’s Article II power over foreign relations. The Congress chose to authorize intelligence wiretaps without evidence of crime, subject to a number of key restraints. One of these restraints, separating intelligence gathering from criminal investigations, has been significantly weakened by the USA PATRIOT Act. The USA PATRIOT Act abolished the “primary purpose” test – the requirement that FISA surveillance could only be used if the primary purpose of surveillance was gathering of foreign intelligence, and not criminal prosecution or some other purpose.

                The draft bill eliminates or substantially weakens a number of the remaining constraints on intelligence surveillance approved by Congress. Taken as a whole, these changes go a long way to undermine limits on intelligence surveillance essential to preserving civil liberties and to preventing a repeat of the wiretapping abuses of the J. Edgar Hoover and Watergate eras.

                Authorizing the government to initiate wiretaps and other electronic surveillance on Americans who have no ties to foreign governments or powers (sec. 101). This section would permit the government to obtain a wiretap, search warrant or electronic surveillance orders targeting American citizens and lawful permanent residents even if they have no ties to a foreign government or other foreign power. Under FISA, the government need not show, in many circumstances, probable cause that the target of a wiretap is involved in any criminal activity. FISA requires an alternate showing – probable cause that the target is acting on behalf of a foreign government or organization, i.e., a “foreign power.” Section 101 of the draft bill eliminates this requirement for individuals, including United States citizens, suspected of engaging in “international terrorism.” It does so by redefining individuals, including United States citizens or lawful residents, as “foreign powers” even if they are not acting on behalf of any foreign government or organization. The “foreign power” requirement was a key reason FISA was upheld in a recent constitutional challenge. See In re Sealed Case No. 02-001, slip op. at 42 (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Ct. of Rev. Nov. 18, 2002) (while FISA requires no showing of probable cause of crime, it is constitutional in part because it provides “another safeguard . . . that is, the requirement that there be probable cause to believe the target is acting ‘for or on behalf of a foreign power.’”)[1]

                Permitting surveillance of the lawful activities of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents if they are suspected of gathering information for a foreign power (sec. 102). United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who are not violating any law should not be subject to wiretapping or other intrusive electronic surveillance. The FISA contains dual standards for non-U.S. persons and for U.S. persons with respect to surveillance of “intelligence gathering activities,” i.e., the gathering of information for a foreign government or organization. These standards reflect the judgment of Congress that U.S. persons should not face electronic surveillance unless their activities “involve or may involve” some violation of law (as, for example, would certainly be the case with respect to any activity in furtherance of terrorism or other crime). For non-U.S. persons, this showing does not have to be made, i.e., the gathering of information by foreign persons for foreign powers is enough to trigger FISA. The draft bill (at section 102) applies the lower standard to U.S. persons.

                Lawful gathering of information for a foreign organization does not necessarily pose any threat to national security. This amendment would permit electronic surveillance of a local activist who was preparing a report on human rights for London-based Amnesty International, a “foreign political organization,” even if the activist was not engaged in any violation of law. By eliminating this need to show some violation of law may be involved before authorizing surveillance of U.S. persons, Congress could well succeed in rendering FISA unconstitutional, by eliminating another key reason FISA was upheld in a recent court challenge. See In re Sealed Case No. 02-001, slip op. at 42 (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Ct. of Rev. Nov. 18, 2002) (holding that FISA surveillance of U.S. persons meets Fourth Amendment standards in part because a surveillance order may not be granted unless there is probable cause to believe the target is involved in activity that may involve a violation of law).

                Permitting the government, under some circumstances, to bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court altogether (Sections 103, 104). Section 103 gives the Attorney General the power to authorize intelligence wiretaps and other electronic surveillance without permission from any court, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, for fifteen days, after an attack on the United States or force authorization resolution from the Congress. Under existing federal statutes, a formal declaration of war by the Congress triggers a host of civil liberties consequences, including authorization by the Attorney General to engage in intrusive electronic surveillance for up to fifteen days without any court order at all. The draft bill expands this power dramatically by eliminating judicial review for any surveillance under FISA for a period up to fifteen days pursuant to (1) an authorization of force resolution by the Congress or (2) a “national emergency” created by an attack on the United States. For surveillance under the latter circumstance, no action by Congress would be required. Once the President has unilaterally decided such an attack has occurred, the Attorney General could unilaterally decide what constitutes an “attack” on the United States, creating an emergency that justifies what would otherwise be plainly illegal wiretaps.

                DOJ’s rationale for this change is that declarations of war are rare and the statute should be updated to reflect this. This argument fundamentally misconstrues the purpose of this provision. The normal FISA process, including review by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, was Congress’s attempt to impose meaningful limits over national security surveillance conducted without a formal declaration of war and for continuing threats that cannot easily by defined by reference to traditional war powers. To use Congress’ grant of surveillance authority following a declaration of war as an argument to permit surveillance even in the absence of such action by Congress is a fundamental intrusion on Congress’s war powers.

                The draft bill (at section 104) also expands special surveillance authority, available for up to a year with no court order at all, for property “under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power” by permitting eavesdropping on “spoken communications.” This expansion of authority leaves intact the current requirement that such surveillance can go forward only if the Attorney General certifies under oath that “there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party.” Still, the new authority would plainly involve eavesdropping on communications protected by the Fourth Amendment, as it would inevitably result in listening – without any court order – to the conversations in the United States of anyone who might be using telephones, computers, or other devices owned by a foreign government, political organization, or company owned by a foreign government.

                There are serious questions about whether the secret review of surveillance orders by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which by its nature can only hear the government’s side of the case, is effective in protecting Americans’ civil liberties. These amendments would bypass judicial review under FISA altogether.

                Sheltering federal agents engaged in illegal surveillance without a court order from criminal prosecution if they are following orders of high Executive Branch officials (Section 106). This section would encourage unlawful intelligence wiretaps and secret searches by immunizing agents from criminal sanctions if they conduct such surveillance, even if a reasonable official would know it is illegal, by claiming they were acting in “good faith” based on the orders of the President or the Attorney General. In order to ensure that FISA was successful in bringing national security surveillance under the rule of law, Congress not only provided a process for legal intelligence surveillance, but also imposed criminal penalties on any government agent who engages in electronic surveillance outside that process. Congress also provided a “safe harbor” for agents who engaged in surveillance that was approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, even if such surveillance was not in fact authorized by FISA. The draft bill (at section 106) substantially undercuts the deterrent effect of criminal sanctions for illegal wiretaps or electronic surveillance by expanding the “safe harbor” to include surveillance not approved by any court, but simply on the authorization of the Attorney General or the President.

                Of course, the very spying abuses FISA was designed to prevent were undertaken with the authorization of high-ranking government officials, including the President. For example, President Nixon authorized just such a covert search of the Brookings Institution, whom he and his staff suspected of possessing classified information that had been leaked to the press. As described by Nixon biographer Richard Reeves:

                Nixon sat up. “Now if you remember Huston’s plan [to engage in covert surveillance] . . .”

                “Yeah, why?” Haldeman said.

                Kissinger said: “But couldn’t we go over? Now, Brookings has no right to classified–”

                The President cut him off, saying, “I want it implemented. . . . Goddamit get in there and get those files. Blow the safe and get them.”[2]

                Any government official acting within the scope of his employment already enjoys “qualified immunity” from charges of violating Fourth Amendment or other constitutional rights – i.e., an official cannot be punished or held civilly liable if a reasonable government official would not have known his or her conduct was illegal. See Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982). Providing additional protection to government officials who engage in wiretaps or searches without a court order, where a reasonable official would know those wiretaps or searches were clearly illegal, would take away any incentive for such officials to question an illegal authorization by the President, Attorney General or other high official.

                Further expanding pen register and trap and trace authority for intelligence surveillance of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents beyond terrorism investigations (Section 107). This section allows the government to use intelligence pen registers and trap and trace surveillance devices to obtain detailed information on American citizens and lawful permanent residents, including telephone numbers dialed, Internet addresses to which e-mail is sent or received, and the web addresses a person enters into a web browser, even in an investigation that is entirely unrelated to terrorism or counterintelligence. In so doing, it erodes a limitation on this authority that was part of the USA PATRIOT Act.

                The standard for obtaining a pen register or trap and trace order is very low, requiring merely that a government official certify that the information it would reveal is “relevant” to an investigation. Under section 216 the USA PATRIOT Act, the government was given new power to obtain this sensitive information for Internet communications merely by making this certification. This expansion was a serious erosion of meaningful judicial oversight of government surveillance because it expanded the authority to get court orders for pen registers and trap and trace devices in a way that permitted the government to access far more detailed content than was available before such authority was extended to the Internet.

                For United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, Congress limited the new authority to terrorism and counterintelligence investigations. This section would remove that limitation, opening the door to expanded government surveillance of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents under controversial government law enforcement technologies like CARNIVORE and the Total Information Awareness Pentagon “super-snoop” program whose development Congress just voted to limit.

                Providing cleared, appointed counsel for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (Section 108). While we welcome the provision providing for an appointed, cleared counsel to argue in favor of a ruling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when the government appeals its decisions, it should not substitute for participation, in appropriate cases, by interested civil liberties organizations. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approves government orders for electronic surveillance and physical searches under FISA. It meets in secret and never hears from anyone other than the government officials seeking its approval. If an order is denied, the government has the right to seek review of that denial in a special three-judge court of appeals, called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. No one can appeal the approval of a surveillance order, as the target of the surveillance is not notified. Instead, the only challenge to an approved order would occur later, if the information obtained is to be used in a criminal prosecution, in a suppression motion before the district court. If the information is used only for intelligence purposes, there is never an opportunity to challenge the lawfulness of an order approving surveillance.

                This section seeks to remedy the problems inherent in a one-sided proceeding, at least with respect to appeals before the Court of Review, by permitting the court to appoint an advocate with security credentials to defend the decision reached in the initial hearing before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. While the ACLU welcomes this effort to inject an adversary process into the Court of Review’s proceedings, it warns that appointing a cleared lawyer should not be a substitute for independent advocacy by civil liberties or other interested organizations. Organizations independent of the government should be permitted to file briefs amicus curiae and, in appropriate cases, to participate in oral argument as interveners on behalf of Americans who may face increased surveillance as a result of an interpretation of FISA being urged by the government. For this reason, Congress should adopt legislation providing clear procedures that require the publication of opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the Court of Review, with redactions for classified information.

                Providing new contempt powers for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court without sufficient due process (Section 109). This section seeks to give the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court the power to enforce its judgments through explicit contempt powers. While the ACLU does not object to the enforcement of lawful court orders, the draft bill does not specify a means by which parties seeking to challenge an order of the court can vindicate their rights, such as by a motion to quash. If the court is to be given this authority, both the Fourth Amendment and due process require a mechanism, which currently does not exist, for a party facing a possible contempt sanction to appear before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and be heard, prior to the imposition of any sanctions.[3]

                Using an overbroad definition of terrorism that could cover tactics used by some protest groups as a predicate for criminal wiretapping and other surveillance under Title III (Sections 120, 121). Current law provides, at 18 U.S.C. § 2516, a list of “predicate offenses” that permit the government to conduct wiretaps and other intrusive surveillance. The list is quite lengthy, but reflects the judgment of Congress that electronic surveillance is a particularly intrusive investigative method that is not appropriate for all criminal investigations but should be reserved only for the most serious crimes.

                Title 18 already provides that any terrorism crime defined by federal law is a predicate for Title III surveillance. See 18 U.S.C. § 2516(q) (providing that any violation of sections 2332, 2332a, 2332b, 2339A, or 2339B is a predicate offense for Title III surveillance). The draft bill, however, extends the predicate even further, to cover offenses that are not defined as terrorism crimes under federal law, but do fit the definition of either international or domestic terrorism, i.e., they involve acts that are a violation of federal or state law, are committed with the intent of affecting government policy, and are potentially dangerous. See 18 U.S.C. § 2331. It is this broad definition that sweeps in the activities of a number of protest organizations that engage in civil disobedience, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Operation Rescue. Since true crimes of terrorism are already predicates for Title III surveillance, providing this authority is not necessary to listen to the telephone conversations and monitor the e-mail traffic of terrorist groups. To ensure Title III wiretaps are not used to monitor the activities of protest organizations, Congress should reject this provision and should also amend the definition of “terrorism.”

                Creating a new category of “domestic security surveillance” that relaxes judicial oversight of electronic surveillance of Americans engaged in entirely domestic activity (Section 122). This section authorizes looser standards for judicial oversight of wiretaps of electronic surveillance orders of Americans for entirely domestic activity under a new theory of domestic intelligence gathering. Intelligence-based surveillance and criminal surveillance are conducted under different rationales, but both are subject to Fourth Amendment protections. See Katz and Keith, supra. Title III, which governs criminal surveillance, provides significantly more robust protections than those afforded for surveillance of foreign intelligence conducted in the United States pursuant to FISA. Title III requires more frequent and continuing supervision of the surveillance order by the authorizing judge, and subsequent notice to the target of the surveillance order unless the government shows adverse results would occur if notice were given.

                Title III governs electronic surveillance in domestic criminal and terrorism cases; the looser intelligence standards provided by FISA, including the ability to conduct surveillance in virtually complete secrecy, have always been reserved for “agents of a foreign power.” The proposed amendment would fundamentally redefine domestic intelligence gathering through wiretaps and other intrusive surveillance to include entirely domestic security investigations. In so doing, DOJ claims it is accepting the “invitation” of the Supreme Court in Keith to devise specific standards for domestic intelligence investigations. It is far from clear the Supreme Court ever issued such an “invitation” because of the ambiguity of the term “domestic intelligence.” FISA is, in one sense, a purely domestic intelligence gathering power; it governs gathering of intelligence on United States soil and authorizes surveillance of United States citizens. Under this understanding of “domestic intelligence,” Congress has already provided far looser standards for such surveillance than it has for criminal investigations.

                In any event, the draft bill’s redefinition of intelligence creates what is in essence a twilight zone between the criminal standards provided in Title III and the foreign intelligence standards for targets involved with “foreign powers” in FISA. That twilight zone, as conceived by the draft bill, has significant implications for Americans’ right to privacy. Under the DOJ’s proposed standards, for domestic terrorism, the normal time period for domestic surveillance orders under Title III would triple from 30 days to 90 days, or, in the case of pen registers and trap and trace devices, from 60 days to 120 days; the judge would be prevented from requiring more frequent reports than once every 30 days, limiting the judge’s ability to provide meaningful supervision, and absolute secrecy could be imposed on the government’s claim of harm to the “national security,” a standard that provides no meaningful judicial check.

                Providing for general surveillance orders covering users of high technology devices with multiple functions, thus lowering the bar to surveillance (Section 124). This section would, in some cases, relieve the government from showing probable cause that would justify reading a person’s e-mail if it had shown probable cause that a person’s telephone conversations would be relevant to criminal activity. It authorizes a general warrant that, in the physical world, would allow officers who could show probable cause to search only one drawer of a desk to obtain a court order allowing a search of the entire building.

                The proposed change would erode the privacy rights of users of multi-function devices. Multi-function devices represent an important advance in communications technology. Such devices can combine the functions of a telephone, fax machine and computer with Internet access, or those of a mobile phone and text messaging service. Another example is the popular TiVo video storage device which both records television programs received through a cable or satellite system and communicates a user’s preferences through a computer modem.

                Unfortunately, the draft bill continues a DOJ trend of using advances in technology to justify eroding privacy standards. While technology is constantly changing, the principles of the Constitution remain constant. Specificity is a basic requirement for any constitutional judicial process permitting government searches or seizures. The Fourth Amendment states that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The fact that the government can show probable cause to monitor e-mail, for example, does not mean that it should also have authority to listen to the target’s telephone conversations. Of course, if the government can satisfy the probable cause or other application standard with respect to all of the functions of a device, there is no reason it cannot be granted approval to monitor those functions in a single order. However, the draft bill would make approval for each function automatic, providing that “communications transmitted or received through any function performed by the device may be intercepted and accessed unless the order specifies otherwise . . .”

                In addition, an order that covers, for example, a personal computer that carries voice or data transmission, also permits “upon a showing as for a search warrant . . . the retrieval of other information (whether or not constituting or derived from a communication whose interception the order authorizes).” While somewhat oblique, this language would permit the seizure of any information stored on a computer’s hard drive if the government obtains a order to intercept communications through any of the computer’s communications functions and makes the required showing.

                There is no reason that the purchase of new technology should diminish the user’s privacy. Whether one owns one device with several communications functions, or separate communications devices, the government’s obligations to show probable cause that the monitoring of communications or the seizure of data will provide some evidence of crime should be the same.

                Expanding nationwide search warrants so they do not have to meet even the broad definition of terrorism in the USA PATRIOT Act (Section 125). The USA PATRIOT Act gave the government authority to issue nationwide search warrants in terrorism investigations, based on the extremely broad definition of domestic and international terrorism contained in 18 U.S.C. § 2331. This definition covers any violation of law, state or federal, that involves “acts dangerous to human life” and is committed with the requisite intent. The draft bill (at section 125) expands the use of nationwide search warrants to cover any offense listed as a federal terrorism crime under 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(g)(5)(B). In general, this is unlikely to be needed as the crimes listed as terrorism crimes are either violent offenses or at least “involve” dangerous acts. To the extent such offenses do not at least “involve” violence or dangerous acts, they should not be terrorism crimes at all and should not trigger special terrorism powers that are unavailable in order criminal investigations. If Congress grants additional authority for nationwide search warrants for certain offenses listed as terrorism crimes, its authority to get nationwide search warrants under an overbroad definition of international and domestic terrorism should be curtailed, by, for example, eliminating that authority or amending the definition of terrorism.

                Giving the government secret access to credit reports without consent and without judicial process (Section 126). This section would allow the government to secretly obtain anyone’s credit report without their consent and without any judicial procedure.

                The government should not have access to sensitive personal information which has been collected for business purposes on the same basis as businesses, because the government’s powers – for example, to compel questioning before a grand jury, arrest, deport, or incarcerate – are far greater than the powers of any business.

                In any event, the draft bill does not, as the heading states, provide “equal access” for government to such reports; rather, the statute greatly expands access to credit reports by authorizing the government to obtain these reports without consent, notice to the person to whom the credit report pertains, and without a court order. Credit reports are available to business with a “legitimate business need” but only with the consent of the person whose credit report is being examined, such as when that person applies for a loan or a job.

                Anyone who has applied for a job or a mortgage and encountered a problem because of a false credit report – which could the result of identity theft, simple error, or malice – knows how difficult it can be to get errors corrected. Under this provision, however, the consequences of an erroneous credit report are far more serious than when credit reports are used for business purposes. Under this provision, because credit reports can be obtained without notice or consent, there is no opportunity for the person to contest an erroneous report.

                Creating new terrorism “administrative subpoenas” and providing new penalties for failure to comply with written demands for records that permit the government to obtain information without prior judicial approval (Sections 128 and 129). Under these sections, government can demand – and enforce its demands through civil and criminal penalties – documents and other information from a business, such as an Internet Service Provider, or any individual without prior court approval. Administrative subpoenas provide the government with the ability to compel production of documents or information without obtaining a court order. While such subpoenas can be challenged, after they are issued, through a motion to quash, such a motion must be brought by the party challenging the subpoena, who incurs the trouble and expense of challenging the subpoena.

                The draft bill authorizes the use of administrative subpoenas and what the DOJ calls “national security letters” to obtain information in terrorism investigations. These sections reduce judicial oversight of terrorism investigations by relegating the role of the judge to considering challenges to orders already issued, rather than ensuring such orders are drawn with due regard for the privacy and other interests of the target. Furthermore, by granting the government power to compel production of records or other information, such as computer files, without first going to court, the draft bill will likely increase the administrative burden imposed on small businesses, particularly high-technology firms, who are facing ever-increasing demands for records in both civil cases and criminal investigations.

                Title II – Diminishes Public Accountability and Due Process By Increasing Government Secrecy

                Authorizing secret arrests in immigration and other cases where the detained person is not criminally charged (Section 201). After September 11, 2001, well over a thousand persons whom the government said were connected to its terrorism investigation were detained on immigration charges or material witness warrants without the government revealing who they were or other basic information about their arrests that has always been available to the public and the press. Never before had our government sought to detain persons within the United States in secret; a public process for depriving any individual of liberty is an essential component of the rule of law in a democratic society. As Alexander Hamilton made clear in the Federalist papers more than two centuries ago, a policy that allows “confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten” is a “dangerous engine of arbitrary government.”[4] “The requirement that arrest books be open to the public is to prevent any ‘secret arrests,’ a concept odious to a democratic society . . . .” Morrow v. District of Columbia, 417 F.2d 728, 741-42 (D.C. Cir. 1969).

                The government’s policy of secret arrests came under fire in both federal and state court in lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil liberties and press freedom groups. So far, every court to reach the merits of the argument has agreed that the government’s secret arrests policy is not supported by law, is not necessary to protect national security, and violates fundamental principles reflected in state and federal open records laws.[5] When confronted with the ruling in New Jersey state court, the DOJ responded not by complying or appealing the ruling to a higher court, but by issuing a regulation preempting that state’s law. It has now chosen to ask Congress to cut short the federal lawsuit in the much the same way.

                Threatening public health by severely restricting access to crucial information about environmental health risks posed by facilities that use dangerous chemicals (Section 202). This section would deprive communities and environmental organizations of critical information concerning risks to the community contained in “worst case scenarios” prepared under federal environmental laws. Under section 112(r) the Clean Air Act, 47 U.S.C. § 7212(r), corporations that use potentially dangerous chemicals must prepare an analysis of consequences of the release of such chemicals to surrounding communities. This information is absolutely critical for community activists and environmental organizations seeking to protect public health and safety, and the environment, and by ensuring compliance by private corporations with environmental and health standards and alerting local residents to the hazards to which they may be exposed.

                The proposed amendment (sec. 202) severely restricts access to such information, limiting such access to reading rooms in which copies could not be made and notes could not be taken, and excising from the reports such basic information as “the identity or location of any facility or any information from which the identity or location of the facility could be deduced.” “Official users” are given greater access, but these users only include government officials, and government whistleblowers who reveal any information restricted under this section commit a criminal offense, even if their motivation was to protect the public from corporate wrongdoing or government neglect.

                Harming fair trial rights for American citizens and other defendants by limiting defense attorneys from challenging the use of secret evidence in criminal cases (Section 204). This section would inhibit the ability of the accused to defend themselves against criminal charges based in part on classified information. The Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), 18 U.S.C. App. 3 §§ 1-16, provides a special procedure to govern an extraordinary situation – where the government seeks to use information in a criminal case which is classified by Executive Order without revealing in open court any more information than is necessary to provide the defendant with a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment.[6]

                CIPA entrusts to federal district judges the “gatekeeper” function of determining what classified information can be excluded from open court, what information can be given to the defense in summary form, and what essential information must be disclosed to the defendant to ensure his right to contest the accusations against him and to ensure that evidence the jury or other factfinder considers is reliable, having been tested in an adversarial proceeding. The judge has the power to consider a government request to delete information or substitute a summary in an ex parte proceeding, i.e., without the benefit of hearing from the defense. CIPA does not give the government a right to make its case in the absence of the defense; instead, the judge determines how much of the prosecution’s submission to examine ex parte and in camera, i.e., in secret. The proposed amendment (sec. 204) would seriously undermine the judge’s initial gatekeeping role by compelling a judge, at the request of the prosecution, to determine whether and how to redact classified information without the benefit of an adversary hearing. In other words, the amendment would take away the judge’s authority, under current law, to hear defense objections to a prosecution request for authorization to delete specified items of classified information from documents relevant to the defense’s case.

                CIPA strikes the right balance between the government’s national security interests and the defendant’s right to see the evidence against him or her. This amendment undermines that balance.

                Gagging grand jury witnesses in terrorism from discussing their testimony with the media or the general public, thus preventing them from defending themselves and denying the public information it has a right to receive under the First Amendment (Section 206). This section would gag grand jury witnesses so that they could not publicly respond to false information about them leaked to the press. Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure imposes a general obligation of secrecy requiring attorneys and grand jurors to refrain from commenting on “matters occurring before the grand jury.” In theory, grand jury secrecy is imposed primarily to protect the reputation of individuals who become subject to a grand jury investigation. In practice, such secrecy does not always afford much protection, as law enforcement officials who leak information to reporters in violation of Rule 6(e) are rarely discovered and prosecuted.

                Grand jury secrecy is not imposed on witnesses, who are free to speak about their testimony to friends, associates or to the media. In practice, this limitation is essential to afford targets of a grand jury investigation the opportunity to defend themselves against leaked accusations and media speculation. Under the proposed amendment (section 206), witnesses in terrorism investigations could be unfairly smeared in the media and be deprived from the ability to defend themselves under pain of a criminal sanction.

                Title III – Diminishing Personal Privacy by Removing Checks on Local Police Spying; Undermining Genetic Privacy; Removing Checks on Foreign-Directed Searches and Arrests, Even for Dictatorships; Sharing Sensitive Immigration Information With Local Police

                Allowing for the sampling and cataloguing of innocent Americans’ genetic information without court order and without consent (Sections 301-306). The proposed bill authorizes collection of genetic information of persons who have not been convicted of a crime for terrorism investigation purposes, and the entering of that sensitive information into a database. At a minimum, such collection should not be permitted on persons who have not be convicted of serious crimes unless a judge decides to permit such collection by issuing a court order on the basis of probable cause to believe the information will assist in a criminal investigation. Furthermore, personal genetic information must be destroyed within a reasonable time, such as when a suspect is cleared, to ensure it is not available for misuse by the government or private industry at a later date.

                Drawing a DNA sample involves an intrusion on personal privacy that is far more invasive than simply taking a fingerprint. A fingerprint is useful only as a form of identification. By contrast, a DNA sample includes such intimate, personal information as the markers for thousands of diseases, legitimacy at birth, or (as science advances) aspects of an individual’s personality such as his or her temperament. In addition, this personal information is not unique to the individual alone, but also provides clues to the genetic traits of everyone in that individual’s bloodline. Genetic discrimination is not merely a distant artifact of the discredited eugenics movement of the first half of the Twentieth Century, but is widespread today among private employers, and is (in most states) perfectly legal.[7]

                The potential misuse of DNA information contained in a database requires careful safeguards before such information is collected, and concerning the storage of such information. For example, no forensic purpose is served by saving the DNA itself, as opposed to just the information contained in the DNA that proves identity. The proposed legislation fails to include such safeguards.

                Permitting, without any connection to anti-terrorism efforts, sensitive personal information to be shared with local and state law enforcement; opening sensitive visa files to local police (Section 311). This section would authorize the sharing of sensitive consumer credit information and educational records with state and local officials without any limits and without any connection to a terrorism investigation. While sharing of sensitive information in the possession of the federal government should be permitted in some circumstances to accomplish anti-terrorism objectives, such records should not be disseminated broadly for other purposes. The draft legislation contains no requirement that sharing of sensitive information with state and local officials be limited to anti-terrorism investigations; instead, such information can be shared simply “to assist the official receiving that information in the performance of official duties of that official.” Special authority to share sensitive personal records should not be granted so blithely.

                The draft legislation also provides for sharing of sensitive visa information with state and local officials, including state and local law enforcement, on a broad basis, without requirement that such sharing of information be connected to anti-terrorism investigations. In authorizing such sharing of sensitive immigration files, DOJ is at odds with the views of many state and local police departments, who fear involvement in immigration enforcement matters may undermine their ability to establish the trust and confidence of immigrant communities. Absent such trust, many local and state police are concerned that members of immigrant communities will fear contacting the police if they are a victim of crime or a witness to crime.[8]

                DOJ also appears to be at odds with the White House, which has assured the public that the Bush Administration was not interested in expanding the role of state or local law enforcement in immigration matters except with respect to terrorism investigations. As White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez made clear last year, “Only high-risk aliens who fit a terrorist profile” would be placed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, which is available to state and local law enforcement officials, and the Administration’s conclusion that state and local police had “inherent authority” to arrest such persons was limited to this group of non-citizens.[9] Such a narrow policy would be completely undermined by the adoption of this broad language.

                Terminating court-approved limits on police spying designed to prevent McCarthy-style law enforcement persecution based on political or religious affiliation (Section 312). In the name of “intelligence gathering,” police departments in many cities spied on innocent members of the public who were active in churches, community groups and political organizations. Federal courts, responding to civil rights lawsuits urging an end to such spying, issued decrees prohibiting this spying absent some reason to believe those individuals were involved in criminal or terrorist activity.

                Police spying on political and religious activity is not a relic of some distant past. Recently, citizens in Denver, Colorado, were shocked to learn that the Denver Police Department had kept approximately 3,048 illegal files on peaceful protest groups including Amnesty International and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning American Friends Service Committee. The file on the American Friends Service Committee labeled them a “criminal extremist” group. The files pre-dated September 11, 2001, and were not collected as a response to the terrorist attacks.

                The draft bill ends these decrees using language patterned after the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Eliminating these sensible, court-approved limits on local police spying would chill dissent, making Americans afraid to join protest groups and activist organizations, attend rallies, or express their views on controversial policies such as abortion or the war in Iraq.

                Loosening sensible protections on police monitoring of political and religious activity will not make us safer from terrorism. During the years the FBI illegally spied on individuals exercising their rights under the First Amendment, including such civil rights leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., resources were diverted and not a single instance of violence was prevented. Freeing local police to spy on innocent individuals is not likely to be any more productive. It only makes us less safe as resources are diverted from more productive investigations, and less free, as individuals find themselves entered into a police database for activities that are constitutionally protected.

                Granting immunity to businesses that provide information to the government in terrorism investigations, even if their actions are taken with disregard for their customers’ privacy or other rights and show reckless disregard for the truth (Section 313). This section would prevent a person harmed by a business’s disclosure of information about them, including false information, from holding the business accountable. It would encourage false terrorism tips that could result in ruined reputations, lengthy detentions and even violence. Under this section, a business is given immunity from liability if it shares information voluntarily with the government, based on merely on its “reasonable belief” that its actions would help the government prevent or investigate terrorism.

                This section resurrects many of the same problems with Operation TIPS that led Congress to ban that program last year. Enormous controversy was sparked by the Bush Administration’s Operation TIPS plan to enlist businesses with access to private homes or otherwise able to obtain sensitive personal information without any court supervision. Under the plan, utility operators or others would be encouraged to report “suspicious activity” through a special federal hotline, where the reports would be placed in a central computer database. The program was rife with potential for abuse, including the reporting of false or erroneous information, and the concern that businesses and private individuals would allow their private prejudices to determine who qualifies as “suspicious.” When Congress learned of “Operation TIPS” and considered its potential dangers, it banned the program in legislation creating the new Department of Homeland Security. See Homeland Security Act of 2002, § 880, Pub. L. No. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, 2245 (2002).

                The draft legislation poses many of the same dangers as the government’s earlier, more elaborate private spying program. False information can ruin a person’s reputation, lead to an erroneous arrest and even to violence. Those who are subject to such false reports should have legal recourse if the business or individual responsible for making the report acted irresponsibly. Defamation is the most likely legal action resulting from a false tip to law enforcement. Further protection for defamation defendants would weaken the incentive for a business to think twice before using a false tip to law enforcement to settle a private score or indulge in invidious discrimination. The proposed language paradoxically would increase the incentive for reports of information of dubious validity, diverting law enforcement from more serious potential crimes.

                Granting additional immunity is unnecessary because there is already ample protection in state law against frivolous lawsuits. Truth is always a defense to defamation and states also generally provide a qualified privilege against defamation claims involving reports to law enforcement even where the information proves to be false, protecting a defendant against liability unless malice can be shown. See, e.g., Restatement (Second) of Torts §§ 598, 600.

                Permitting searches, wiretaps and surveillance of United States citizens on behalf of foreign governments – including human rights abusers – in the absence of Senate-approved treaties (Sections 321-22). This section would authorize the DOJ to help foreign governments – including those that systematically abuse human rights and do not respect the rule of law – invade Americans’ privacy even when the United States Senate has failed or refused to approve a treaty allowing such assistance with such a government. Under current law, the United States does not engage in covert surveillance or issue search warrants on behalf of foreign nations unless the Senate has approved a mutual legal assistance treaty. If a foreign nation with which the United States does not have such a treaty requires information from a United States citizen or resident for its own judicial process, it may still obtain that information by asking the assistance of a United States district court in issuing an order to take testimony or obtain “a document or other thing” under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, but it may not issue search warrants or certain surveillance orders. This limitation ensures that that the Senate consents to more intrusive surveillance on behalf of a foreign nation before Americans’ privacy can be invaded at the behest of a foreign government. The draft bill (at section 321) sweeps aside this sensible limitation altogether.

                These limitations on foreign-directed searches, wiretaps and surveillance orders do not need to substantially impede the investigation and prosecution of terrorism, as Congress has provided “universal jurisdiction” over many serious terrorism offenses. In other words, such offenses are a crime under United States law and subject to U.S. jurisdiction even if committed in a foreign nation. For such offenses, a United States Attorney could obtain the full panoply of searches and surveillance orders to aid in the investigation of that crime, even if such a crime was also being investigated by a foreign nation under its own laws. Such information could then easily be shared with the foreign nation, under information sharing provisions approved by Congress in the Homeland Security Act. See Homeland Security Act of 2002, §§ 891-99, Pub. L. No. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, 2252-58.

                Permitting arrests and extraditions of United States citizens and other persons to a foreign country in the absence of a Senate-approved treaty and without judicial inquiry into the extraditing country’s human rights record (Section 322). Among other things, this section allows, on the determination of the Attorney General, a United States citizen or other person to be sent to a foreign dictatorship to be prosecuted even if an American judge would find that the extradition request was made on account of his or her race, nationality or political opinions. It allows the government to send Americans and others abroad to face foreign criminal charges in foreign criminal courts for a host of charges without any of the protections that normally appear in Senate-approved extradition treaties, and strips any judge hearing an extradition request of the authority to consider the fairness of the requesting country’s judicial system or its human rights record.

                Section 322 authorizes extradition in the absence of an extradition treaty or in excess of limits imposed by existing extradition treaties. Extradition involves arresting an individual, including a United States citizen, because a foreign government accuses that person of violating a foreign law. It is subject to basic constitutional limitations. See, e.g., Valentine v. United States ex rel. Neidecker, 299 U.S. 5, 8 (1936) (holding that extradition may take place only in accordance with law because of “the fundamental consideration that the Constitution creates no executive prerogative to dispose of the liberty of the individual”). One important safeguard that protects Americans from facing trial in a potentially unfriendly nation, or in a nation that does not respect fundamental fair trial principles or abuses human rights, is the requirement that such extradition take place where the Senate has, by ratifying an extradition treaty, approved of the practice of a foreign nation sufficiently to permit such extradition.

                Another, critical safeguard is the requirement of judicial supervision of extradition requests. This section expressly prohibits the judge from considering any of the following:

                * “humanitarian concerns,”
                * “the nature of the judicial system of the requesting foreign government,” and
                * “whether the foreign government is seeking extradition of a person for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the person because of race, nationality or political opinions of that person.”

                Under this legislation, an American can be sent abroad to face trial under before the courts of a foreign dictatorship, and an American judge has no ability under the statute to even inquire as to the fairness of that country’s court system or the reasons behind its criminal accusations.

                Current basic due process and constitutional limits on extradition do not need to substantially impede the prosecution of terrorism, as Congress has provided “universal jurisdiction” over many serious terrorism offenses. In order words, such offenses are a crime under United States law even if committed in a foreign nation. For such offenses, a United States Attorney could charge a person suspected of a terrorism crime committed in a foreign nation if the United States lacked an extradition treaty.

                Title IV –Undermining Fundamental Constitutional Rights Of Americans Under Overbroad Definitions Of “Terrorism” And “Terrorist Organization”; Reducing Due Process in Administrative Proceedings for Pilots; Undermining Financial Privacy and Due Process

                Further criminalizing association – without any intent to commit specific terrorism crimes – by broadening the crime of providing material support to terrorism, even if support is not given to any organization listed as a terrorist organization by the government (Section 402). Under this section, a person who provides “material support” for “terrorism” as defined under the USA PATRIOT Act, could face a conviction, and lengthy prison terms, even if they did not provide any support for an organization listed as a terrorist organization. The definition of terrorism is not linked to any specific crimes, but covers all dangerous acts that are a violation of any federal or state law and are committed to influence government policy. See 18 U.S.C. § 2331. The definition arguably covers some protest activities, such as those used by Operation Rescue or by protesters in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, as such tactics involve dangerous acts that are a violation of law and are committed to influence the government.

                This section modifies the requirement to the crime of providing material support for terrorism, 18 U.S.C. § 2339A, which is a separate crime from providing material support for a designated terrorist organization, 18 U.S.C. § 2339B. Under current law, a person, including an American citizen, can only be prosecuted for providing material support for terrorism if the support is provided with the intent to further one of a list of terrorism crimes. A person can be prosecuted for providing resources to a terrorist organization that is designated by the government under the much broader definition of terrorism that arguably covers some protest groups, but only if such an organization has been designated as an international terrorist organization by the Secretary of State. See 18 U.S.C. § 2339B. In each case, the person effectively has some notice that what they are doing is prohibited: either the activity they support is a crime or the group whose lawful activities they would support has been publicly designated a terrorist organization. The amendment takes away this notice by permitting prosecution for providing support for the activities of an undesignated organization.

                Groups such as Greenpeace arguably could be designated an international terrorist organization, because of the overbroad definition, but the government has not so designated them. Under this provision, however, the determination of whether to apply the terrorism definition to protest groups belongs not with high Executive Branch officials, but to the prosecutor who chooses to invoke the new criminal definition.

                Creating a new, separate crime of using encryption technology that could add five years or more to any sentence for crimes committed with a computer (Section 404). Under this section, any federal felony committed with encryption technology that is now commonly part of computer software could be punished by an additional five years (or more, for a repeat offense.) The criminal conduct will not be any different; the only reason for additional penalties will be that the defendant used a certain technology to commit the offense. Here again, the DOJ’s description of the crime differs from the language proposed in the draft text. DOJ says it makes it a separate federal crime for a person to “knowingly and willfully use[] an encryption technology to conceal any incriminating communication . . . .” However, the draft text contains no requirement that the defendant intend to conceal anything; the crime is complete if the defendant intentionally uses an encryption technology in the commission of a crime. Thus, a simple fraud crime could, if committed using garden-variety encryption technology available with most standard web browsers, carry an additional jail term of up to five years regardless of whether the defendant intended to conceal his activity by using encryption.

                Shifting burden of proof to defendant to obtain pretrial release for a laundry list of terrorism crimes (Section 405). Under this section, the right to bail, protected by the Eighth Amendment, is denied for a host of crimes said to be likely to be committed by terrorists unless the defendant is able to overcome the presumption created by the statute. A major reason for the Constitution’s prohibition against excessive bail is that defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they have been convicted in a court of law. Despite this, under certain circumstances, the Constitution permits pretrial detention. In general, the government must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that no release conditions can adequately ensure the appearance of the defendant at trial or the safety of the community.[10]

                There is no reason to exacerbate the constitutional problems posed by the presumption against pretrial release for some drug crimes by expanding that presumption to additional crimes. Before the government imprisons a person who has not been convicted of any crime, the government must bear the burden of establishing that the defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community. This should not be hard to convince a court with respect to true terrorism defendants; there is no need to apply a pretrial detention presumption to a laundry list of offenses that are simply said to be likely to be committed by terrorists.

                Imposing potentially life-long supervision and eliminating statute of limitations for nonviolent crimes listed as terrorism crimes, even where they create no risk of death or serious injury (Sections 408 and 410). Under section 408, a defendant who has served his or her sentence for a nonviolent crime listed as a terrorism crime could face life-long supervision, and possible reincarceration if those supervision conditions are violated, even if the crime for which he or she was convicted posed no risk of death or even serious injury. Likewise, section 410 removes entirely the statute of limitations for such nonviolent offenses. Under the USA PATRIOT Act, certain severe consequences follow from the commission of certain terrorism crimes, including the potential for life-long supervision, even after serving a full criminal sentence. In drafting the USA PATRIOT Act, Congress provided for a modest and very sensible limitation for such consequences – they only follow where the offense results in, or creates a foreseeable risk of, death or serious injury.

                Indeed, it is not clear why any offense that would not at least create a risk of serious injury deserves to be labeled terrorism at all. The draft bill (at sections 408 and 410) eliminates this sensible restriction, by applying the severe consequence of lifetime supervision and removal of the statute of limitations even for crimes which do not create even a risk of death or serious injury. While DOJ uses the example of a computer crime causing severe financial damage or the provision of material support to an organization labeled as terrorist, it does not explain why such actions, if they truly were serious enough to be considered terrorism under a common sense rather than a legal definition, would not easily meet the requirement of causing at least a risk of serious injury.

                Creating 15 new death penalties, including a new death penalty for “terrorism” under a definition which could cover acts of protest such as those used by Operation Rescue or protesters at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, if death results (Section 411). The draft bill dramatically expands the death penalty, creating fifteen separate new death penalty crimes by defining a new death sentence that sweeps in the remaining crimes listed as federal crimes of terrorism in 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(g)(5)(B) that do not provide for the death penalty. Among others, these include the provision of material support for the lawful activities of an organization labeled a terrorist organization by the government, 18 U.S.C. § 2339B. While the DOJ labels this provision as providing for the death penalty for terrorist “murders,” there is no language in the text that requires any showing by the government of an intent by the defendant to kill; it is sufficient that death results from the defendant’s actions.

                Even more troubling, the draft bill is not content to create fifteen new death penalties, but also contains language that sweeps in any violation of state or federal law that is committed under the definition of domestic or international terrorism contained in 18 U.S.C. § 2331. As a result, activities that (1) involve “acts dangerous to human life,” (2) are a violation of any state or federal law, and (3) are committed in order to influence government or the population by intimidation or coercion become death-penalty eligible if death results. Arguably, this definition could fit some protest activities, such as those used by Operation Rescue, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or Greenpeace. For example:

                * If protesters at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, a military bombing range unpopular with local residents, cut a fence to trespass on the military’s bombing range, and a bomb killed one of the demonstrators, a prosecutor could charge the survivors with a eligible crime for which the sentence could be death.
                * If Greenpeace activists attempted to block an oil tanker entering a port to protest the company’s safety record, and a member of the tanker’s crew drowned attempting to ward off the activists’ boat, the protesters could be charged with a crime for which the sentence could be death.
                * If an Operation Rescue anti-abortion demonstration succeeded in blocking a woman seeking follow-up treatment for complications following her abortion, and the woman died, the protestors could be charged with a crime the sentence for which could be death.

                Under this provision, protesters could be charged with the death penalty as the result of a tragedy. While dangerous protest tactics can be punished under the law, they are not terrorism and should not be treated as if they were.

                Reducing due process for pilots accused of posing a security threat (sec. 409). While the government has authority to revoke a pilot’s license on a sufficient showing that the pilot presents a risk to air security, such denials must be accompanied by a fair opportunity for the accused pilot to be heard in an administrative hearing and to have judicial review of any final determination. The draft bill’s procedures for revoking pilot licenses are deficient in this respect. They do not clearly provide for an administrative hearing (as opposed to an administrative determination), and judicial review is provided only through a direct appeal to the United States Courts of Appeals, who are unlikely to have the time or resources to conduct a thorough review of the administrative record.

                Further undermining privacy in financial transactions and due process in asset forfeiture and other civil proceedings (subtitle B; secs. 421-28). Continued amendment of money laundering and asset forfeiture laws have resulted in a serious erosion of financial privacy and of due process rights in asset forfeiture and other proceedings. These sections continue that trend:

                * Section 421 multiplies by five times the maximum civil penalty for violating economic sanctions or trade embargoes from $10,000 to $50,000. This provision would severely penalize the thousands of Americans who travel to Cuba every year (often without fully appreciating that their travel is prohibited). It would also penalize physicians or other activists who wish to protest our sanctions on other countries, such as Iraq, by bringing medicine or other humanitarian aid to those nations in violation of such an embargo.
                * Section 422 targets “hawalas” – traditional money transfer systems used for entirely legitimate reasons in many Muslim cultures – by undermining key concepts of the money laundering statutes. Under this provision, money can be deemed “laundered” even if the funds involved are not proceeds of a crime.
                * Section 423 further undermines due process for organizations unfortunate enough to be labeled as “terrorist organizations” by the government, by depriving them of the ability to defend their status as legitimate charities in a proceeding to revoke their tax-exempt status.
                * Section 427 and 428 expand civil asset forfeiture – a procedure rife with due process problems that the government can use to seize property without proving that the owner is guilty of any crime and without a pre-seizure hearing. Under this provision, the assets of a protest group that arguably fits the USA PATRIOT Act’s overbroad definition of terrorism could be more easily seized by the government, and the use of secret evidence is explicitly authorized to permit such seizures.

                Title V – Stripping Americans of All Their Rights as U.S. Citizens; Unfairly Targeting Immigrants Under the Pretext of Fighting Terrorism

                Stripping even native-born Americans of all of the rights of United States citizenship if they provide support for “terrorism,” allowing them to be indefinitely imprisoned in their own country as undocumented aliens. (Section 501). This section would permit the government to punish certain criminal activity by stripping even native-born Americans of U.S. citizenship, thereby depriving them of any nationality at all and potentially relegating them forever to imprisonment as undocumented immigrants in their own country. Among the activities that could be punished this way are providing material support for an organization – including a domestic organization – labeled as a terrorist organization by the government, even if the support was only for the lawful activities of that organization.

                The Fourteenth Amendment provides that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” While Americans do have the right to give up their citizenship in the United States, the Constitution does not give Congress any power to take away from an American his or her status as a citizen even for participating in crime in time of war. See Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958) (conviction by court martial of crime of desertion during World War II could not constitutionally lead to loss of citizenship, even though crime was committed voluntarily). Rather, as the Supreme Court has made clear, every citizen of the United States enjoys “a constitutional right to remain a citizen . . . unless he voluntarily relinquishes that citizenship.” Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967) (citizenship could not be forfeited merely by voting in foreign election without the requisite intent to abandon U.S. citizenship).

                While DOJ is correct to observe that certain voluntary acts, such as serving in a foreign army, can serve to terminate U.S. citizenship, these “expatriating acts” must indicate some desire to show an affinity with a foreign sovereign. Only acts that indicate such a desire to relinquish American nationality can be made the basis for a finding that strips an American of his or her citizenship. See Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252, 262 (1980).

                Moreover, it is the government’s burden to establish that the expatriating act was committed with the intent of relinquishing citizenship, a showing this section attempts to short-circuit. See id. at 261 (holding that the “trier of fact must . . . conclude that the citizen not only voluntarily committed the expatriating act prescribed in the statute, but also intended to relinquish his citizenship.”) Expatriating acts are not defined by reference to how repugnant or offensive they are, or by whether they constitute serious crimes, but by whether they show the individual has an intent to attach himself or herself to another sovereignty. Thus, while serving in a foreign army or voting in a foreign election may indicate an intent to abandon American nationality, the commission of a series of grisly murders, or the control of a vast criminal enterprise plainly do not, although the former are legal while the latter are serious crimes.

                Providing support to a terrorist organization, which possesses no sovereignty under international law, is a crime, see 18 U.S.C. § 2339A, but plainly does not indicate that the individual desires to attach himself or herself to the allegiance of a foreign nation or to abandon U.S. citizenship in the way that, for example, serving in a foreign army might. Indeed, expatriation in the draft bill is not even limited to providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, as wholly domestic organizations can be designated as terrorist organizations under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3). In addition, expatriation could result from support of organizations “engaged in hostilities” against the “national security interests” of the United States – which could mean anything -- not just against the United States or its people. Finally, the draft bill would allow expatriation even for support of the lawful, humanitarian activities of an organization that the United States has labeled a “terrorist organization,” which belies DOJ’s analogy of supporting terrorism by serving in a foreign army engaged in hostilities against the United States.

                Targeting undocumented workers with extended jail terms for common immigration offenses (Sections 502 and 505). Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, this section – which applies to low-level, garden variety immigration offenses that have nothing to do with terrorism at all – unfairly targets undocumented workers. The United States census revealed that more than seven million undocumented immigrants are living in the United States. At present, the United States is engaged in negotiations with Mexico in part to decide whether to permit greater numbers of temporary workers to come to the United States legally, and whether such a program would also provide a path to legal status for undocumented Mexicans or other undocumented immigrants.

                Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, this section short-circuits the national debate over immigration policy by substantially increasing penalties for a number of very common immigration crimes often committed by undocumented immigrants. These include unlawful entry (INA § 275(a)(1)), reentry after removal (INA § 276), and failing to register with the immigration authorities (INA § 264(e)). The draft bill (at sec. 505) also provides that the offense of failing to depart after a deportation order (INA § 243) is a continuing offense – meaning that, in practice, no statute of limitations will apply. Increasing these penalties now would almost certainly not prove an effective deterrent to illegal immigration, as the threat of penalties for illegal immigration has never been sufficient to outweigh the causes of immigration including the pull of economic opportunity and the conditions in the home country, but could frustrate our relations with Mexico and other important U.S. allies seeking to negotiate a new framework for immigration policy.

                Providing for summary deportations, even of lawful permanent residents, whom the Attorney General says are a threat to national security (Section 503). Under this provision, any immigrant, including longtime lawful permanent residents, may be expelled from the United States on the unilateral determination of the Attorney General that they are a threat to “national security,” which is defined as “the national defense, foreign relations, or economic interests of the United States.” INA § 219(c)(2). A person facing removal under this section will be separated from his or her family and community without ever being able to effectively answer the government’s true reasons for labeling him or her a security risk.

                Immigrants and other non-citizens involved in terrorism are deportable under current law,[11] and suspected terrorists are subject to mandatory detention during any immigration or criminal proceedings.[12] The purpose of this amendment is to eliminate due process entirely for immigrants, including lawful permanent residents, accused of crimes or terrorism by permitting their expulsion merely on the Attorney General’s fiat. It is based on the fundamentally flawed notion that non-citizens in the United States do not possess the right to fair treatment under the law, a notion that the Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected. See Zadvydas v. Davis 533 U.S. 678, 693 (2001) (reiterating long-standing constitutional rule that “the Due Process Clause applies to all ‘persons’ within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence here is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent”).

                The proposal is another DOJ initiative that flies in the face of President Bush’s stated opposition to the use of secret evidence in immigration proceedings on the basis that fair treatment should be afforded everyone in America. Under the proposal, a non-citizen, including a lawful permanent resident, accused of posing a risk to national security could be detained and deported without having committed any violation of law and without ever knowing the basis of the accusation against him or her. The provision would essentially authorize a repeat of the “Palmer raids,” a discredited episode in the 1920s that involved widespread mass deportations and widespread abuse of the rights of law abiding Russian and other immigrants during a wave of anti-immigrant and nativist hysteria.

                DOJ originally asked for this summary deportation power shortly after September 11 in its initial drafts of the USA PATRIOT Act. It was firmly rejected, on a bipartisan basis, by a Congress deeply concerned about the use of secret evidence and core due process in immigration proceedings. It should be rejected again.

                Completely abolishing fair hearings for lawful permanent residents convicted of even minor criminal offenses through a retoractive “expedited removal” procedure, and preventing any court from questioning the government’s unlawful actions by explicitly exempting these cases from habeas corpus (Section 504). Under this new “expedited removal” provision, any immigrant who was convicted even of a minor criminal offense long ago could be deported under a special procedure that provides for no immigration hearing at all and restricts the federal courts from questioning whether the government’s actions are within the law. The expedited removal provision, which currently applies only to some classes of undocumented immigrants, would now apply to all immigrants, including lawful permanent residents. “Expedited removal” would be available for crimes which are called “aggravated felonies” (and other crimes) but can be as minor as a shoplifting offense for which a suspended sentence of one year or more is imposed. No discretionary relief is available, regardless of the compelling humanitarian circumstances of any particular case, and the provision applies retroactively. The provision also unconstitutionally exempts these cases entirely from habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which protects the right of all persons in custody – including immigrants – to a judicial determination of the legality of the government’s actions.

                In 1996, Congress adopted harsh laws that greatly expanded the number and types of crimes that could lead to automatic deportation – i.e., deportation without any possibility to even apply for discretionary relief from the Attorney General. At that time, DOJ went even further than Congress, arguing that the law applied retroactively, so that even immigrants who had been granted relief for crimes committed years or decades earlier and had turned their lives around would now face automatic deportation. DOJ also argued that its controversial retroactive interpretation of the law could not be questioned by any federal court, including the Supreme Court.

                In 2001, the Supreme Court firmly rejected DOJ’s position, finding both that Congress had not intended the 1996 immigration laws to apply retroactively and that restrictions on judicial review still left intact the federal court’s power to correct unlawful government action through a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See INS v. St. Cyr, 533 U.S. 289 (2001). (“Judicial intervention in deportation cases is unquestionably required by the Constitution.”) At the same time, in Congress, a growing number of members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, began to reconsider the scope of the 1996 laws, culminating the decision of the House Judiciary Committee in 2002 to approve H.R. 1452, the Family Reunification Act, which would restore discretionary relief for some lawful permanent residents accused of relatively minor offenses, particularly if they had come to the United States at an early age.

                The draft bill would seriously undermine fair treatment of lawful permanent residents. It would deny fundamental due process in immigration proceedings by completely eliminating an actual hearing. It would disregard the Supreme Court’s St. Cyr ruling, stripping the judiciary of its core functions in such cases.

                The provision attempts to insulate the Attorney General’s “expedited removal” decision from judicial review by taking a step never taken by Congress since the Civil War – expressly denying access to habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2241, to prevent the federal courts from correcting unlawful actions by the immigration authorities. Because of the jurisdiction provided by by 28 U.S.C. § 2241, the Supreme Court in St. Cyr was able to consider the merits and found that Congress had not intended to apply the 1996 laws retroactively. This court-stripping provision violates the Constitution, because the Constitution protects habeas corpus – the Great Writ that keeps detention within the boundaries of the rule of law.[13]

                Expanding the Attorney General’s authority to designate a country to which an immigrant could be deported, and permitting such deportation even if there is no effective government in such a country (Section 506). This section would authorize the Attorney General to dump immigrants ordered removed in any country in the world, and even to areas which are lawless and have no governing authority whatsoever. This section would have a devastating effect on Somalis and other Africans. While the world’s attention is focused elsewhere, a tragedy of extraordinary proportions has been building in Africa, where in Somalia, for example, effective government has broken down as rival armed groups vie for power. For this reason, a federal district court is now entertaining a plea from Somalis to halt deportations to that country. The Immigration and Nationality Act does not provide for forced deportation of anyone to a country or region that lacks any form of government, nor should it. Deportation should not be a death sentence, as such deportation could easily become. Nor is it good foreign policy to simply dump into lawless regions non-citizens ordered removed from the United States because such a policy that will simply exacerbate the severe challenges facing such areas of the world.

                ENDNOTES

                [1] This and other similarities to criminal wiretap requirements were essential to the review court’s holding that “FISA as amended is constitutional because the surveillances it authorizes are reasonable.” Id. at 56. The ACLU does not agree with that conclusion, but simply notes that even a court with the broadest view of the government’s surveillance power has found the requirement that the government show probable cause that a target is acting for a foreign power is constitutionally based.

                [2] Richard Reeves, PRESIDENT NIXON: ALONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE 335 (2001). The plan was apparently not implemented, despite President Nixon’s order, but certainly contributed to the pattern of abuse that finally lead to the Watergate break-in and cover up.

                [3] In the absence of such a process, a party could well be barred from challenging the lawfulness of the underlying order in any proceeding to enforce contempt sanctions. See Walker v. City of Birmingham, 388 U.S. 307, 317 (1967) (holding civil rights marchers could not challenge the lawfulness of an injunction forbidding a peaceful march in proceedings to enforce contempt sanctions).

                [4] THE FEDERALIST No. 84 (Hamilton) (emphasis in original) (quoting 1 Blackstone, COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND 335).

                [5] See American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey v. County of Hudson, No. HUD-L-463-02 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. April 12, 2002), rev’d on other grounds, 779 A.2d 629 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2002); Center for National Security Studies v. United States Dep’t of Justice, 215 F. Supp. 2d 94 (D.D.C. 2002) (appeal pending before D.C. Circuit).

                [6] “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; [and] to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor . . . .” U.S. Const. amend. 6.

                [7] See Testimony of Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime, March 23, 2000 (reporting an American Management Association survey in 1997 that reported that six out of ten employers responding use genetic screening information for employment purposes.)

                [8] The National Immigration Forum has posted on its website a list of statements by local and state police from across the country, all opposing any attempt to enlist them in the enforcement of immigration laws. See Opposition to Local Enforcement of Immigration Laws, updated October 1, 2002, available at: www.immigrationforum.org/curre...es.htm

                [9] See Letter from White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzalez to Migration Policy Institute, June 24, 2002, available at: www.migrationpolicy.org/files/...use.pdf

                [10] See United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 751 (1987) (holding that pretrial detention is constitutional “[w]hen the Government proves by clear and convincing evidence that an arrestee presents an identified and articulable threat to an individual or the community”).

                [11] See INA § 237(a)(4)(B) (“Any alien who has engaged, is engaged, or at any time after admission engages in any terrorist activity . . . is deportable.”)

                [12] USA PATRIOT Act, § 412, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 321 (2001), codified at INA § 236A.

                [13] Another court-stripping provision, in Section 504(d), would give the government power to deport people before a federal judge could hear their challenges, even where the law clearly allows judicial review, by posing serious barriers to the judge's ability to stay deportation while considering the case. The provision would overturn rulings of four federal appeals courts that found that the very stringent standard that applies for a judge to grant a request to stop deportation altogether under by INA § 242(f)(2) does not apply to a court’s ability to temporarily delay deportation while it considers the case. See, e.g., Mohammed v. Reno, 309 F.3d 95 (2d Cir. 2002) (on appeal from habeas review of removal order); Beijani v. INS, 271 F.3d 670 (6th Cir. 2001); Andreiu v. Ashcroft, 253 F.3d 477 (9th Cir. 2001) (en banc); Lal v. Reno, 2000 WL 831801 (7th Cir. June 26, 2000) (unpublished); but see Weng v. Attorney General, 287 F.3d 1335 (11th Cir. 2002). As one court noted, in rejecting the interpretation the DOJ is now seeking to enact in this legislation, “This would effectively require the automatic deportation of large numbers of people with meritorious claims, including every applicant who presented a case of first impression.” Andreiu, 253 F.3d at 48



                Yes I cut and pasted.

                It's a sunny and beautiful day. I'm going to enjoy it.
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Sun, April 17, 2005 - 8:05 PM
                  That's the longest post I've seen in my life. Obviously I'm not going to respond line by line, so why don't you pick the items that concern you most and we'll talk about it.
        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

          Thu, April 14, 2005 - 10:58 AM
          <given the behavior of the US around the world, i was not at all surprised that the US was attacked. was more surprised that it hadn't happened sooner. isn't the best terrorism prevention just pissing fewer people off around the world? where are the new acts for that? >

          I hate when people blame the US for the terrorist attacks. It's like blaming a rape victim for being raped. By saying it's our fault, it almost justifies the action and you are saying that we should just sit back and take it.

          If what you posted is truly the content of the patriot act, then that's pretty scary.
          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:05 AM
            Um no it is nothing like "blaming a rape victim for being raped" ... a rape victim didn't run around raping thousands others before victimized....critical difference.

            I think you have to ask yourself - when people revolt against powers they encounter... What would make YOU revolt...At what point, how much shit would have to happen to you before you become a revolutionary, an insurrectionist....

            What would drive a person to that extreme? I'm not saying all reactions are just - but I am saying these things don't come out of nowhere for nothing....
            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:14 AM
              You should try telling the families of the few thousand innocent people that died it's there own fault for just living in the US that their loved ones are dead. By saying it's our fault, we play right into the hands of the ones doing this. It sickens me to hear that kind of talk. It almost seems like some people are happy it happened for some twisted reason.
              • Unsu...
                 

                Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:23 AM
                <By saying it's our fault, we play right into the hands of the ones doing this.>

                No, by living in fear an allowing our own government to stomp on our Constitutional rights to "protect" us from that which terrorizes us the most, we play right into the TERRORists hands.
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:51 AM
                No, you're misconstrueing what people are saying.

                People are saying that the United States government was one of the main catalysts for the 9/11 attacks. If you want to deny that then you're basically ignoring the past 40-50 years worth of U.S. foreign policy.

                No one has EVER blamed the people who were killed (except Jerry Fallwell) for the attacks. What we HAVE done, on the otherhand, is to not blindly remove blame.

                The U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East (and all around the world really) is one of the main reasons why the 9/11 attacks happened. There is no possible way to logically disagree with that statement.
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:53 AM
                ok, canuckaho, then why do you suppose it is that al qaida attacked us and not some other westernized, freedom-loving democracy?
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:22 PM
                  <ok, canuckaho, then why do you suppose it is that al qaida attacked us and not some other westernized, freedom-loving democracy?>

                  Because the freedom loving democracy governments are free.

                  The reason they do their suicide bombings is that they believe they will get a bunch of virgins in the afterlife by dying killing "infedels", which is me and you. Do you think they give two craps wether you agree with there cause or not? They would just as quickly kill you as any other american.

                  They also get brainwashed from a young age into hating us. I saw it first hand from the fedayin (don't know if that's spelled right)guys getting trained at a university south of Baghdad. The ones commiting suicide trying to kill our guys are all college age and are not afraid to die because we are evil and must all be killed.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 12:47 AM
                    not to disparage your jingoism, but you didn't answer my question:

                    why, out of all the westernized, freedom-loving democracies of the world, did al qaida attack us instead of another? why did they specifically target the U.S. - the most powerful of these democracies - instead of another "free" country? did they just throw darts? pick slips of paper out of a hat?

                    no. methinks it takes some pretty serious motivation to hijack 4 airliners and destroy two buildings.


                    <<They also get brainwashed from a young age into hating us. >>

                    one man's "brainwashing" is another man's truth, canuckaho. many religious individuals believe they know "the truth" while many of the rest of us regard them as brainwashed.

                    do you imagine that the greater middle east just woke up one day and said "allah be praised, we shall hate the U.S. forever more!" ? do you even allow the possibility that, somewhere in our 80+ years of meddling in the middle east, we might have pissed off a few people?


                    beyond all of that...we were discussing al qaida. why are you now on about baghdad and saddam's fedayeen? al qaida and iraq have nothing to do with each other.

                    you, sir, need a fox news blocker:

                    www.editorandpublisher.com/eand...y.jsp
                    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:35 AM
                      "why, out of all the westernized, freedom-loving democracies of the world, did al qaida attack us instead of another?"

                      How many "westernized, freedom-loving democracies of the world" do you think there are? And how many of these countries give you the freedoms that we have? not so many. The reason they targeted us, is because they blame us for somehow tainting their ideology. By having porn, and eating pork and listening to secular music, and allowing women to have a voice, or even show their hair. Welfare, Voting, Bill of Rights, freedoms to criticize Gov't. or Religion, girls having sex before marriage, abortion...in essence, freedom, they hate all of these ideas. They feel that freedom is a threat to the power they have over the people. They have a dogma as well, keep the people oppressed and they will be pliable to your ideology.
                      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 12:20 PM
                        <<How many "westernized, freedom-loving democracies of the world" do you think there are? >>

                        ummm, you mean besides most of europe, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, for starters?


                        <<By having porn, and eating pork and listening to secular music, and allowing women to have a voice, or even show their hair. Welfare, Voting, Bill of Rights, freedoms to criticize Gov't. or Religion, girls having sex before marriage, abortion...in essence, freedom, they hate all of these ideas. >>

                        again, we do not differ significantly enough from the other democracies i listed to explain why we, and not they, were attacked for embracing the freedoms that are so abhorrent to...whom exactly do *you* mean by "they" here, anyway? i was talking about al qaida - one specific group of religious extremists. it rather sounds like you, as canuckaho, are referring to arabs/muslims in general.


                        <<The reason they targeted us, is because they blame us for somehow tainting their ideology. >>

                        germany leads the world in pr0n consumption, eats a ton of pork, has rock music, voting women (who are free to run around topless, at least at pools and beaches), no drinking age and quasi-legal prostitution. wouldn't that "taint their ideology" in a similar manner to the u.s.'s freedoms?

                        why wasn't germany attacked? maybe because they aren't maintaining troops on Saudi soil? just a thought...


                        <<They feel that freedom is a threat to the power they have over the people. They have a dogma as well, keep the people oppressed and they will be pliable to your ideology. >>

                        how can al qaida be oppressing people - they're not even a government. what power do they have over "the people"? besides, it's not like they, or the arab world at large, invented oppression. again, it *really* sounds like you mean "arabs/muslims" when you say "they," but the topic at hand is bin laden's attack on the U.S.

                        the wahabbist extremists that comprise al qaida are not representative of muslims or arabs. they are the middle east's version of fred phelps' hate-filled fundamentalist sect. do he and his inane ramblings represent all americans? all christians? all christian americans? NO

                        so, in case it isn't clear:

                        the arab world at large does not hate, and did not attack the u.s. 9/11 was perpetrated by a group of violent fundamentalist extremists from saudi arabia, mmmmkay?

                        and people wonder why they despise us...
                        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                          Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:27 PM
                          "how can al qaida be oppressing people - they're not even a government. what power do they have over "the people"?"

                          I'm sure widows of the Iraqis that Al Qaida has killed would beg to differ with you on that point....... Terror is a power source, it is why people "stay in line" and don't "rock the boat", because they don't want to get woken in the middle of the night and beheaded...... Pretty powerful, and oppressive.

                          "most of europe, the UK, Canada"

                          The Uk doesn't have the same freedoms we have, they don't even vote on a prime minister, and the head of state is a monarchical...... As far as the rest of Europe, France doesn't count, because they are in-bed with Iraq, Germany HAS had terrorist attacks in the past (remember Munich?) and Spain just had an attack as well. Canada also doesn't have the same freedoms we do, also a ton of their PM's aren't elected by the people. I won't even dignify Aussie or New Zealand as even a world power.

                          "the arab world at large does not hate, and did not attack the u.s. 9/11 was perpetrated by a group of violent fundamentalist extremists from saudi arabia, mmmmkay?
                          and people wonder why they despise us... "

                          In the very same breath you say The arab world at large doesn't hate us, and then say I wonder why they despise us???????
                          That doesn't make sense...I KNOW that the majority of Arabs do not hate the US, but you asked why do they hate us? I assumed by they, you meant fundementalists, which is what my "they" consists of.
                          You shouldn't contradict yourself.
                          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                            Sat, April 16, 2005 - 3:06 AM
                            <<I'm sure widows of the Iraqis that Al Qaida has killed would beg to differ with you on that point>>

                            and what might widows of the Iraqis that the U.S. has killed think? do they regard us as terrorists? we may not behead, but we are sure as hell killing a lot of iraqi civilians, children too.


                            <<The Uk doesn't have the same freedoms we have, they don't even vote on a prime minister, and the head of state is a monarchical...... As far as the rest of Europe, France doesn't count, because they are in-bed with Iraq, Canada also doesn't have the same freedoms we do, also a ton of their PM's aren't elected by the people. >>

                            did you even really read my last post? nowhere did i claim that they had the exact same freedoms as we do. i said that "we do not differ significantly enough from the other democracies i listed." there's a big difference.


                            <<I won't even dignify Aussie or New Zealand as even a world power.>>

                            so, a freedom-lovin' democracy has to be a world power in order to rile up the terrorists? i mean, if they hate us because we're free, then why are they not attacking all the free countries of the world?

                            and no, it is not because those other countries "do not enjoy the same freedoms we do." it isn't parliamentary procedure or monarchies or popular election of PMs that has al qaida's knickers in a twist. as you pointed out in an earlier post:


                            <<The reason they targeted us, is because they blame us for somehow tainting their ideology. By having porn, and eating pork and listening to secular music, and allowing women to have a voice, or even show their hair. Welfare, Voting, Bill of Rights, freedoms to criticize Gov't. or Religion, girls having sex before marriage, abortion...in essence, freedom, they hate all of these ideas. >>


                            it is our social policies, according to your theory, that is inciting the terrorists hatred. in such matters, the U.S. really isn't any different than any other western democracy. if anything, we're even more uptight. but you could be onto something with that "world power" thing...



                            <<Germany HAS had terrorist attacks in the past (remember Munich?) and Spain just had an attack as well. >>

                            germany - not al qaida

                            spain - maybe al qaida, maybe some other fundamentalist extremists. spain has a very large muslim population. even if it was unquestionably al qaida, that attack happened after the invasion of iraq with spain among the coalition. al qaida did not attack them before that, as they did to us.


                            <<In the very same breath you say The arab world at large doesn't hate us, and then say I wonder why they despise us???????
                            That doesn't make sense...I KNOW that the majority of Arabs do not hate the US, but you asked why do they hate us? I assumed by they, you meant fundementalists, which is what my "they" consists of.
                            You shouldn't contradict yourself. >>

                            "they" is just so much shorter than typing "violent fundamentalist extremists from saudi arabia" all over again, yannow?
                            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                              Sat, April 16, 2005 - 10:18 AM
                              "they" is just so much shorter than typing "violent fundamentalist extremists from saudi arabia" all over again, yannow? "

                              You assume that Al Qaida is the Only violent fundamentalist extremist....... I made a reference to "they" being ALL extremists.

                              So germany and Spain, as far as I'm concerned, has been attacked....... Also since 9-11, terrorists have had a hard time implementing plans abroad, which is why they kidnap people who live in the Middle East that are from Britain, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Australia...hell, they even kidnapped an Archbishop.....equal opportunity terrorists.... But hey, you are right, they don't target ANY freedom loving countries but the US right?

                              If it isn't about freedom and control, why were there threats to Iraqi people who showed up to vote? Now, these are
                              Iraqis, who didn't have anything to do with "infedels"..... Why are they targeted for voting for an Iraqi president?
                              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                                Sat, April 16, 2005 - 12:42 PM
                                no, i do not assume that al quaida is the only extremist group out there. it is just that, as i have stated repeatedly, *i* am discussing al qaida here. ok? i am not talking about the other violent extremist groups, ok?

                                therefore, your germany example does not count; al qaida didn't even exist then.

                                and again - we are discussing the 9/11 attacks - you know, the ones before we invaded anybody? so, yes, we do stand out among the freedom-loving democracies as having been hit by a terrorist attack on our own soil. Or are you suggesting that random kidnappings in a u.s.-created war zone are somehow comparable in scale and intent to 9/11? again; why in the !@#$%& do you keep on about iraq?


                                <<If it isn't about freedom and control, why were there threats to Iraqi people who showed up to vote? Now, these are
                                Iraqis, who didn't have anything to do with "infedels"..... Why are they targeted for voting for an Iraqi president?>>

                                ok, again, i was discussing al qaida, which, until we invaded, had nothing to do with iraq. but since we're here, the reason iraqis were targeted for voting is:

                                a) voting was perceived as working with the u.s. and legitimizing the occupation

                                b) if you believe the conventional wisdom re: iraq, most of the insurgents are sunni, who boycotted the elections in protest

                                c) the insurgents want the occupation over and they will do just about anything to undermine U.S. efforts.

                                so anyhoo...again, i ask:

                                why would al qaida make a point of attacking the u.s., as opposed to some other freedom-loving western democracy? if they attack because they hate our freedoms, why were we the target of the 9/11 attacks instead of more socially liberal countries like amsterdam?
                      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                        Sat, April 16, 2005 - 11:25 AM
                        "The reason they targeted us, is because they blame us for somehow tainting their ideology. By having porn, and eating pork and listening to secular music, and allowing women to have a voice, or even show their hair. Welfare, Voting, Bill of Rights, freedoms to criticize Gov't. or Religion, girls having sex before marriage, abortion...in essence, freedom, they hate all of these ideas. They feel that freedom is a threat to the power they have over the people. They have a dogma as well, keep the people oppressed and they will be pliable to your ideology."

                        No the radical fundamentalists beleive these things -- whether they are Muslim or Xtian no difference....

                        "They" are here too ya know.....

                        And "They" are working very hard to limit your freedoms here....
                        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                          Sat, April 16, 2005 - 11:47 AM
                          What did her question have to do with Radical Fundamentalist xtians that live here?
                          She asked why do Radical Fundamentalists from ME, hate the US, specifically....and I answered her question.
                          She also asked why "they" don't target other countries......and I answered that question.....
                          So where the hell does Fundamentalist xtians come in to this conversation?
                          You seem like you have an agenda, by steering us towards the inevitable "Christians are bad, too" conversation. We weren't even talking religions, we were talking terrorists and their targets. I don't really care if "they" are muslim or not. And I know that "they" do not represent the Muslim poputlation.
                          So what was your point....did you have one?
                          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                            Sat, April 16, 2005 - 2:55 PM
                            you haven't answered my question at all.

                            for at least the fifth time, this is about al qaida:

                            if freedom is what enrages them so, why - of all the free democracies in the world - was the u.s. targeted for attack? and please don't tell me those countries are not as free as we are - i addressed that in an earlier post, but i'm not sure if you caught it.
                            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                              Sat, April 16, 2005 - 6:39 PM
                              Why would they attack New Zealand, what would that accomplish?
                              It was making a statement of them disappoving of the freedoms we hold dear....We created a beautiful democracy-based system of government, and we implemented it, we allowed personal freedom, and we are the champions of protecting that freedom, we are what people compare other countries to, we are the cultural, economical, and social center of the world....We protect a wide range of freedoms, for all nationalities and religions, as well as protect people based on age, and sex. No other country allows as much personal freedom. And since we are also the media center of the world, they wanted the world to see that, somehow, those freedoms would dissipate after 9-11. They figured our way of freedom would be destroyed if they could disrupt our economy (i.e. WTC) They hate America not because of a President or an occupation, They hate America because of the freedoms we represent. Our freedom is detremental to "their" teachings that women have no rights, Muslim is the "only" religion (and should have hold over Gov't), that suicide bombings are a form of martyrdom, that killing is the best way to get what you want, that people are not allowed to question religion, that any unmarried girl who isn't a virgin, should be stoned to death......do I need to go on?
                              Is that a sufficient answer?
                              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                                Sun, April 17, 2005 - 12:03 PM
                                not sufficient at all...you basically repeated your earlier comments, which were:

                                <The reason they targeted us, is because they blame us for somehow tainting their ideology. By having porn, and eating pork and listening to secular music, and allowing women to have a voice, or even show their hair. Welfare, Voting, Bill of Rights, freedoms to criticize Gov't. or Religion, girls having sex before marriage, abortion...in essence, freedom, they hate all of these ideas. >


                                << Why would they attack New Zealand, what would that accomplish?>>

                                they are a westernized democracy with a wide berth of social freedoms - those things you insist draw the wrath of al qaida. surely attacking them would make a statement against those terrible freedoms? oh, i forgot - according to you, they don't count...

                                <I won't even dignify Aussie or New Zealand as even a world power. >

                                well, guess what? if one must be BOTH a freedom-loving democracy AND a world power to incur the wrath of al qaida, then it cannot be true that they hate us solely because of our freedoms.

                                Q.E.D.


                                <<We created a beautiful democracy-based system of government, and we implemented it, we allowed personal freedom, and we are the champions of protecting that freedom ....We protect a wide range of freedoms, for all nationalities and religions, as well as protect people based on age, and sex. No other country allows as much personal freedom.>>

                                poppycock!

                                a) we are not the only democracy
                                b) our civil rights are in grave danger - it can be argued that among western democracies we actually have fewer freedoms. or do you think it's ok that a kid wearing a democratic party t-shirt was denied entry to a taxpayer-funded public talk by shrubya?

                                www.yda.org/CMS/Press/1494

                                beyond that, there are plenty of democracies that are far more socially liberal than the U.S. since you stated that it is our social freedoms - pork rinds, britney spears, pr0n, etc. - that so corrupts their morality and incites their hatred, it makes no sense that we should be targeted over a country that has, for example, legalized prostitution.


                                <<we are the cultural, economical, and social center of the world

                                ...And since we are also the media center of the world>>

                                you're getting warmer...


                                <<They figured our way of freedom would be destroyed if they could disrupt our economy (i.e. WTC)>>

                                warmer still...the economy definitely ties in.

                                in some other thread, you and i agreed that the emancipation proclamation [9/11 attacks] was really about crushing the south's [U.S's] economy (i.e. weakening the enemy's position) more than ending slavery [hating freedom].

                                that's what enemies at war do, you know...weaken their opponents at every opportunity, by whatever means available.


                                <<They hate America not because of a President or an occupation>>

                                have you asked "them"? probably not.

                                have you at least read any (even pre-9/11) of bin laden's statements? he's pretty blunt in laying out his issues with the U.S. nowhere does he mention our deplorable freedoms. NOWHERE. so, either bin laden is lying regarding his true motivations or he's telling the truth.

                                tell me, sets - if you were staging a terrorist attack to make your big point or whatever, would you make up some faux moralist bullshit or, having the attention of the entire planet, would you communicate sincerely your meaning and intent?



                        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                          Sat, April 16, 2005 - 12:57 PM
                          oh yes they are! American Taliban in effect...extremist fundagelicals are extremist fundagelicals, no matter what the religion.

                          americablog.blogspot.com/2005/...y.html

                          <<As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.

                          Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other.

                          ...Some of the nation's most influential evangelical Protestants are participating in the teleconference in Louisville, including Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Chuck Colson, the born-again Watergate figure and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries; and Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.>>

                          here's the Wingnut™ flier, if you're curious:

                          www.frc.org/img/item/AD05D01_LARGE.jpg

                          and the mockeries appeared in very short order:

                          img202.echo.cx/img202/120...arge4hv.jpg

                          img90.echo.cx/img90/7521/...tofrc3np.jpg

                          this is the best one, though:

                          img90.echo.cx/img90/7521/...tofrc3np.jpg

                          : D



                          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                            Sat, April 16, 2005 - 1:34 PM
                            "oh yes they are!"

                            I never said there weren't, I just said that it had nothing to do with the conversation we were having about Extreme Fundementalists in the Middle East, I don't think Bill is from the Middle East. We were discussing why Extremists in the Middle East target America, and I answered with what I feel the reason is. You said" but they don't attack other freedom loving wester countries" and I gave examples that "they" do.
                            Where did Christian Americans come into this equation, unless you are just stirring up an anti Christian post, and if so, then create a new Topic.
              • Unsu...
                 

                Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 12:07 PM
                Hey, the victims in 9/11 weren't all "innocent". What were they DOING daily in those towers? They were parts of companies which run sweatshops, build weapons, and exploit the third world in general.

                The entire upper management team of Cantor-Fitzgerald were taken out in the attack..each one of those people was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands worldwide through weapons investing. Dying in the tower was too good for them.

                14,000 a year get killed on America's roads in car accidents, 7,000 of them due to the design of the cars themselves...yet we don't go to war with Germany and Japan for building the cars.

                170,000 a year die from tobbacco related disease, yet cigs are still legal. Are we invading Virginia?

                2 million were massacred in Rawanda..we didn't do shit.

                The US was responsible for Pol Pot, who killed a few million himself.

                Regan traded arms for hostages and used the money to finance the contras, who committed unspeakable attrocities against 10s of thousands in Nicaragua.


                3 thousand white collar cogs in the machine are not worth the deaths of 150,000 Iraqis, nor are they worth the expenditures of trillions of dollars.
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Thu, April 14, 2005 - 12:58 PM
                  "Hey, the victims in 9/11 weren't all "innocent". What were they DOING daily in those towers? They were parts of companies which run sweatshops, build weapons, and exploit the third world in general."

                  And thank God those receptionists and bike messengers were taken out, because of all of the stuuf they do to harm the world.....oh wait......

                  You are the same people who say "Innocent until proven guilty"
                  but you blast DEAD people saying it was somehow their fault that religious extremists flew a plane into where they happened to work. That secretary who took the job to support her two kids...I guess it was her fault....And you can somehow justify the slaughter of thousands, because of what a handful of people do in a boardroom?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Thu, April 14, 2005 - 1:06 PM
                    <And you can somehow justify the slaughter of thousands, because of what a handful of people do in a boardroom? >

                    And you can somehow justify the deaths of tens of thousands, if not over a hundred thousand, people who had nothing to do with the thousands of our people dead? ...sans WMD...sans a real threat to the US..sans legitimate connections to Al Qaeda.....sans legal justification for war...
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Thu, April 14, 2005 - 1:33 PM
                    No one is truely innocent, no one is truely guilty.

                    A bullet isn't going to bring justice, just revenge.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Thu, April 14, 2005 - 9:33 PM
                    Yeah, it was her fault Sets...you don't have to be a CEO to be guilty of corporate crime.

                    Deliver the mail, you are an accomplace.

                    Take dictation for them, and you are an accomplice.

                    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. She wanted to support her kids...no fault there..but her crime was a lack of consideration for which organization to support with her labor.

                    Being low on the totem pole doesn't get you OFF the totem pole.
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Thu, April 14, 2005 - 1:20 PM
                  not that I agree exactly (all murder is negative in my eyes) I would like to also add in the fact that we put General Pinochet and Saddam Hussein in power.

                  Just sayin's all..
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:41 AM
                    "I would like to also add in the fact that we put General Pinochet and Saddam Hussein in power."

                    Another leftist myth. We didn't put Saddam Hussein in power. This is an example of the "blame America first" reflex of many on the left who assume that all the evils of the world must somehow be America's fault.
                    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 12:28 PM
                      << "I would like to also add in the fact that we put General Pinochet and Saddam Hussein in power."

                      Another leftist myth. We didn't put Saddam Hussein in power. This is an example of the "blame America first" reflex of many on the left who assume that all the evils of the world must somehow be America's fault. >>

                      bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, a thousand times - BULLSHIT! go study some history, ron, my god!

                      the U.S. is DIRECTLY responsible for the 1954 (?) coup that brought the ba'athists to power in iraq. ok, we didn't tell them to promote saddam or anything, but we sure as hell rolled out the red carpet for him. and we certainly did nothing but watch as he brutally and viciously rose to power.

                      then we called him our ally and supported him. or are you going to try to pretend that we never sold him any weapons and never conducted any business with him?

                      www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/
                      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                        Tue, April 19, 2005 - 1:46 PM
                        Me"Another leftist myth. We didn't put Saddam Hussein in power. This is an example of the "blame America first" reflex of many on the left who assume that all the evils of the world must somehow be America's fault. >"

                        cedwyn: "bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, a thousand times - BULLSHIT! go study some history, ron, my god!"

                        I've studied a lot of Iraqi history. I just don't suck up every bit of leftist mythology out there.

                        "the U.S. is DIRECTLY responsible for the 1954 (?) coup that brought the ba'athists to power in iraq."

                        If you’re going to tell someone to study their history, perhaps you yourself should get a better grasp of the history in question. The Baath party didn’t come into power in 1954. There was, however, a military coup in July of 1958, when a group of military professionals led by Abdul Karim Qasim (not a Baathist) took over Iraq, executing the Iraqi royal family in the process. Qasim was a communist who immediately restored relations with the Soviet Union and was definitely not supported by the US. The Baath party did stage a coup deposing Qasim and briefly came to power in 1963. Some believe that the CIA helped them then, but even if they did, their success was short lived, as there was an army counter-couplater that year that deposed the Baathists. Keep in mind that Saddam himself didn’t come to power until the late 1970s, so even if the CIA helped the Baathists in 1963, the fact that they weren’t in power long makes it a huge leap to claim that the CIA put Saddam into power as a result over 15 years later.

                        The Baath Party came back into power in a bloodless coup in 1968 as a result of Arab humiliation over the Seven Day War with Israel in 1967. But there’s no evidence that the CIA helped this time, and that they didn't is supported by the fact that the Baathists immediately embraced the Soviet Union.

                        So even if it was true that the CIA helped the Baathists temporarily come to power in the early 1960s, it is false that we put Saddam in power in the late 1970s, so my claim is in fact correct, you are wrong, and you need to brush up on your Iraqi history.

                        " ok, we didn't tell them to promote saddam or anything, but we sure as hell rolled out the red carpet for him. and we certainly did nothing but watch as he brutally and viciously rose to power. "

                        But none of this entails that we put Saddam into power. Lots of countries stood by and watched him rise to power, but it doesn't follow that they all put him into power. So my original claim about the US not putting Saddam in power is coorect and your hyperbolic "Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, a thousand times - BULLSHIT!" was misplaced.

                        "then we called him our ally and supported him. or are you going to try to pretend that we never sold him any weapons and never conducted any business with him?"

                        Sure, but we didn't put him in power. I'm just tryting to be accurate here.
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Thu, April 14, 2005 - 7:56 PM
                  "The entire upper management team of Cantor-Fitzgerald were taken out in the attack..each one of those people was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands worldwide through weapons investing. Dying in the tower was too good for them."

                  You're nothing but a fucking little pussy, Pinworm. I'd say quite a bit more but that might get me booted off tribe.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Thu, April 14, 2005 - 9:35 PM
                    Intelligent argument you have there....

                    Why don't you read up on Cantor Fitzgerald before spewing one of your emotional, typical, knee-jerk responses?
                    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 5:55 AM
                      "Intelligent argument you have there...."

                      It's coming from the same place as yours then.

                      "Why don't you read up on Cantor Fitzgerald before spewing one of your emotional, typical, knee-jerk responses?"

                      The people working for those companies were not involved with the deaths of anyone. Blaming them is inane, pointless and knee-jerk.

                      By your retarded logic, everyone who has ever worked for a gun manufacturer is directly responsible for all the gun deaths in the world. Asshat.
                      • Unsu...
                         

                        Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 6:20 AM
                        How do you think things get done by organizations? Work. Every cog moves the mechanism as a whole. Let's hope the dead secrataries kids knew their nintendo was bought by REAL weapons money.

                        Anyone who worked for a gun factory IS directly responsible for any gun death used by the gun produced at the time they worked there. The killer pulls the trigger, but who made the trigger for him to pull it? Who made it possible for that gun to be built, shipped and sold? It's not a matter of will or intent, but physical fact.

                        They are certianly more responsible for that death than someone who DIDN'T work for the gun company.

                        Your generalizations about "all" gun deaths "in the world" are designed to paint my argument as abusrd, but it's a paper tiger. Not "all"...but each one tied to what that company made...one by one by one.

                        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                          Sat, April 16, 2005 - 10:31 AM
                          With this retarded logic, you can blame anyone who makes dash mounted cigarette lighters for lung cancer, or even automobile deaths. Or let's blame the grounds crew at Boston International for 9-11, for they were a "cog in the machine".
                          As far as being more responsible than someone who didn't work at that Gun factory, how about the guy who pulled the trigger? Chances are HE didn't work at the gun factory. So in your logic, he is innocent, eh?
                          I mean, I know a guy who worked as a florist and crashed on the way to work....do we blame his boss for making him come to work that day?

                          This line of thinking is insane.
                          • Unsu...
                             

                            Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                            Sat, April 16, 2005 - 6:51 PM
                            Not really....think about it.

                            None of us live in a vaccum. The guy who made car cig lighters made it possible, even if in a minute way, for smokers to smoke in their car.

                            Damn striaght the ground crew at Boston are partly responsible.

                            And yeah, the killer pulls the trigger..but who brought the trigger into existence?

                            It's not about intent, but contribution. The secratiaries helped the CEOs get the weapons sold that killed kids. Just because they were not dropping the bombs themselves doesn't mean they had no hand in the act as a whole.

                            It's not insane. It shows how America attracted the attack with it's actions and policy..and the ignorance of it's people not to do something about it when they could.

                            The attack was no suprise, and certainly not wholly undeserved, despite all the hand-on-heart jingoism in America since then.

                        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                          Sat, April 16, 2005 - 6:15 PM
                          "Anyone who worked for a gun factory IS directly responsible for any gun death used by the gun produced at the time they worked there."

                          You're an idiot.
                          • Unsu...
                             

                            Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                            Sat, April 16, 2005 - 6:54 PM
                            And you are stunningly ignorant.

                            Without guns, there can be no gun murders. Cause and effect.



                            Therefore, those who make guns make murder possible, and every gun murder in which a gun they made was used, wouldn't have happened if they didn't make the gun.

                            It's logical, and reflective of the system of production, consumption and result.
                            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                              Tue, April 19, 2005 - 6:28 AM
                              "And you are stunningly ignorant."

                              Mr. Pot meet Mr. Kettle. I see you are both of similar dark pigmentation.

                              Without guns there will still be murder. So do we blame the people who make knives, baseball bats, screwdrivers or any other weapon that is used to kill people?

                              You blame the person who committed the act, not anyone else.
                              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                                Tue, April 19, 2005 - 1:58 PM
                                Hey Zeppo,

                                I'm finding that there are serious people with serious arguments around here, and then there are idiots who are just a waste of time. I think you're wasting your time arguing with the latter. Not every claim is sufficiently serious enough to warrant a counterargument, otherwise rational people would have to spend their lives arguing against idiocies endlessly.
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Sat, April 16, 2005 - 11:12 AM
                " You should try telling the families of the few thousand innocent people that died it's there own fault for just living in the US that their loved ones are dead. By saying it's our fault, we play right into the hands of the ones doing this. It sickens me to hear that kind of talk. It almost seems like some people are happy it happened for some twisted reason. "


                I work at the hole where the trade center was -- I watched the dig out for a year and a half -- from 10 stories up.... I nearly died there myself... so back it up bud -- that is not what I'm saying.

                Try again. I care about ALL the people on the planet -- not just the people who happen to be proximate by acident of birth to me.

                I was not happy- But I was not suprised either. Neither was I suprised when the Berlin Wall came down, neihter was I suprised when Nixon opened up to China (which was unthinkable to most) - because I understand history - because I pay attention to what people around the world are thinking and feeling -- ... there is a difference between seeing something for what it is and justifying it.

                I hope that makes sense canuckho....

                Again - what would make YOU take up arms in a completely lopsided war?
          • Unsu...
             

            Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 11:36 AM
            If what you posted is truly the content of the patriot act, then that's pretty scary. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

            Dont take my word for it "please'' all ways look it up your self.

            I got all this info with the help of allot of friends and like minded people who feel that the patriot act is bad for this country.
            I am a high school grad with a little understanding of legal speak.
            I had to get help to understand the language in the PA, I have friends that do patriot talk radio and have websites with lots of info.
            Some are conservative and some are liberal but they all want the same thing

            (freedom)

            I cant take full credit for everything I learn simply because I had to learn it from some one else.
            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 7:58 PM
              "I got all this info with the help of allot of friends and like minded people who feel that the patriot act is bad for this country.
              I am a high school grad with a little understanding of legal speak.
              I had to get help to understand the language in the PA, I have friends that do patriot talk radio and have websites with lots of info."

              Some of them don't seem to have much of a clue regarding the PA based on what you've been posting.
              • Unsu...
                 

                Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Thu, April 14, 2005 - 8:27 PM
                Some of them don't seem to have much of a clue regarding the PA based on what you've been posting.>>>>


                Id say that's a matter of opinion and yours isn't really all that important.

                Go file some papers or something.
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Fri, April 15, 2005 - 6:00 AM
                  "Id say that's a matter of opinion..."

                  It's not a matter of opinion. I've already provided more than enough evidence to show they are mostly clueless regarding specific details/powers of the Patriot Act, most of which already existed in one form or another for decades.

                  "...and yours isn't really all that important."

                  Considering where you've been getting some of your source material lately it's rather ironic that you try and smack down my posts as unimportant.

                  "Go file some papers or something."

                  I would tell you to go get inked again, but I think all that ink has seriously affected your brain.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 6:46 AM
                    >It's not a matter of opinion. I've already provided more than enough evidence to show they are mostly clueless regarding specific details/powers of the Patriot Act, most
                    >of which already existed in one form or another for decades. >>>>>

                    So your sources are all ways correct and others are not :-)
                    oooooooook.

                    >Considering where you've been getting some of your source material lately it's rather ironic that you try and smack down my posts as unimportant. >

                    Sorry if I don't rely on fox news for my information.

                    >>>I would tell you to go get inked again, but I think all that ink has seriously affected your brain. <<<

                    Its ok man it just makes me try harder to get the truth out there for people to see.
                    If I help wake up one person , get them motivated to go look for them selves & get them to ask why,...... I have done something right.

                    I don't want people to believe what I post at face value I want them to go look it up them selves.

                    You oddly, well......maybe I should say expectedly enough went to look up conspiracy sites, instead of looking up the law.
                    You built a straw man to knock it down with out even studding the facts.
                    The is a nice tactic of those who do not want people to seek out information and truth.
                    I went to look up the codes and the law because I was curious if the information I was give was true at a site that is about the law.
                    caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...case.pl

                    Unfortunately, Zeppy I do not believe you are a truth seeker.
                    I'm afraid you are a victim of "exceptionalism."
                    My contention is that this........ you have you're "head in the sand", and are either willingly or unwillingly blinded to what is happening around you.

                    But this is just my opinion...
                    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                      Sat, April 16, 2005 - 6:23 PM
                      "So your sources are all ways correct"

                      My main source is the Patriot Act itself. Try reading it once and paying close attention to what's in it.

                      "Sorry if I don't rely on fox news for my information."

                      I don't either.

                      "maybe I should say expectedly enough went to look up conspiracy sites, instead of looking up the law."

                      Oh, that list again. That was a court decision, not a law.

                      I have known about that list for a long time now. I find it odd that you did not know where that list originated. If you did, you might not have posted anything from it as factual. And I did look up the court decision and showed you that it did not prove those two points. You looked up the case saw that it said a couple of things that backed up those 2 points and accepted them as wholly truthful. You need far more than that one SCOTUS decision in 1930 to prove there have never been any judges since 1789.
          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Thu, April 14, 2005 - 12:05 PM
            "If what you posted is truly the content of the patriot act, then that's pretty scary."


            SO IMPORTANT to read up on stuff! Ron wants you to be informed!

            The sad fact is that US is definitely responsible for the lion's share of 9/11.

            What would it take for you to be able to kill yourself merely to harm an enemy?
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Thu, April 14, 2005 - 5:38 PM
              ok Ron, you came out with the patronsing statement "have you read it"...I now have...what part of it are you trying to defend?
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Fri, April 15, 2005 - 2:04 AM
                "ok Ron, you came out with the patronsing statement "have you read it"...I now have...what part of it are you trying to defend?"

                You read the whole thing? All 56,000+ words of it? What part are you complaining about?

                Here's the table of contents. You can get the actual text at links in this tribe that I created on the subject:

                www.tribe.net/thread/1f09...0c032e338965

                It looks pretty good to me. Section 102 looks good. Don't see how anyone can reasonably complain about condemning discrimination against Muslims. Employing translators at the FBI doesn't seem to be assaultive of our civil liberties. The increased funding provisions don't look inherently problematic. I support law enforcement agencies sharing criminal invetigation information when they're pursuing the same criminals. What parts do you oppose?


                Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.
                Sec. 2. Construction; severability.
                TITLE I--ENHANCING DOMESTIC SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM
                Sec. 101. Counterterrorism fund.
                Sec. 102. Sense of Congress condemning discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans.
                Sec. 103. Increased funding for the technical support center at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
                Sec. 104. Requests for military assistance to enforce prohibition in certain emergencies.
                Sec. 105. Expansion of National Electronic Crime Task Force Initiative.
                Sec. 106. Presidential authority.
                TITLE II--ENHANCED SURVEILLANCE PROCEDURES
                Sec. 201. Authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to terrorism.
                Sec. 202. Authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses.
                Sec. 203. Authority to share criminal investigative information.
                Sec. 204. Clarification of intelligence exceptions from limitations on interception and disclosure of wire, oral, and electronic communications.
                Sec. 205. Employment of translators by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
                Sec. 206. Roving surveillance authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
                Sec. 207. Duration of FISA surveillance of non-United States persons who are agents of a foreign power.
                Sec. 208. Designation of judges.
                Sec. 209. Seizure of voice-mail messages pursuant to warrants.
                Sec. 210. Scope of subpoenas for records of electronic communications.
                Sec. 211. Clarification of scope.
                Sec. 212. Emergency disclosure of electronic communications to protect life and limb.
                Sec. 213. Authority for delaying notice of the execution of a warrant.
                Sec. 214. Pen register and trap and trace authority under FISA.
                Sec. 215. Access to records and other items under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
                Sec. 216. Modification of authorities relating to use of pen registers and trap and trace devices.
                Sec. 217. Interception of computer trespasser communications.
                Sec. 218. Foreign intelligence information.
                Sec. 219. Single-jurisdiction search warrants for terrorism.
                Sec. 220. Nationwide service of search warrants for electronic evidence.
                Sec. 221. Trade sanctions.
                Sec. 222. Assistance to law enforcement agencies.
                Sec. 223. Civil liability for certain unauthorized disclosures.
                Sec. 224. Sunset.
                Sec. 225. Immunity for compliance with FISA wiretap.
                TITLE III--INTERNATIONAL MONEY LAUNDERING ABATEMENT AND ANTI-TERRORIST FINANCING ACT OF 2001
                Sec. 301. Short title.
                Sec. 302. Findings and purposes.
                Sec. 303. 4-year congressional review; expedited consideration.
                Subtitle A--International Counter Money Laundering and Related Measures
                Sec. 311. Special measures for jurisdictions, financial institutions, or international transactions of primary money laundering concern.
                Sec. 312. Special due diligence for correspondent accounts and private banking accounts.
                Sec. 313. Prohibition on United States correspondent accounts with foreign shell banks.
                Sec. 314. Cooperative efforts to deter money laundering.
                Sec. 315. Inclusion of foreign corruption offenses as money laundering crimes.
                Sec. 316. Anti-terrorist forfeiture protection.
                Sec. 317. Long-arm jurisdiction over foreign money launderers.
                Sec. 318. Laundering money through a foreign bank.
                Sec. 319. Forfeiture of funds in United States interbank accounts.
                Sec. 320. Proceeds of foreign crimes.
                Sec. 321. Financial institutions specified in subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States code.
                Sec. 322. Corporation represented by a fugitive.
                Sec. 323. Enforcement of foreign judgments.
                Sec. 324. Report and recommendation.
                Sec. 325. Concentration accounts at financial institutions.
                Sec. 326. Verification of identification.
                Sec. 327. Consideration of anti-money laundering record.
                Sec. 328. International cooperation on identification of originators of wire transfers.
                Sec. 329. Criminal penalties.
                Sec. 330. International cooperation in investigations of money laundering, financial crimes, and the finances of terrorist groups.
                Subtitle B--Bank Secrecy Act Amendments and Related Improvements
                Sec. 351. Amendments relating to reporting of suspicious activities.
                Sec. 352. Anti-money laundering programs.
                Sec. 353. Penalties for violations of geographic targeting orders and certain recordkeeping requirements, and lengthening effective period of geographic targeting orders.
                Sec. 354. Anti-money laundering strategy.
                Sec. 355. Authorization to include suspicions of illegal activity in written employment references.
                Sec. 356. Reporting of suspicious activities by securities brokers and dealers; investment company study.
                Sec. 357. Special report on administration of bank secrecy provisions.
                Sec. 358. Bank secrecy provisions and activities of United States intelligence agencies to fight international terrorism.
                Sec. 359. Reporting of suspicious activities by underground banking systems.
                Sec. 360. Use of authority of United States Executive Directors.
                Sec. 361. Financial crimes enforcement network.
                Sec. 362. Establishment of highly secure network.
                Sec. 363. Increase in civil and criminal penalties for money laundering.
                Sec. 364. Uniform protection authority for Federal Reserve facilities.
                Sec. 365. Reports relating to coins and currency received in nonfinancial trade or business.
                Sec. 366. Efficient use of currency transaction report system.
                Subtitle C--Currency Crimes and Protection
                Sec. 371. Bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States.
                Sec. 372. Forfeiture in currency reporting cases.
                Sec. 373. Illegal money transmitting businesses.
                Sec. 374. Counterfeiting domestic currency and obligations.
                Sec. 375. Counterfeiting foreign currency and obligations.
                Sec. 376. Laundering the proceeds of terrorism.
                Sec. 377. Extraterritorial jurisdiction.
                TITLE IV--PROTECTING THE BORDER
                Subtitle A--Protecting the Northern Border
                Sec. 401. Ensuring adequate personnel on the northern border.
                Sec. 402. Northern border personnel.
                Sec. 403. Access by the Department of State and the INS to certain identifying information in the criminal history records of visa applicants and applicants for admission to the United States.
                Sec. 404. Limited authority to pay overtime.
                Sec. 405. Report on the integrated automated fingerprint identification system for ports of entry and overseas consular posts.
                Subtitle B--Enhanced Immigration Provisions
                Sec. 411. Definitions relating to terrorism.
                Sec. 412. Mandatory detention of suspected terrorists; habeas corpus; judicial review.
                Sec. 413. Multilateral cooperation against terrorists.
                Sec. 414. Visa integrity and security.
                Sec. 415. Participation of Office of Homeland Security on Entry-Exit Task Force.
                Sec. 416. Foreign student monitoring program.
                Sec. 417. Machine readable passports.
                Sec. 418. Prevention of consulate shopping.
                Subtitle C--Preservation of Immigration Benefits for Victims of Terrorism
                Sec. 421. Special immigrant status.
                Sec. 422. Extension of filing or reentry deadlines.
                Sec. 423. Humanitarian relief for certain surviving spouses and children.
                Sec. 424. `Age-out' protection for children.
                Sec. 425. Temporary administrative relief.
                Sec. 426. Evidence of death, disability, or loss of employment.
                Sec. 427. No benefits to terrorists or family members of terrorists.
                Sec. 428. Definitions.
                TITLE V--REMOVING OBSTACLES TO INVESTIGATING TERRORISM
                Sec. 501. Attorney General's authority to pay rewards to combat terrorism.
                Sec. 502. Secretary of State's authority to pay rewards.
                Sec. 503. DNA identification of terrorists and other violent offenders.
                Sec. 504. Coordination with law enforcement.
                Sec. 505. Miscellaneous national security authorities.
                Sec. 506. Extension of Secret Service jurisdiction.
                Sec. 507. Disclosure of educational records.
                Sec. 508. Disclosure of information from NCES surveys.
                TITLE VI--PROVIDING FOR VICTIMS OF TERRORISM, PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS, AND THEIR FAMILIES
                Subtitle A--Aid to Families of Public Safety Officers
                Sec. 611. Expedited payment for public safety officers involved in the prevention, investigation, rescue, or recovery efforts related to a terrorist attack.
                Sec. 612. Technical correction with respect to expedited payments for heroic public safety officers.
                Sec. 613. Public safety officers benefit program payment increase.
                Sec. 614. Office of Justice programs.
                Subtitle B--Amendments to the Victims of Crime Act of 1984
                Sec. 621. Crime victims fund.
                Sec. 622. Crime victim compensation.
                Sec. 623. Crime victim assistance.
                Sec. 624. Victims of terrorism.
                TITLE VII--INCREASED INFORMATION SHARING FOR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
                Sec. 711. Expansion of regional information sharing system to facilitate Federal-State-local law enforcement response related to terrorist attacks.
                TITLE VIII--STRENGTHENING THE CRIMINAL LAWS AGAINST TERRORISM
                Sec. 801. Terrorist attacks and other acts of violence against mass transportation systems.
                Sec. 802. Definition of domestic terrorism.
                Sec. 803. Prohibition against harboring terrorists.
                Sec. 804. Jurisdiction over crimes committed at U.S. facilities abroad.
                Sec. 805. Material support for terrorism.
                Sec. 806. Assets of terrorist organizations.
                Sec. 807. Technical clarification relating to provision of material support to terrorism.
                Sec. 808. Definition of Federal crime of terrorism.
                Sec. 809. No statute of limitation for certain terrorism offenses.
                Sec. 810. Alternate maximum penalties for terrorism offenses.
                Sec. 811. Penalties for terrorist conspiracies.
                Sec. 812. Post-release supervision of terrorists.
                Sec. 813. Inclusion of acts of terrorism as racketeering activity.
                Sec. 814. Deterrence and prevention of cyberterrorism.
                Sec. 815. Additional defense to civil actions relating to preserving records in response to Government requests.
                Sec. 816. Development and support of cybersecurity forensic capabilities.
                Sec. 817. Expansion of the biological weapons statute.
                TITLE IX--IMPROVED INTELLIGENCE
                Sec. 901. Responsibilities of Director of Central Intelligence regarding foreign intelligence collected under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
                Sec. 902. Inclusion of international terrorist activities within scope of foreign intelligence under National Security Act of 1947.
                Sec. 903. Sense of Congress on the establishment and maintenance of intelligence relationships to acquire information on terrorists and terrorist organizations.
                Sec. 904. Temporary authority to defer submittal to Congress of reports on intelligence and intelligence-related matters.
                Sec. 905. Disclosure to Director of Central Intelligence of foreign intelligence-related information with respect to criminal investigations.
                Sec. 906. Foreign terrorist asset tracking center.
                Sec. 907. National Virtual Translation Center.
                Sec. 908. Training of government officials regarding identification and use of foreign intelligence.
                TITLE X--MISCELLANEOUS
                Sec. 1001. Review of the department of justice.
                Sec. 1002. Sense of congress.
                Sec. 1003. Definition of `electronic surveillance'.
                Sec. 1004. Venue in money laundering cases.
                Sec. 1005. First responders assistance act.
                Sec. 1006. Inadmissibility of aliens engaged in money laundering.
                Sec. 1007. Authorization of funds for dea police training in south and central asia.
                Sec. 1008. Feasibility study on use of biometric identifier scanning system with access to the fbi integrated automated fingerprint identification system at overseas consular posts and points of entry to the United States.
                Sec. 1009. Study of access.
                Sec. 1010. Temporary authority to contract with local and State governments for performance of security functions at United States military installations.
                Sec. 1011. Crimes against charitable americans.
                Sec. 1012. Limitation on issuance of hazmat licenses.
                Sec. 1013. Expressing the sense of the senate concerning the provision of funding for bioterrorism preparedness and response.
                Sec. 1014. Grant program for State and local domestic preparedness support.
                Sec. 1015. Expansion and reauthorization of the crime identification technology act for antiterrorism grants to States and localities.
                Sec. 1016. Critical infrastructures protection.
            • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:37 AM
              ""If what you posted is truly the content of the patriot act, then that's pretty scary."


              SO IMPORTANT to read up on stuff! Ron wants you to be informed!"

              I do, and unfortunately what Billy cited was NOT in the Patriot Act.
    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 1:19 AM
      "It is a bill of Attainder. As such it is an illegal law, to be shredded. As long as it exists the Constitution is being treated like toilet paper."

      Another myth. This is precisely what I complained about in my OP. These critics simply don't know what's in the very act they're condemning.

      Silverknight, please cite anything in the Patriot Act which amounts to or authorizes a bill of attainder. You can't.
  • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 2:15 AM
    In over 50 posts responding to this thread, I frankly find it amazing that of all the people who have so breathlessly and sanctimoniously condemned the Patriot Act, not a single person directly cited a single provision of the Patriot Act that they thought problematic. People cited things they assumed were in the Patriot Act (almost always erroneously), but never bothered to cite actual provisions of the Patriot Act that supported their concerns. Billy came closest to doing so, but he erred in that he erroneously thought that some part (he never cited which part) of the Patriot Act authorized the warrantless search of that Mayfield guy (they in fact did have a warrant, and the provision of the Patriot Act which authorized a search required a warrant), and in his second substantive post on the issue, Billy erroneously cited paraphrases of provisions of a draft version of Patriot Act II that was subsequently scrapped and NOT parts of the Patriot Act.

    The left's obsession with and condemnation of an Act about which the vast majority of whom haven't even read and certainly don't understand at all is testimony the the fact that mythology can build around political issues just as easily as it can around anything else in culture.
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 7:01 AM
      I guess what it comes down to is this statement it is this that is concern with the patriot act.

      Source: :-)

      news.com.com/Patriot+Act...5655112.html


      "We have heard over and over again that there have been no abuses as a result of the Patriot Act," Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said during a hearing Tuesday. "But it is difficult, if not impossible, to verify that claim when some of the most controversial surveillance powers in the Patriot Act operate under a cloak of secrecy."
      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 7:52 AM
        >>Setting up free speech zones and arresting those who remember that America as a whole is a free speech zone?

        Poorly chosen word for secured areas. While indeed the whole of the United States is “free” – not all of it is public property, and if necessary your right to move freely about the country (or in this case a few city blocks) will be altered to compromise with security. You won’t be shut up, but you won’t do it where you actions can’t be guaranteed not to cause a security risk. Don’t like it – tough.

        >>It is a matter of interpretation of the law Ron.
        I see the negative you see a positive.

        Except in your case, you’re OVER-interpreting the law, and – as was pointed out – assigning it to situations in which it was NOT used. I don’t think Ron has yet to say he AGREES with everything in the PA – he has simply pointed out where you are wrong and where most of the miss-information about the PA comes from (repetition, repetition, repetition).

        >>They will use this *tool* to dispose of disinters and to further their agenda.

        If they do – then prosecute them for not following the letter of the law.

        >>So your sources are all ways correct and others are not :-)
        oooooooook.

        Translation: I have nothing to back up my non-subtle rebuke of your sources.

        >>Sorry if I don't rely on fox news for my information.

        /looks for link to foxnews.com –

        Nope, turned up none.

        >>You built a straw man to knock it down with out even studding the facts.

        Apparently neither did you – as you posted two things which had nothing to do with each other.

        >>But this is just my opinion...

        And its one that has yet to answer any of the questions put to you other than to suggest that there are “different interpretations of the law” -
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

          Fri, April 15, 2005 - 8:45 AM
          <<<<<Poorly chosen word for secured areas. While indeed the whole of the United States is “free” – not all of it is public property, and if necessary your right to move freely about the country (or in this case a few city blocks) will be altered to compromise with security. You won’t be shut up, but you won’t do it where you actions can’t be guaranteed not to cause a security risk. Don’t like it – tough. >>>>>>

          I don't like it either.
          But if you're protest is where it will not be seen or covered then is it a protest :-)

          >>>>Except in your case, you’re OVER-interpreting the law, and – as was pointed out – assigning it to situations in which it was NOT used. >>>

          Sorry but I don't agree

          >>I don’t think Ron has yet to say he AGREES with everything in the PA – he has simply pointed out where you are wrong and where most of the miss-information about the PA comes from (repetition, repetition, repetition). >>>>


          I don't disagree with all of the PA either.
          But the ones for the PA the ones who want this type of power are selling it to us the same way (repetition, repetition, repetition).

          >>They will use this *tool* to dispose of disinters and to further their agenda.
          If they do – then prosecute them for not following the letter of the law. >>>>

          Yeh right...... try that some time.
          See how quick you get busted for something that drags your credibility through the mud.


          >>>Translation: I have nothing to back up my non-subtle rebuke of your sources. <<<<<

          I have give my sources for information here it is once again
          just incase you missed the last 3 times.

          caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...case.pl


          <</looks for link to foxnews.com – >>

          <<<Nope, turned up none. >>>>

          Its called sarcasm :-)


          >>You built a straw man to knock it down with out even studding the facts.

          Apparently neither did you – as you posted two things which had nothing to do with each other. >>>>

          Really care to explain,

          I was told by your friend that Statutes and Codes. (FRC v. GE 281 US 464, Keller v. PE 261 US 428, 1 Stat. 138-178)
          were phony I gave proof they were real.
          caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...case.pl
          I think it has everything to do with this conversation.

          <<<And its one that has yet to answer any of the questions put to you other than to suggest that there are “different interpretations of the law” - >>>>

          See above
          I ask the guy who sent me a few of the codes that your buddy Zeppo has issue with where he got them from.
          this is where he said he found them batr.org/gulag/021903.html

          I don't know much about the site but I do know that the Statutes and Codes listed on the site are real and available for the world to look up and verify
          caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...case.pl

          I encourage everyone to look up these Statutes and Codes and determine what they mean.
          If the interpretation of these rulings are incorrect then we can go back to sleep & obey.


          To verify the facts in the preceding paragraphs see (5 U.S.C. 903, 12 U.S.C. 95, 18 U.S.C.A. 914, 22 U.S.C. 263, 285, 286, 287, 288. Public Law 89-719, Public Law 94-564, Public Law 101-167, Public Law 91-151 Public Law 103-465, House Report 103-826 T.D.O 150-10, T.D.O. 92, 41 Stat. Chap 214 pg. 654, Emergency Banking Act 48 Stat. 1, Articles of Agreement 60 Stat. 1440, 20 CFR chapter 111, subpart B 422.103 (b) (2) (2), United Nations Secretariat Revised System of National Accounting, Diversified Metal Products v. IRS et al. CV-93-405E-EJE U.S.D.C.D.I., Cromelin v. United States, 177 F.2d 275, 277 Tomalewski v. United States, 493 F.Supp 673, 675 Foster v. Bork, 425 F.Supp 1318, 1319-20 FRC v. GE 281 U.S. 464, Keller v. PE 261 U.S. 428, United States v. LePatourel, 571 F2d 405, 410, Respublica v. Sweers 1 Dallas 43, INTERPOL Constitution Art. 30, Executive Order 10422, Papal Bulls of 1455 and 1493. 42 Pa.C.S.A. 502. General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs.
          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:28 AM
            "I have give my sources for information here it is once again
            just incase you missed the last 3 times.

            caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...tcase.pl"

            That link was to a 1930 Supreme Court case denying an appeal in a radio licensing case. How is that possibky relevant to the 2001 Patriot Act?
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:32 AM
              I have give my sources for information here it is once again
              just incase you missed the last 3 times.

              caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bi...tcase.pl"

              That link was to a 1930 Supreme Court case denying an appeal in a radio licensing case. How is that possibky relevant to the 2001 Patriot Act? >>>>>>>

              Sorry Ron

              that was carried over from another thread.
          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:34 AM
            Another source cited by Billy:

            batr.org/gulag/021903.html

            The above link is to an article on Seasonal Affective Disorder (the disorder that makes people feel sad in the Winter) which contains a list of conspiratorial claims tying the Internal Revenue Service to international organizations, which have nothing to do with the Patriot Act.

            So all the links submitted by Billy deal with either a 1930 Supreme Court case denying an appeal on jurisdictional grounds in a radio licensing case, and an article on why people are sad in the winter.

            This relates to the 2001 Patriot Act how?
      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:07 AM
        Billy, you have condemned the patriot Act. Again, what parts of it do you find worthy of condemnation and why? Again, the parts you paraphrased previously were from a leaked draft of Patriot Act II and NOT part of the Patriot Act.
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

          Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:10 AM
          Billy, you have condemned the patriot Act. Again, what parts of it do you find worthy of condemnation and why? Again, the parts you paraphrased previously were from a leaked draft of Patriot Act II and NOT part of the Patriot Act. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


          do you mean these?
          `(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
          `(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
          `(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
          `(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'."<<
          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:22 AM
            Me: "Billy, you have condemned the patriot Act. Again, what parts of it do you find worthy of condemnation and why? Again, the parts you paraphrased previously were from a leaked draft of Patriot Act II and NOT part of the Patriot Act."

            Billy: "do you mean these?
            `(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
            `(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
            `(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
            `(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'.""

            OK, so the Act defines a domestic terrorist as one who engages on American soil in criminal action that threatenes the lives of people in order to coerce the population or influence government policy. That's a pretty standard definition of "terrorist". So what's wrong with it?
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:52 AM
              OK, so the Act defines a domestic terrorist as one who engages on American soil in criminal action that threatens the lives of people in order to coerce the population or influence government policy. That's a pretty standard definition of "terrorist". So what's wrong with it? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

              Dude wake up................. our own government is doing this to us.
              If you wont or cant see this then why continue our *uhhh debate*
              I have given you lots of input and you will not have any of it.

              It is apparent that you have picked a side and it is not the side of the American people.

              Hope it is all worth it.
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Tue, April 19, 2005 - 2:15 PM
                Me: "OK, so the Act defines a domestic terrorist as one who engages on American soil in criminal action that threatens the lives of people in order to coerce the population or influence government policy. That's a pretty standard definition of "terrorist". So what's wrong with it? "

                Billy "Dude wake up................. our own government is doing this to us. "

                If you believe they're doing that as on the basis of the Patriot Act, then please cite the cases in which they are and the provisions of the Patriot Act on which those actions are based. That the Patriot Act has a definition of terrorism does not entail that the Patriot Act endorses terrorism. In fact, quite the contrary, unless you'd like to argue otherwise.

                If you have complaints about what the government is doing (terrorist-like or otherwise) that has nothing to do with the Patriot Act, then that's another discussion. The Patriot Act does not represent all of government action you know.

                "I have given you lots of input and you will not have any of it."

                Because up to this post it was all incorrect. You first claimed that Mayfield's reasidence was searched without a warrant based on the Patriot Act. That was incorrect, as a warrant was executed against Mayfield, and the Patriot Act provision that applied to the Mayfield search required one. Then you posted a serious of paraphrases of what you claimed was in the Patriot Act, but that was erroneous, as the sections you paraphrased were from a different proposed piece of legislation. Then you erroneously linked an irrelevant 1930 radio licensing case and an article on Seasonal Defective Disorder, both of which you acknowledged were irrelevant and linked by accident.

                So which part of all that did I not give a fair shake to?

                "It is apparent that you have picked a side and it is not the side of the American people.

                Hope it is all worth it."

                Well, I'm happy that you're boning up on your irrelevant rhetoric, but the side I've picked is the side of rational argument, and if you think rationality is opposed to the American people, then you're the one with the problem, not me. Pursuant to the interests of my side, I am just asking for evidence to support the accusations against the Patriot Act. You make an effort later which I appreciate, but up until this point your case has been obviously weak (and that's charitable), since it hasn't been based on anything accurate.
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

          Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:31 AM
          Some of my concerns are these

          Secret Searches anyone remeber the (Fourth Amendment)

          Defining Any Criminal Activity as Terrorism,
          H.R.3162
          "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Received in the Senate)"

          AUTHORITY FOR DELAYING NOTICE OF THE EXECUTION OF A WARRANT.
          Delaying am I wrong to be concerned?

          SEC. 224 Sunset
          .
          I do not believe this for a second they will continue to add more and more.

          SEC. 316. ANTI-TERRORIST FORFEITURE PROTECTION
          This so called protection gives us no protection.
          It is under Maritime & Admiralty Jurisdiction.
          If I am wrong help me understand why.

          SEC. 802. DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM.
          the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
          `(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State

          I have all ready poked at this one a few time all ready.

          BULK CASH SMUGGLING INTO OR OUT OF THE UNITED STATES
          SEC. 371.

          When did it become a crime to have cash.
          Why is it smuggling to have a lot of money on you ?
          This is really shady,....... I don't use cards I use cash for every thing am I a criminal if I want to go on vacation and take cash?


          REPORTING OF SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES BY UNDERGROUND BANKING SYSTEMS.
          SEC. 359.

          huh what is suspicious activates.

          USE OF AUTHORITY OF UNITED STATES EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS.
          SEC. 360.

          (a) ACTION BY THE PRESIDENT- If the President determines that a particular foreign country has taken or has committed to take actions that contribute to efforts of the United States to respond to, deter, or prevent acts of international terrorism, the Secretary may, consistent with other applicable provisions of law, instruct the United States Executive Director of each international financial institution to use the voice and vote of the Executive Director to support any loan or other utilization of the funds of respective institutions for such country, or any public or private entity within such country.


          That is really a gray area isn't it.
          What if he decides that France is against us because they disagree. where the hell am I going to get my Cognac. :-)

          I don't hate the PA as a whole.

          There are parts that I do not like because it is to open ended.
          to is way to much room for misinterpretation.

  • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 2:18 AM
    Here's the Patriot Act's definition of domstic terrorism. What was wrong with it again?

    "SEC. 802. DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM.

    "(a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
    (1) in paragraph (1)(B)(iii), by striking `by assassination or kidnapping' and inserting `by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping';
    (2) in paragraph (3), by striking `and';
    (3) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and
    (4) by adding at the end the following:
    `(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
    `(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
    `(B) appear to be intended--
    `(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    `(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    `(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
    `(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'."
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 6:18 AM
      you mean things like this?
      terror, terror, evil doers they hate us, they hate our freedom orange alert, yellow alert, herding protesters in New York and arresting them falsely.
      Setting up free speech zones and arresting those who remember that America as a whole is a free speech zone?

      It is a matter of interpretation of the law Ron.
      I see the negative you see a positive.

      You obviously like this kind of draconian law making.
      There are others who may not be as fair and balanced as you seem to be. :-)
      They will use this *tool* to dispose of disinters and to further their agenda.
      That agenda is power and and zero opposition.

      DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM

      `(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
      `(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
      `(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
      `(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'."
      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:03 AM
        >>DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM

        `(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
        `(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
        `(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
        `(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'."<<

        Well, we know of at least one huge and well-funded terrorist enclave in the US.

        We know their sympathizers and fellow terrorists come here often to try to intimidate us. The question becomes - what do *they* deserve?
      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:19 AM
        “you mean things like this? terror, terror, evil doers they hate us, they hate our freedom orange alert, yellow alert, herding protesters in New York and arresting them falsely.”

        None of which is in the Patriot Act. You’re condemning an act for political rhetoric and circumstances that had nothing to do with it.

        “It is a matter of interpretation of the law Ron. I see the negative you see a positive.”

        But you appear unable to cite anything in it that’s negative. You keep misconstruing the Act as part of your criticism. That’s the problem. If you can interpret it negatively, then there should be specific parts of it that you can cite as worthy of condemnation and be able to explain why such provisions are problematic. Why can’t you?

        “You obviously like this kind of draconian law making. “

        If there’s anything “draconian” in it, you should be able to specifically cite it. So why can’t you? Answer: You can’t. Prove me wrong.

        “They will use this *tool* to dispose of disinters and to further their agenda.”

        Then you should be able to cite provisions in it that would give the government the power to “dispose of dissenters”. So why can’t you? Answer: You can’t, because it contains no such provisions. You're relying on mythology built around the Act rather than what's actually in the Act. Prove me wrong.

        From the definition of terrorism cited within it, a terrorist is someone who threatens human life by breaking the law in order to coerce the population or influence government policy. That’s a pretty standard definition of “terrorism”. So what are you afraid of? It’s telling that you are incapable of specifically citing anything wrong in the Act.
        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

          Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:29 AM
          >>"From the definition of terrorism cited within it, a terrorist is someone who threatens human life by breaking the law in order to coerce the population or influence government policy. That’s a pretty standard definition of “terrorism”."<<

          Wow - we agree, then. Republicans are terrorists. Rock!

          Should I sign you up on MoveOn.org? Dude you're going to RELISH getting those emails every day.
          • Unsu...
             

            Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

            Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:35 AM
            Should I sign you up on MoveOn.org? Dude you're going to RELISH getting those emails every day. >>>>


            Sorry man I am a registered Constitution Party Member.
            And I am 90% conservative.

            I don't think they would like me. :-)
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

              Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:20 AM
              I find this particular section disconcerting. Anyone know where I can find any more detailed information on this?

              SEC. 213. AUTHORITY FOR DELAYING NOTICE OF THE EXECUTION OF A WARRANT.

              `(1) the court finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may have an adverse result (as defined in section 2705);

              ...Like giving the alleged criminal a chance to get a lawyer?

              `(2) the warrant prohibits the seizure of any tangible property, any wire or electronic communication (as defined in section 2510), or, except as expressly provided in chapter 121, any stored wire or electronic information, except where the court finds reasonable necessity for the seizure; and

              ...What is the court's definition, and parameters of, "reasonable necessity?"

              `(3) the warrant provides for the giving of such notice within a reasonable period of its execution, which period may thereafter be extended by the court for good cause shown.'.

              ...What is the court's definition, and parameters of, a "reasonable period," and "good cause?"

              This is giving me the impression that the courts can decide your fate before you even know youre being charged. That they can subvert due process whenever they see fit and deny your right to a fair trial. These provisions appear exceedingly vague - or is it just my lack of comprehension skills regarding legal speak?
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:39 AM
                First of all, thanks Quasi for being the first critic of the Patriot Act here to actually directly cite something in the Patriot Act! You cited the so-called "sneak and peek" provision which allows the police to tell the occupant of a dwelling that his dwelling has been subjected to a seach pursuant to a warrant after (as opposed to before, which is typical) the search. To do this, the police have to go to a judge with probable cause (standard for search warrant) and convin ce the judge that there is reason to believe that letting teh subject of the warrant know about the search in advance would likely jeopardize the investigation or threaten the safety of others. This is an outgrowth of practices already OK'd by state courts which resulted from investigations into cybercriminals who would push a button and delete damning evidence from their computers as soon as they heard the police knocking at the door and demaning to come it. It's really related in my opinion to the "exigent circumstance" exception to warrantr equirement which has for time immorial allowed police to enter a residence without even a warrant if they thought that certain emergency circumstances warranted it, otherwise someone's life was in danger if they waited for a warrant or evidence could be destroyed in the mean time. This provision is more modest than that in that the "exigent circunmstance" policy doesn't even require a warrant whereas "sneak and peak" does, and has the additional requirement of requiring proof to a judge of the circumstances mentioned earlier.

                "...Like giving the alleged criminal a chance to get a lawyer?"

                Even without the patiot Act, the subject of the investigation wouldn't necessarily have time to get a lawyer. Without the patriot Act, all that's required is that the police knock on the door and announce that they are going to execute a search warrant. A guy could call for an attorney while the search is going on, but the attorney wouldn't be able to stop the search, since the search would have been authorized by a judge. The best the attorney could do, which he could do with or without the patriot Act, is move to have any evidence recovered excluded from use by the prosecution if the warrant was faulty or some other due process problem required it.

                "..What is the court's definition, and parameters of, "reasonable necessity?"

                In any search warrant situation, with or without the Patriot Act, the police can seize virtually anything they deem is relevant to the investigation as long as it was found pursuant to the limitations of the warrant, which require specifically as to what teh police are looking for. What they are looking for has to be evidence of a crime.

                "This is giving me the impression that the courts can decide your fate before you even know youre being charged."

                Judges can issue warrants with or without the patriot Act before you know you are being charged. Watch Law and Order. That is the best TV show ever dealing with the elgalities of search matters.
                • Unsu...
                   

                  Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Fri, April 15, 2005 - 11:37 AM
                  Thanks for your reply Ron. I guess my main concern here is the possible abuse of power. What I liked about pre-Patriot Act law is that you were legally entitled to be served with a warrant before any search takes place. Now that serving can be delayed for an unknown length of time - possibly indefinitely? Where can I find the statute of limitations (if any) on this? How much time may pass before they finally must, by law, finally serve you that warrant? Honestly, if Im behind bars with my house searched and property siezed, a belated warrant will not provide much solace.

                  This leads me to my second major concern, that of imprisonment without trial. I cannot find a specific part of the Act that specifies this - but to be honest I cannot get far in the reading of it before getting a headache. All the legalspeak turns into gibberish. I need to hire a lawyer to be able to understand it better.

                  ...Anyhow, those imprisoned in places like Gitmo & Abu Gharib are a major concern. It is my understanding that the Patriot Act has provided the exception that anyone considered politically or criminally threatening to the government may be held indefinitely with no formal charges. If this is true, Id like to know where in the Act I can find a direct link to that, or at least a more nebulous reference therein that could concievably be used as a legal loophole to create the same effect.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 12:28 PM
                    "Anyhow, those imprisoned in places like Gitmo & Abu Gharib are a major concern. It is my understanding that the Patriot Act has provided the exception that anyone considered politically or criminally threatening to the government may be held indefinitely with no formal charges."

                    This is a mistaken belief that gets repeated often. Those questionable arrests and detentions trhat people complain about were actually justified on the basis of pre-patriot Act court decisions going back to World War II cases. They are not justified under the Patriot Act.
                    • Unsu...
                       

                      Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 12:34 PM
                      Thanx again.
                      This tribe's gotcha working pretty hard, eh? Hope youre not getting carpal tunnel... ;)
                      • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:01 PM
                        "This tribe's gotcha working pretty hard, eh? Hope youre not getting carpal tunnel... ;)"

                        Already got it!

                        Really appreciate the civil discourse. Such a change from what one normally gets in these parts.
                        • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                          Fri, April 15, 2005 - 11:15 PM
                          www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm

                          Allows FBI Agents to investigate American citizens for criminal matters without probable cause of crime if they say it is for “intelligence purposes.” Permits non-citizens to be jailed based on mere suspicion and to be denied re-admission to the US for engaging in free speech. Suspects convicted of no crime may be detained indefinitely in six month increments without meaningful judicial review.

                          Permits non-citizens to be jailed based on mere suspicion and to be denied re-admission to the US for engaging in free speech. Suspects convicted of no crime may be detained indefinitely in six month increments without meaningful judicial review. punishment shall be imposed.

                          Ron you posted changes to the law at one point above that is not the law only the changes. Anyway I've sited sources for my claims you have not done so. Stop making claims let's see your proof.
                          • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                            Mon, April 18, 2005 - 11:35 PM
                            "Ron you posted changes to the law at one point above that is not the law only the changes."

                            Steve, you have not cited anything iin the law in question. You have cited third party critics who have made generalizations of the Patriot Act without (as far as I can tell) citing which specific parts are in question. Please cite the specific parts of the law in question that you have problems with.

                            " Anyway I've sited sources for my claims you have not done so. "

                            The burdfen of proof is on the accuser. You want me to cite what? Parts of the patiot Act that do not include what some critics say it includes? O.K., here's the Patriot Act. Please point where the problems are.

                            www.epic.org/privacy/ter.../hr3162.html
                    • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:55 PM
                      "This is a mistaken belief that gets repeated often. Those questionable arrests and detentions trhat people complain about were actually justified on the basis of pre-patriot Act court decisions going back to World War II cases. They are not justified under the Patriot Act. "

                      Please site your source for this.

                      www.cdt.org/security/011026lchr.shtml
                      NEW LAW provides inadequate due process protections

                      Public reporting on the legislation has emphasized "safeguards" created by two elements of the bill: the seven-day limit on detention without charge, and the sunset clause. In fact, neither of these provisions provides adequate safeguards: the risk of indefinite detention begins after the seven-day period, and is still possible under the bill. Additionally, the sunset clause does not apply to the detention provisions at all.

                      Our continuing concerns:

                      In what is likely to be a significant number of cases, the new law will result in long-term detention of non-citizens who have never been charged with a crime but who have violated their immigration status in some way. Long-term detention may result for people who do not have travel documents or whose countries will not take them back. This will be a likely result if a person has been certified by the Attorney General as a threat to U.S. national security.

                      The new law does not provide guidance on what process the Attorney General must follow in making and reviewing the decision to certify an individual as a suspected terrorist. Nor does the law provide guidance to the courts on what evidence they should consider in assessing the reasonableness of the Attorney General's decision, whether detainees will have access to the evidence on which such decisions are based and the standards for review of such evidence.

                      In some countries, governments compile lists of suspected "terrorists," a label they attach both to those who have committed acts of indiscriminate violence against innocent people but also to those who are non-violent critics or political opponents of the government. When such lists are given to the U.S. government, they must not be the sole basis for the Attorney General to exercise this broad new detention power or for the courts to uphold the Attorney General's decision.

                      These sweeping new detention powers are now a permanent feature of our law. The sunset provisions, which were wisely incorporated into other sections of the USA PATRIOT bill, do not apply to the detention provisions
              • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                Sat, April 16, 2005 - 11:22 AM
                " `(1) the court finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may have an adverse result (as defined in section 2705);

                ...Like giving the alleged criminal a chance to get a lawyer? "

                Can your rights be sadi to exhist in any REAL way - if you are kept in the dark such that you cannot excercise your rigtht o self defense against abuse by the state because the state has cloaked itself in well defended secrecy?

                No those rights then do not exist for exercise in any meaningful way - they exist only in the abstract.
                • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

                  Mon, April 18, 2005 - 5:06 PM
                  "..Like giving the alleged criminal a chance to get a lawyer? "

                  Can your rights be sadi to exhist in any REAL way - if you are kept in the dark such that you cannot excercise your rigtht o self defense against abuse by the state because the state has cloaked itself in well defended secrecy?"

                  A lawyer can't stop the execution of a search warrant. All he can do is challenge it's legality later when it comes to using evidence found in the search. But he can do that whether his client got notice of the search before or after the search.
  • Unsu...
     

    Montana vs. the Patriot Act

    Fri, April 15, 2005 - 9:36 PM
    www.counterpunch.org/strickl...005.html

    There is a bi-partisan, grassroots rebellion afoot in American, a movement to resist the USA PATRIOT Act. The Bush Administration, United Stated Congress and mainstream media had better stand-up and take notice as pressure builds to reform provisions of the Act that violate American civil liberties.

    Fourteen other red and blue states from Wyoming to Massachusetts have similar resolutions in various stages of development, creating what the Bill of Rights Defense Committee calls "Civil Liberties Safe Zones."

    Members of the Montana House and Senate who voted against the Resolution were described by Paul Edwards as those who favor Bush mandates over federal and state Constitutional rights. Edwards characterized opponents as, "sold-out, valueless politicians with mindless, unswerving loyalty to the Bush regime."
    • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:02 PM
      Well Billy, you still haven't pointed to anything in the actual Patriot Act which is so "draconian", as you put it.
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:41 PM
        you must have missed this here it is again.
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
        Some of my concerns are these

        Secret Searches anyone remeber the (Fourth Amendment)

        Defining Any Criminal Activity as Terrorism,
        H.R.3162
        "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Received in the Senate)"

        AUTHORITY FOR DELAYING NOTICE OF THE EXECUTION OF A WARRANT.
        Delaying am I wrong to be concerned?

        SEC. 224 Sunset
        .
        I do not believe this for a second they will continue to add more and more.

        SEC. 316. ANTI-TERRORIST FORFEITURE PROTECTION
        This so called protection gives us no protection.
        It is under Maritime & Admiralty Jurisdiction.
        If I am wrong help me understand why.

        SEC. 802. DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM.
        the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
        `(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State

        I have all ready poked at this one a few time all ready.

        BULK CASH SMUGGLING INTO OR OUT OF THE UNITED STATES
        SEC. 371.

        When did it become a crime to have cash.
        Why is it smuggling to have a lot of money on you ?
        This is really shady,....... I don't use cards I use cash for every thing am I a criminal if I want to go on vacation and take cash?


        REPORTING OF SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES BY UNDERGROUND BANKING SYSTEMS.
        SEC. 359.

        huh what is suspicious activates.

        USE OF AUTHORITY OF UNITED STATES EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS.
        SEC. 360.

        (a) ACTION BY THE PRESIDENT- If the President determines that a particular foreign country has taken or has committed to take actions that contribute to efforts of the United States to respond to, deter, or prevent acts of international terrorism, the Secretary may, consistent with other applicable provisions of law, instruct the United States Executive Director of each international financial institution to use the voice and vote of the Executive Director to support any loan or other utilization of the funds of respective institutions for such country, or any public or private entity within such country.


        That is really a gray area isn't it.
        What if he decides that France is against us because they disagree. where the hell am I going to get my Cognac. :-)

        I don't hate the PA as a whole.

        There are parts that I do not like because it is to open ended.
        to is way to much room for misinterpretation.
        • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

          Mon, April 18, 2005 - 5:03 PM
          Thank you Billy for actually citing provisions within the Patriot Act. Now we're getting somewhere.

          "Secret Searches anyone remeber the (Fourth Amendment)"

          The 4th amendment doesn't require notification of the execution of the search warrant before the search. It just requires probable cause and that the warant be issued by a judge, which the "sneak and peek" search authorized by the Patriot Act requires. Billy, do you believe that police should ALWAYS announce beforehand that they are going to execute a search warrant no matter what teh circumstances? What about when doing so would trigger terrorists to execute a terrorist act first? What if doing so will cause a suspect to immediately destroy evidence? Those are the type of circumstances that the provision is supposed to be used for, and to use it, those are the conditions that the police have to convince a judge are in play. Even the ACLU has announced support for a modified sneak and peek provision with sufficient safeguards.

          "Defining Any Criminal Activity as Terrorism"

          I've already quoted the Patriot Act's definition of terrorism, and it doesn't define just any criminal act as terrorism. Scroll back up and see for yourself.

          The following is the heart of section 316. What's wrong with it? Seizing property used for criminal activities has been going on for years prior to the Patriot Act. This provision allows innocent people to get their property back.

          "(a) RIGHT TO CONTEST- An owner of property that is confiscated under any provision of law relating to the confiscation of assets of suspected international terrorists, may contest that confiscation by filing a claim in the manner set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims), and asserting as an affirmative defense that--
          (1) the property is not subject to confiscation under such provision of law; or
          (2) the innocent owner provisions of section 983(d) of title 18, United States Code, apply to the case."

          "EC. 802. DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM.
          the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
          `(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State

          I have all ready poked at this one a few time all ready."

          But you are omitting other key elements of the definition. It has to be a criminal act that threatens human life and is used to try to coerce the population or our government to change policy. That's not "any" criminal act.

          "When did it become a crime to have cash. "

          It's not. Unless you are smuggling in excess of $10,000 in cash with the purpose of evading currency reporting requirements, the provision wouldn't apply to you. There were currency reporting requirements prior to the Patriot Act. Below is the factuual background that gave rise to this provision:

          "(a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:
          (1) Effective enforcement of the currency reporting requirements of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code, and the regulations prescribed under such subchapter, has forced drug dealers and other criminals engaged in cash-based businesses to avoid using traditional financial institutions.
          (2) In their effort to avoid using traditional financial institutions, drug dealers and other criminals are forced to move large quantities of currency in bulk form to and through the airports, border crossings, and other ports of entry where the currency can be smuggled out of the United States and placed in a foreign financial institution or sold on the black market.
          (3) The transportation and smuggling of cash in bulk form may now be the most common form of money laundering, and the movement of large sums of cash is one of the most reliable warning signs of drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion and similar crimes.
          (4) The intentional transportation into or out of the United States of large amounts of currency or monetary instruments, in a manner designed to circumvent the mandatory reporting provisions of subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code,, is the equivalent of, and creates the same harm as, the smuggling of goods.
          (5) The arrest and prosecution of bulk cash smugglers are important parts of law enforcement's effort to stop the laundering of criminal proceeds, but the couriers who attempt to smuggle the cash out of the United States are typically low-level employees of large criminal organizations, and thus are easily replaced. Accordingly, only the confiscation of the smuggled bulk cash can effectively break the cycle of criminal activity of which the laundering of the bulk cash is a critical part.
          (6) The current penalties for violations of the currency reporting requirements are insufficient to provide a deterrent to the laundering of criminal proceeds. In particular, in cases where the only criminal violation under current law is a reporting offense, the law does not adequately provide for the confiscation of smuggled currency. In contrast, if the smuggling of bulk cash were itself an offense, the cash could be confiscated as the corpus delicti of the smuggling offense."

          Gotta run. More later.
    • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

      Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:04 PM
      "There is a bi-partisan, grassroots rebellion afoot in American"

      Great. A mass movement of people opposing something they don't know the first thing about. What percentage of this movement could accurately describe a single thing in all 56,000+ words of the Patriot Act?
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

        Fri, April 15, 2005 - 10:42 PM
        Great. A mass movement of people opposing something they don't know the first thing about. What percentage of this movement could accurately describe a single thing in all 56,000+ words of the Patriot Act?
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        Lonely isnt it
      • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

        Sat, April 16, 2005 - 4:38 AM
        Not you Ron.

        www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm

        Allows FBI Agents to investigate American citizens for criminal matters without probable cause of crime if they say it is for “intelligence purposes.” Permits non-citizens to be jailed based on mere suspicion and to be denied re-admission to the US for engaging in free speech. Suspects convicted of no crime may be detained indefinitely in six month increments without meaningful judicial review.

        Your quote Ron.
        "This is a mistaken belief that gets repeated often. Those questionable arrests and detentions trhat people complain about were actually justified on the basis of pre-patriot Act court decisions going back to World War II cases. They are not justified under the Patriot Act."

        You are just plain wrong about this as I have shown with sited posts.
        • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

          Sat, April 16, 2005 - 10:32 AM
          If our rights apply only to "citizens" (quoted to emphasize the mutability and current essential meaninglessness of that term) then they aren't pertinent to anyone.

          Either our American ideal is, or it isn't. Selective application invalidates the very charter of this nation.

          Deny it, and deny your own citizenship. I call "bullshit".

          The "Patriot" act is a direct disintegration of America. Support for it is tacit admiration for HITLER ~ yes HITLER, reds. Cut it out, clear your heads, and realize that you've been very bad - *apologize*, make restitution, and help us put this trailer back on the road.

          I'm going to start calling you out harder and harder, so, get ready. Anyone who cries "Godwin" or "crackpot" gets special attention.
          • Unsu...
             

            Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

            Sat, April 16, 2005 - 11:40 AM
            Crackpot!!! comeon people liten up, have a cold one, smoke some...um cigretts.
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

              Mon, April 18, 2005 - 10:20 AM
              "Allows FBI Agents to investigate American citizens for criminal matters without probable cause of crime if they say it is for “intelligence purposes.” Permits non-citizens to be jailed based on mere suspicion and to be denied re-admission to the US for engaging in free speech. Suspects convicted of no crime may be detained indefinitely in six month increments without meaningful judicial review."

              I find this of major concern. It is quoted as coming from this site:
              www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm

              If I am to oppose this measure, I need to be able to cite it directly from the Patriot Act provisions here:
              www.tribe.net/thread/1f09.....d-0c032e338965

              Has anyone had any luck connecting these two pieces of info to the Act? Personally, I dont have the brainpower to sift thru the legalese. If this can be directly attributed to the Act then we have indeed found at least one of the many provisions that are coming into direct contradiction with the constitution.
          • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

            Mon, April 18, 2005 - 4:35 PM
            "The "Patriot" act is a direct disintegration of America. Support for it is tacit admiration for HITLER ~ yes HITLER, reds."

            I think anyone who says the above likes Stalin and baby murderers.

            Just keeping it at your level of discussion.
            • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

              Tue, April 19, 2005 - 12:49 PM
              Hey, if it's funny for you, by all means, dodge the bullet. It doesn't matter here, does it? But it *will* matter, to someone here, though none of us will know.

              They'll just be... gone.

              Since you've read it all in such minute detail, I'll consider you a secondary expert on questions regarding the American Gestapo in future. I'll check your responses against my pal who works up at the ol' Homeland Security doling out security clearance and fact-finding.

              According to him, my wife and I have been on some or other watch-list since before we were even married. Go figure! Your government is spending money to spy on a belly-dance teacher and a freelance artist. Think about it, next time you're concerned about Bush's insane economic "policy" - heh.

              Does sort of give some foundation to a lot of you folks that confuse me with your paradoxical seeming-IQ versus your support for the most hated and incompetent presidential figure in the history of America who lies constantly and brutalizes people based on his heretical "christianity": you're just evading capture for a little while. Gotta warn you, though - intellectual is intellectual in this country. They'll stop hating the brown races for a minute, but they've *never* stopped hating the intellectual. Simper and scrape all you want - you're next.
        • Re: Montana vs. the Patriot Act

          Tue, April 19, 2005 - 2:29 PM
          From Steve's post:

          "Your quote Ron.
          "This is a mistaken belief that gets repeated often. Those questionable arrests and detentions trhat people complain about were actually justified on the basis of pre-patriot Act court decisions going back to World War II cases. They are not justified under the Patriot Act."

          You are just plain wrong about this as I have shown with sited posts."

          No you haven't Steve. The quotation you quote of me above was in response to the following statement made by Qausi:

          ""Anyhow, those imprisoned in places like Gitmo & Abu Gharib are a major concern. It is my understanding that the Patriot Act has provided the exception that anyone considered politically or criminally threatening to the government may be held indefinitely with no formal charges."

          There is NOTHING in the Patriot Act which authorizes the government to hold someone indefinately with no formal chages just because they are deemed to pose a "political" threat, and you have not cited anything in the Patriot Act to the contrary. The only thing that comes remotely close is a provision which allows the Attorney General to temporarily hold an alien who poses a terrorist (not political) threat to the US, but he can only be held until we can kick him out of the country, and theer are several safeguards which protect against indefinite detainment.

          You want to know my source for all this? OK, it's the Patriot Act. Be my guest and try to find anything which authorizes what Qausi suggested.
  • Sneak and Peek

    Mon, April 18, 2005 - 5:10 PM
    If you look at the literature from legal organizations challenging the Patriot Act, such as the ACLU and others, it looks like the main problem people have had with the Patriot Act (that is, people who knew what they were talking about regarding its contents) is the sneak and peek provision which allows under limited circumstances the delaying of notification of the execution of a search warrant. I believe that that is a justifiable provision under the limited explicitly limited circumstances that that provision is allowed to be used. However, even if it's a bad provision, it's one provision in a 56,000+ word act. Why throw out everything because you don't like one or two elements of it?
  • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

    Mon, April 18, 2005 - 11:38 PM
    By the way, shameless plug time. I created a tribe where you can find resources on the Patriot Act. Feel free to post your own resources there, either pro or anti Patriot Act. Even though I support the Act, I posted some negative sources on it.

    patriotact.tribe.net/
  • awww, come on sets...

    Tue, April 19, 2005 - 12:18 PM
    where'd you go?

    <<It was making a statement of them disappoving of the freedoms we hold dear....We created a beautiful democracy-based system of government, and we implemented it, we allowed personal freedom, and we are the champions of protecting that freedom, we are what people compare other countries to, we are the cultural, economical, and social center of the world....We protect a wide range of freedoms, for all nationalities and religions, as well as protect people based on age, and sex. No other country allows as much personal freedom. And since we are also the media center of the world, they wanted the world to see that, somehow, those freedoms would dissipate after 9-11.

    They figured our way of freedom would be destroyed if they could disrupt our economy (i.e. WTC) They hate America not because of a President or an occupation, They hate America because of the freedoms we represent. Our freedom is detremental to "their" teachings that women have no rights, Muslim is the "only" religion (and should have hold over Gov't), that suicide bombings are a form of martyrdom, that killing is the best way to get what you want, that people are not allowed to question religion, that any unmarried girl who isn't a virgin, should be stoned to death......do I need to go on?
    Is that a sufficient answer?>>


    not sufficient at all...you basically repeated your earlier comments, which were:

    <The reason they targeted us, is because they blame us for somehow tainting their ideology. By having porn, and eating pork and listening to secular music, and allowing women to have a voice, or even show their hair. Welfare, Voting, Bill of Rights, freedoms to criticize Gov't. or Religion, girls having sex before marriage, abortion...in essence, freedom, they hate all of these ideas. >


    << Why would they attack New Zealand, what would that accomplish?>>

    they are a westernized democracy with a wide berth of social freedoms - those things you insist draw the wrath of al qaida. surely attacking them would make a statement against those terrible freedoms? oh, i forgot - according to you, they don't count...

    <I won't even dignify Aussie or New Zealand as even a world power. >

    well, guess what? if one must be BOTH a freedom-loving democracy AND a world power to incur the wrath of al qaida, then it cannot be true that they hate us solely because of our freedoms.

    Q.E.D.


    <<We created a beautiful democracy-based system of government, and we implemented it, we allowed personal freedom, and we are the champions of protecting that freedom ....We protect a wide range of freedoms, for all nationalities and religions, as well as protect people based on age, and sex. No other country allows as much personal freedom.>>

    poppycock!

    a) we are not the only democracy
    b) our civil rights are in grave danger - it can be argued that among western democracies we actually have fewer freedoms. or do you think it's ok that a kid wearing a democratic party t-shirt was denied entry to a taxpayer-funded public talk by shrubya?

    www.yda.org/CMS/Press/1494

    beyond that, there are plenty of democracies that are far more socially liberal than the U.S. since you stated that it is our social freedoms - pork rinds, britney spears, pr0n, etc. - that so corrupts their morality and incites their hatred, it makes no sense that we should be targeted over a country that has, for example, legalized prostitution.


    <<we are the cultural, economical, and social center of the world

    ...And since we are also the media center of the world>>

    you're getting warmer...


    <<They figured our way of freedom would be destroyed if they could disrupt our economy (i.e. WTC)>>

    warmer still...the economy definitely ties in.

    in some other thread, you and i agreed that the emancipation proclamation [9/11 attacks] was really about crushing the south's [U.S's] economy (i.e. weakening the enemy's position) more than ending slavery [hating freedom].

    that's what enemies at war do, you know...weaken their opponents at every opportunity, by whatever means available.


    <<They hate America not because of a President or an occupation>>

    have you asked "them"? probably not.

    have you at least read any (even pre-9/11) of bin laden's statements? he's pretty blunt in laying out his issues with the U.S. nowhere does he mention our deplorable freedoms. NOWHERE. so, either bin laden is lying regarding his true motivations or he's telling the truth.

    tell me, sets - if you were staging a terrorist attack to make your big point or whatever, would you make up some faux moralist bullshit or, having the attention of the entire planet, would you communicate sincerely your meaning and intent?


    • Re: awww, come on sets...

      Tue, April 19, 2005 - 12:58 PM
      People who think that our 'freedoms' have anything to do with eastern and/or fundamentalist muslim hatred for America merely reveal their Jethro-like hick bias while hiking up there breeches and shamelessly displaying their total lack of relevant historical study.

      Don't claim stuff about what "they" are thinking, until you do your homework.

      I suggest, for an crash course, beginning with the general world scene in the final stages of WWI, then a focus directed specifically on Ayatollah Khomeini's career as Velayaat-e Faqih after Carter's pet Shah bit the political dust, and, of course, making sure to catch up on what Ariel Sharon was up to in the early 70s.

      And please, try to remember that you're a hopelessly stupid baboon with zero understanding of the real world and its diverse peoples until you can be objective. Supporting every single thing without criticism or question that the most famous dumbass in history does - it pretty much segregates you from the "well-informed" crowd, see. It reminds us that you're hooting party lines and can't really be trusted.
  • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

    Sun, May 8, 2005 - 12:40 PM
    <<they wanted the world to see that, somehow, those freedoms would dissipate after 9-11.>>

    exhibit A: patriot act
    exhibit B: real id act:

    www.civilrights.org/issues/h...tails.cfm
    www.prospect.org/weblog/ar...tml#006348

    exhibit C: protest-free zones at bush rallies

    exhibit D: pre-screened, friendly and GOP-approved "town hall" audiences

    exhibit E: "stop-loss"

    exhibit F: sibel edmonds:

    www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm

    exhibit G: albertorquemada gonzales

    my, but i could go on and on...


    <<They figured our way of freedom would be destroyed if they could disrupt our economy (i.e. WTC)>>

    exhibit A: NYSE closed for a week
    exhibit B: air travel shut down for almost a week
    exhibit C: deficit
    exhibit D: war costs - roughly 400billion and counting
    exhibit E: worst job growth since hoover
    exhibit F: stagflation

    etc., etc.


    <<They hate America because of the freedoms we represent...Muslim is the "only" religion (and should have hold over Gov't)>>

    i guess fundamentalist christians hate america too?

    exhibit A: constitutional restoration act
    exhibit B: HR 235
    exhibit C: intelligent design should be taught in schools
    exhibit D: democrats getting kicked out of churches
    exhibit E: pharmacist using "moral objection" to withhold contraceptive prescriptions
    exhibit F: "justice sunday"


    etc., etc., ad nauseum...
  • Re: Critics of the Patriot Act

    Sun, May 8, 2005 - 2:00 PM
    www.iconoclast-texas.com/Colum...2a.htm

    <<Some residents of Jacksonville feel that their First Amendment rights were taken away as they witnessed an encounter that resulted in pepper balls fired into crowds of men, women, and children as an abrupt “sweep” of a sidewalk erupted into chaos as the presidential motorcade drove by last Thursday.

    According to a news story in the Medford Mail Tribune, one man said he was shot in the back seven times with pepper balls (plastic paint balls filled with capsaicin). He said he saw a man get hit with a baton and fall to the ground. “With my back to the police — as I was picking him up — that’s when I was shot.”

    Trish Bowcock, a resident of Jacksonville and a retired attorney who is formerly of Austin, Texas, was an eyewitness to the disturbance and penned her impressions of the scene from a personal standpoint. She has agreed to allow The Iconoclast to reprint her thoughts.

    Mail Tribune staff members confirmed her contention that law enforcement concentrated on anti-Bush protestors, rather than pro-Bush demonstrators, and that the order to stop the protests came from the U.S. Secret Service. >>

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