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A Guide to the Patriot Act, Part 1

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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 2 (120 page PDF file)

NEW DOJ WEBSITE - designed to shore up support for the act.

ALCU ARTICLE - 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 Act.

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!!!

posted on Sep, 9 2003 @ 01:19 PM

By Tom Brune
After visiting more than a dozen cities in the past month to defend the controversial anti-terrorism Patriot Act, Attorney General John Ashcroft is scheduled to end his tour today with an appearance at Federal Hall in Manhattan.

Faced with growing unease in Congress and among the public, Ashcroft launched the tour last month to boost support for the Patriot Act, which has become a symbol for his overall conduct of the domestic war on terrorism.

The ACLU and others have lambasted the act's expansion of spying and police powers, especially the FBI's ability to obtain warrants to order businesses and libraries to turn over records.


There is alot of talk that Ashcroft has hand picked his audiences for this little tour he has is just wrapping up, that he is speaking almost exclusively to closed audiences of law enforcement officials.

There is definitely a growing concern about this act and I feel more people need to be made aware of it. In my day to day activities, at work, at the gym, etc, when I mention the Patriot Act, more times than not people have no idea what it is. It has been well documented and talked about here at ATS, but there are still many people out there who have no idea what it's all about.

Well Ashcroft must realize there is some resistance, hence setting up this nationwide tour to basically defend the Patriot Act even if it is just to selected gov't officials.


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