posted on Sep, 9 2003 @ 11:23 AM
This was an interesting article concerning the Patriot Act. Three states, some large cities, some 152 communiteies and some Congresmen have denounced
the act and are attemting to pass resolutions saying that it is an assault on civil liberties, and I agree.
US PATRIOT ACT
US PATRIOT ACT 2
(120 page PDF file)
NEW DOJ WEBSITE
- designed to shore up support for the act.
- a new fact sheet challenging the DOJ Web site.
Here is the article that I was referring to:
By Dahlia Lithwick and Julia Turner
there's the John Ashcroft "Patriot Rocks" concert tour, launched last month, which has him visiting 18 cities and talking up the act to local law
enforcement officials. The DOJ also unloosed a new Web site last month, designed to shore up support for the act. Ashcroft contends that had the
Patriot Act been in place earlier, 9/11 wouldn't have happened and that absent a Patriot Act, the country may have seen more 9/11s over the past two
years—a double-double negative that's unprovable, but enough to scare you witless. There have also been a raft of op-eds and articles—some evidently
written by Ashcroft's U.S. attorneys at knifepoint—simultaneously making the point that the act has staved off unspeakable acts of terror while
maintaining that it made only tiny infinitesimal changes to the existing laws.
Copies of "Patriot II"—the act that was intended to follow Patriot and grant the government even broader powers—were leaked to the press last
winter, and while the ensuing ruckus ensured that Patriot II is dead, much of it will evidently rise again this fall in the guise of the VICTORY
One of the more controversial sections of the Patriot Act is Section 215.
Section 215 modifies the rules on records searches. Post-Patriot Act, third-party holders of your financial, library, travel, video rental, phone,
medical, church, synagogue, and mosque records can be searched without your knowledge or consent, providing the government says it's trying to
protect against terrorism.
Would you know if Section 215 had been used on you? Nope. The person made to turn over the records is gagged and cannot disclose the search to anyone.
The first lawsuit against the Patriot Act was filed by the ACLU on July 30 this year, targeting Section 215. The suit has six mostly Arab and Muslim
American groups as plaintiffs. Their claim is that 215 violates the Constitution and "vastly expands the power of the [FBI] to obtain records and
other 'tangible things' of people not suspected of criminal activity."
This whole Patriot Act idea is a bit disturbing, it's good to see that there are many fronts now opposing the intentions of this act.
The article was the first of four in an attempt to make people aware of the act. Part 1 tackles Section 215, the law dealing with private records.
Part 2 will address changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and "sneak and peek" warrants. Part 3 will discuss new electronic
surveillance, and Part 4 will discuss miscellaneous provisions, including alien detentions.
I think all Americans should be aware of the Patriot Act and if not read it, at least skim it so you know exactly what it is that our government is
trying to do.
Beware, or at least be aware!!!