If you read the news you will hear a million (mostly progressives) pretend to be skeptical and insert their cynicism into the news using subtle words like “rant” in place of “speech” or imply it was to kick off a campaign as if he has not given speeches against it time and time again. The Patriot Act was promised as a means to fight terrorism, placed upon the public by government during our grief like an auctioneer preying on a new widow. It was a deliberate act of smarmy and unethical politics. This had been swirling around for years, even before 911, as a means of Keynesian exploitation to prop up corporatism at the heart of the intelligence complex, and a gutless and thirsty power grab on the part of government which set the precedence for a maniacal abuse of power.
Look at who wants it to remain, and ask yourself: do you trust them? Have they been honest with you?
I could go into huge detail on this piece of shit legislation, but I’ll stick with three pieces of it for now and its follow up case law.
Look at Section 215 and read it. Things that should alarm you:
- That the government can ask for “any tangible thing” of yours even if you are not the subject of the investigation but there is an ongoing investigation.
- Gag order. You can’t tell anyone that the government came into your home and took your things.
- It does not have to be tied to a terror cell or event.
Senator Wyden wants you to know that there is also a “Secret Patriot Act” that you do not know about because it has been “classified” that is much worse than what you do know about and increases those powers beyond the scope of section 215.
Section 205 talks about the National Security Letters. Because these things were created in another era for a limited purpose they have never required a judge to issue them. Now, the FBI can issue them at random (and CIA although they were allegedly bound to not work domestically) and there are more of those gag orders attached to them.
On April 28, 2006, the Department of Justice reported to the House and Senate that in calendar year 2005, “the Government made requests for certain information concerning 3,501 United States persons pursuant to NSLs. During this period, the total number of NSL requests … for information concerning U.S. persons totaled 9,254.”
However, FOIA requests say otherwise. Between 2003 and 2006,200,000 of these letters were issued with only one conviction for terrorism and in that case the letter wasn’t even needed. So 200,000 people in three years (God knows how many now) had their right to privacy violated for nothing and could appeal to no one for help and “We the People” never knew.
For one conviction where it wasn’t even needed.
Sneak and Peek in Section 213 allows the government to come into your home when you are NOT there, poke around, collect stuff, leave and you never know they were there. From the American Bar: http://apps.americanbar.org/natsecurity/patriotdebates/section-213
nstead, Mark Jaycox of the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote recently, law enforcement agencies across the United States have for more than a decade been relying on Section 213 of the PATRIOT Act to conduct secret surveillance during the course of drug crime investigations.
Jaycox, a legislative analyst for the California-based digital rights group, wrote this week that an analysis of information about the use of “sneak and peek” warrants as allowed in Sec. 213 reveals that the controversial counterterrorism legislation is routinely evoked in order for investigators to conduct searches without first informing a suspect — something the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution explicitly forbids.
As the American Civil Liberties Union warned all the way back in 2002, Sec. 213 affords investigators the power to “enter a house, apartment or office with a search warrant when the occupant was away, search through her property and take photographs, and in some cases seize physical property and electronic communications,” without the targeted person learning until later.
“Section 213 would take an extremely limited authority and expand it so that it would be available in any kind of search (physical or electronic) and in any kind of criminal case,” the ACLU warned before the provision was even authorized, writing then that potential passage of the bill would signal a “sea change in the way search warrants are executed in the United States.”
This week, Jaycox wrote that police have indeed been using the powers bestowed by Sec. 213 to serve “sneak and peek” warrants, albeit with terrorism rarely being involved. In fact, he found, fewer than one percent of the instances where these warrants are used have any nexus to terrorism whatsoever.According to Jaycox’s report, the US government has cited “terrorism” only 51 times during the more than 11,000 sneak and peek warrants that have been authorized since the PATRIOT Act went into law.
Fewer than 1% of the cases its used on have ANYTHING to do with terrorism.
Now there will be the neocons and centrist Dems who say: Well if you’re not doing anything wrong, what does it matter? Are you hiding something?
To them I say, I have a hot bod but I still don’t want anyone stripping my clothes off. I am a private person.
I would also urge people to read the writings between Jefferson and Madison where Jefferson tells him that people will begin to think that the Bill of Rights are our only rights, and Madison being, well, stupid goes: Nawwwww.
Here is the preamble to the Bill of Rights. I hope people read it because it explains that the Bill of Rights are not about telling us what our only rights are, but to tell government what the limits of its power are.
The U.S. Bill of Rights
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”