The [un]Patriot Act
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil
Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to
defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair
inheritance from our worthy ancestors; they purchased them for us with
toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring an
everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it
is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without
a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and
designing men." Samuel Adams
"This law is based on the faulty assumption that safety must come at the expense
of civil liberties. The USA Patriot Act gives law enforcement agencies nationwide extraordinary
new powers unchecked by meaningful judicial review." Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU's
Washington National Office
"Liberty has never come from the government; it has always come from the subjects of it. The
history of liberty is a history of limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it". Woodrow Wilson
- Patriot Act challenge returns to TM (The Daily News Transcript)
W ALPOLE -- Town Meeting representatives last fall may have solidly
rejected a resolution critical of the USA Patriot Act, but its
proponents are not ready to throw in the towel.
And Markets Discover How Changes Including Basel II, The USA Patriot
Act And Sarbanes Oxley Create (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
Research And Markets Discover How Changes Including Basel II, The USA
Patriot Act And Sarbanes Oxley Create Opportunities To Consolidate And
Invest In New Technology, And Centralise Data Management Operations.
- Patriot Act Creates Unique Alliances (KOLO)
Though there is a common thread. There's a lot in the Patriot
Act.....and a lot that worries a lot of different kinds of people. With
the Bush Administration signaling it wants to renew some of its most
controversial provisions. The protests are getting louder, even in 'red
states' like Nevada.
- Balancing out the Patriot Act with a local resolution (Nevada Appeal)
An organizer of a Patriot Act forum tonight in Carson City hopes the
long-term outcome is a city resolution that prioritizes probable cause
above the federal government's right to access information under the
- ACLU holding Patriot Act forum (Reno Gazette-Journal)
Balancing Security & Individual Freedom: a Community Forum on the
USA Patriot Act will be tonight from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Brewery
Arts Center Performance Hall at 511 W King St. in Carson City.
- Gonzales supports assault weapon ban, full Patriot Act (The Olympian)
WASHINGTON -- Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales told the Senate
on Tuesday that he supports extending the expired federal assault
- Gonzales condemns torture, supports renewal of Patriot Act (Kansas City Star)
WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Attorney General-designate Alberto Gonzales
offered a less-than-unequivocal answer this month when asked if U.S.
personnel could engage in torture under certain circumstances.
- Vastera Helps Special Olympics Comply with PATRIOT Act (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
Vastera, Inc. , the worldwide leading provider of solutions for Global
Trade Management , today announced that Special Olympics will use
Vastera's TradeSphere Restricted Party Screening software to ensure
that the organization complies with the various federal laws regarding
restricted party screening.
- Can the FBI Monitor Your Web Browsing Without a Warrant? (Free Internet Press)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed
a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FBI and other
offices of the US Department of Justice, seeking the release of
documents that would reveal whether the government has been using the
USA PATRIOT Act to spy on Internet users' reading habits without a
- Gonzales supports assault-weapons ban (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
WASHINGTON -- Attorney-general nominee Alberto Gonzales told the Senate
yesterday that he supports extending the expired federal
assault-weapons ban. Gonzales also said he wants Congress to
reauthorize the Patriot Act this year, despite complaints that it is
Before casting THE ONLY NO VOTE the Senate against the USA Patriot Act, Sen. Russell Feingold said:
"Of course, there is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it
would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that
allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if
we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail,
eavesdrop on your phone conversation, or intercept your email
communication; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to
hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or
based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the
government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists.
But that probably would not be a country in which we would
want to live. And that would not be a country for which we could, in
good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that
would not be America.
Preserving our freedom is one of the main reasons that we are
now engaged in this new war on terrorism. We will lose that war without
firing a shot if we sacrifice the liberties of the American people.
USResolve Quote: Ya' know, I think Senetor Feingold
is right, more and more people are leaving, and more will leave the USA
because of the eroding civil liberties.
The Patriot Act: Wired Headlines
- Brave New Era for Privacy Fight
...sts on both sides of the political spectrum are bracing for a White
House push to augment controversial domestic surveillance powers gained
under the Patriot Act and other legislation passed since 9/11.The
administration has made it clear that they do intend to continue their
move to dramatically r...
- Rants Raves
Rants RavesReaders on being offended by the media ... Patriot Act
overload ... protecting kids from indecency ... and more.2:00 a.m. Jan.
7, 2005 PDTDate: 01/06/2005 09:08 AMFrom: Brad Coon
(firstname.lastname@example.org)While I appreciate Mr. Penenberg's
suggestion that I change the channel wh
- Rants Raves
Rants RavesReaders on horrible cell service Patriot Act problems legal
satellite pirating and more.2:00 a.m. Jan. 6, 2005 PDTDate: 01/05/2005
01:46 AMFrom: Bonnie J. Swain (email@example.com)How true (Cheap
Cell Calls Have a Price, Dec. 30, 2004)! When I bought my first cell
phone in 19
- The Business of Fighting Terror
...he first behind-the-scenes look at the nation's most known and
unknown antiterrorism programs.No Place to Hide opens with an intimate
account of the Patriot Act's birth, starting with the law's architect
Viet Dinh's breakfast on Sept. 11 and leading to the backroom Patriot
Act infighting between ci...
- Laser Wielder Faces Big Penalties
Laser Wielder Faces Big PenaltiesThe feds use the Patriot Act to charge
a New Jersey man who allegedly admits flashing a green light beam at
overhead aircraft. The FBI says there's no terror connection, but the
man faces a 25-year prison sentence and fines of up to
$500,000.Associated Press1:52 p
- Curbing Your Enthusiasm
... speech, or of the press.Yet the Bush administration has not made my
top-10 list of organizations dedicated to serving this principle, not
since the Patriot Act. The federal government's power to tap our
phones, read our e-mail and otherwise snoop in our personal
communications appalls me.Do we ha...
- Can Math Help in Terror War?
... attacks, and convicted only 15 of them. By some counts, the United
States has detained more than 5,000 foreign nationals under the
provisions of the Patriot Act, alienating them and their families.Part
of the war on terrorism is winning hearts and minds, said Woo, an
analyst in the London office o...
- House Bill Morphs 9/11 Advice
...r for the government to deport immigrants to countries where they
might be tortured or to countries to which an immigrant has no
relationship expand Patriot Act wiretap provisions and the ban on
material support to designated terrorist organizations make it tougher
for illegal immigrants to get a ...
- Part of Patriot Act Struck Down
Part of Patriot Act Struck DownThe provision that allows law
enforcement agencies to demand confidential financial records from
companies as part of terrorism investigations is ruled unconstitutional
by a district judge.Wired News Report10:53 a.m. Sep. 29, 2004 PDTPart
of the Patriot Act, a cent
- Rants Raves
...Date: 09/16/2004 06:36 AMFrom: Guy Frazier
(firstname.lastname@example.org)Having lost a number of friends in the 9/11
attacks, I have no problems with the Patriot Act (Don't Mess With
Librarians, Sept. 15, 2004). I'll be glad when librarians like her are
replaced by computers.- - -Have a Rant or Rave f...
02 August 2004 - "The Revolution of 1800 and the USA Patriot Act," by William J. Watkins, Jr.
A Citizens' Guide to the Patriot Act
Texas Democrats Denounce Patriot Act
Party members approved a Texas State Democratic platform the included
calling the immediate repeal of Patriot Act provisions that "are
inconsistent with the letter or spirit of the Bill of Rights of the
U.S. Constitution." 19 June 2004 - Originally reported here...
Protecting America from the Patriot Act
Victoria Advocate on Patriot Act goes too far:
24 may 2004
The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the constitutionality of a key provision of
the USA Patriot Act. Congress passed the antiterrorism law in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks on the Pentagon and New York City's World Trade Center. Some members had not actually read
the measure's full text and may not have understood all of its implications.
Now, the public cannot read the full text of the ACLU's lawsuit because releasing that could
well violate the law the civil liberties organization is challenging in court.
"The ACLU is contesting a provision of the law that allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation
to require telephone, Internet and other communications companies to provide basic information about
their customers, including addresses and call records," The New York Times reported.
The lawyers had to file their lawsuit under seal for fear of being prosecuted by the U.S. Justice
Department for violating the Patriot Act. The ACLU asked U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero of New
York City to unseal the filing.
- Read More ...
USResolve Editor Note: They [Big Brother] haven't told you, investigations utilizing provisions of
the Patriot Act don't even need to have anything to do with terrorism or terrorists, only suggestive
relevancy, nor do they have to have any probable cause. They've hidden provisions in the Patriot act disguised so you
don't know they are actually designed as tools for the already failed, "War on Drugs." How much will this
cost in human suffering, broken families, broken lives, wasted tax dollars...ad infinitum
Big Brother can enter your home or business without a warrant, and without your knowledge or permission.
Oh, they can do wire taps without authorized warrants too. They could do this if they don't like the books
you bought or checked out from the library, the sites you visited on the Internet, some of the keywords
contained in your emails, the people you hang around with, the movies you see, or just about any reason
they can think of. All this without any judicial oversight. They are trampling on the civil rights of
American citizens, for any 'ol reason they like. ... Kinda sounds like a Police State's Secret
Police Action to me...
Now, I may not have access the the full text of the Patriot Act, and I may not be expalining this exacly right,
but elected Congressional representatives didn't get to read it before voting into law either, and didn't see the
horrible crushing of liberties contained within. They were scared into signing it into law, by visions of impending terrorist
doom, portrayed by the Bush Administration and John Ashcroft.
BIG BROTHER IS HERE - TELL YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES YOU OPPOSE THIS BLATANT TRAMPLING OF AND DESTRUCTION OF CIVIL LIBERTIES
EFF Urges Court to Find USA PATRIOT Act Powers Unconstitutional
by IPR - 25 May 2004 - (Excerpts)
"Now the FBI can use them (provisions of the Patriot Act) to get private records about anybody it thinks could, (or might)
be relevant to a terrorism or espionage investigation, without ever
having to show probable cause to a judge." ... "unrestrained power to
examine innocent citizens’ First Amendment activities online is merely
one of the unconstitutional surveillance authorities granted to the FBI
by the PATRIOT Act.” - Read the Article
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee encourages communities to take an
active role in an ongoing national debate about the USA PATRIOT Act and
other antiterrorism measures that threaten civil liberties guaranteed
by the Bill of Rights.
Hundreds of Cities and counties, and a growing list of states have
passed resolutions to protect their residents' civil liberties.
Hundreds more resolutions critical of the Patriot Act are in progress.
Click here to learn more and how you can help defeat the Patriot Act and the upcoming Patriot Act II
NO MORE 1984
Westchester Bill of Rights Defense Campaign opposes Patriot Act
By Susan Elan - 25 May 2004 - Westchester, NY - (Read the full article)
"I lived under Nazi tyranny, and I am concerned that this nation may permit the government to shortcut personal liberties,"
said William Donat of Purchase, who as a child was smuggled out of the
Warsaw Ghetto when his parents were sent to concentration camps.
"I lived in a(n) (American)concentration camp during World
War II because of my ethnic(Japanese) background," she told the board.
"We are in the midst of a war, and our young men and women are fighting
so we can preserve our civil rights and liberties. But we have a
Patriot Act that violates many of our constitutional rights. We at home must work diligently to preserve our Constitution."
Winston Ross, a former regional director of the NAACP ...
"the atmosphere that reigns in the nation under the heading of the war
on terrorism is reminiscent of the 'hysteria' and 'illegal acts' which took place in the early 1950s on the pretext of fighting communism."
"As we approach Memorial Day, it is worth considering that
we must memorialize not only those who have sacrificed their lives for
our freedoms, but also to honor those basic rights embedded in our
Constitution and the Bill of Rights."
Simpsons' Episode Assailing Patriot Act Will Rank Among Program's Classics
by Frederick B. Meekins - 27 May 2004
The Simpsons is a series at its wittiest when it pokes fun at issues with broader social implications. Classic
episodes that come to mind include the ones spoofing the Masons, the UFO cult, and Homer's Drudge-style webpage.
Joining these will no doubt be the one alluding to the
Patriot Act. - Read More...
Area group seeks stronger action against Patriot Act
by John Sowell, Douglas County, Oregon - 16 May 2004
A group of area residents on Wednesday pressed Douglas County commissioners to take a stronger stand against the USA
Patriot Act. Read More...
The Wrong Target
By Nancy Talanian, AlterNet - 5 April 2004
our hasty retreat toward safety since September 11th, our nation has
discarded parts of the Bill of Rights along the way. After reviewing
U.S. antiterrorism policies and practices, the Bill of Rights turns out
not to be an extravagance to be abridged during times of stress: It is
the key to our effectiveness." Read the article...
A Question of Patriotism
by Joe Fields - 4 April 2004
...what, exactly is so patriotic about the Patriot Act? It is an act
that cuts the courts out of the careful review of 4th Amendment issues;
the issues that provide safeguards against domestic surveillance and
seizures. FBI agents can now conduct searches, seize bank records and
mine library and business databases without disclosing they have done
so." Read More...
The Patriot Act, The Victory Act, The Despot Act
by Peter Guither - 26 September 2003
I suppose this "old law-enforcement culture" is the one where the Bill of Rights was considered an
important part of our freedom. That is what Ashcroft now considers "no longer relevant." - Click here to read more...
Government abuses of power in the Patriot Act II
(aka: Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003)
By Alex Jones - 10 February 2003
TOTAL POLICE STATE TAKEOVER: The Secret Patriot Act II Destroys What Is Left of American Liberty
Things We Lost in the Fire
by Alisa Solomon - [Originally Written September 11 - 17, 2002]
While the Ruins of the World Trade Center Smoldered, the
Bush Administration Launched an Assault on the Constitution
"Liberty is the most precious gift we offer our citizens."
Could Tom Ridge have said anything scarier or more telling as he accepted the
post of homeland security czar? Trying to strike the bell of liberty, he sounds its death
knell, depicting government not as the agent of the people's will, but as an imperious
power with the authority to give us our democratic freedoms. Which means, of course,
that it can also take them away.
That's exactly what Ashcroft, Bush, Cheney & co. have been up to all year as, in the attorney
general's words, the government has marshaled the might of "every available statute" to root
out "the terrorists among us." Wrapping themselves in the flag, they have shredded the
Constitution. They have sneered at, ignored, or defied the courts and legislatures that
are designed to provide checks and balances on uninhibited executive power. They have
eroded the precious Bill of Rights protections of free speech, assembly, and association
and its assurances of privacy, due process, equal protection, legal counsel, and a fair
trial - practically everything but the right to bear arms.
USA Patriot Act - Too Much Power!!
Editorial: Appearing in the Washington Post - Sunday 04 January 2004
This year's intelligence authorization bill provided a little-noticed and dangerous expansion of
a peculiar and unaccountable FBI investigative power. Last-minute efforts to modify the provision
in conference committee failed, unfortunately, so the bureau now has more power to compel the
production of certain business records in national security investigations, with no court oversight
and in nearly total secrecy. The use of "national security letters" is not new, but in light of new
authorities provided the FBI in the USA Patriot Act, Congress should be finding ways to curtail
their use, not expand it.
National security letters are a form of administrative subpoena that permit the FBI to request
from businesses records of, among other things, telephone and Internet activity or financial data
from banks and other financial institutions bearing on investigative targets in counterintelligence
or terrorism cases. These subpoenas are secret; the recipient cannot disclose having received one.
And the letters can be issued by relatively low-level bureau officials without going to any court.
In the Patriot Act, Congress made this process easier, removing the requirement that the FBI have
specific facts linking the subject to a foreign power to justify each letter. Now, to issue a
national security letter, the FBI merely has to certify that the information is "relevant" to a
national security investigation. The only reason national security letters have not posed a significant
threat to civil liberties is that they have applied only to relatively narrow categories of records.
That will now begin to change. The definition of "financial institution" in the new law is expanded
to include insurance companies, pawnbrokers, dealers in precious metals, the Postal Service, casinos,
travel agencies and more. The FBI, on the authority of individual supervisory agents, can now get any
of these businesses to disclose its dealings with anyone if the bureau deems those records relevant to
counter-terrorism. This is more unchecked power than the agency ought to have.
The Patriot Act already gave the FBI wide-ranging power to seek a much broader category of
"business records" - but with the approval of a special court that authorizes surveillance in national
security cases. The standard is not high, but by giving a federal judge the chance to look at the
application, the law creates some accountability. Ironically, it is this unobjectionable provision
in the Patriot Act that has attracted the ire of civil libertarian and library groups. In our view,
the objections are wrongheaded; the provision merely parallels the government's authority in criminal
cases to seek business records using grand jury subpoenas. But now Congress has taken action that
really is worth worrying about, giving the government another authority for whose use it need seek
leave only from itself.
A True Act of Patriotism
Commentary by Phil Duncan
On Monday[1-26-04], a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that part of the USA Patriot Act was unconstitutional.
To this I sarcastically reply, "You're kidding me!"
This ruling proves a point already understood by many people - the Patriot
Act was written with haste and passed into law by fear. I agree that something
had to be done after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, but the way it was carried
out was sloppy and irresponsible. It would be hard to find anyone who would say
the entire effort was wrong, because in today's world national security is absolutely
necessary. However, a couple components are rather vague, drastic and, as shown in the
court's ruling, unconstitutional. - Read More ... - 28 Jan 04
Scholars say: Patriot Act anything but patriotic
November 19, 2003
Is it a euphemism for government intrusion into the lives of the
people? Or is it a necessary tool for governmental spying to keep
America safe from terrorists?
The existing law may be below the radar for much of the country, but
in Oakland the Independent Institute drew an overflow crowd last week
to hear a panel of scholars discuss the Patriot Act.
This was not a debate. It was an exposition of how the Patriot Act
is a threat to the freedoms we enjoy. Sometimes a law is so egregious
it can't be debated in a democratic fashion.
David Theroux, institute president, believes the Bill of Rights has
been "seriously compromised as government agencies have been given
unprecedented surveillance and police authority, including
un-accountable powers to arrest people and intercept all private
communications, transactions and records. Most American naively believe
because they are not terrorists they will be safe from such powers."
The Patriot Act really has nothing to do with patriotism except it
calls for what could be the ultimate sacrifice for your country --
giving up your freedoms and rights granted by the Constitution.
True patriot Patrick Henry (in 1775) said it best, "I know not what
course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me
But don't Americans (in 2003) expect to have both their lives and their liberty?
At the heart of the question currently is, should all people living
in America have the same unfettered liberty as documented U.S.
citizens? Most criticism of the Patriot Act has focused on immigrants
and detainees who are held by the government without any charges
The panel of scholars made the point that the law applies to all Americans -- not just people with foreign names and faces.
And the Constitution states that only the Congress, not the
executive branch, can suspend the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus, which
forbids the indefinite detention of prisoners, except in cases of
rebellion or invasion when the public safety may require it. It may no
distinction between citizens and "people."
Ian Eland, the institute's director of Peace and Liberty, said
government actions can create crises so there will be government money
to fix it. "Then when the crises worsen, the government will need more
money to fix it. And that's what is happening with the war on
"It's probably a matter of time before we have another terrorist
attack so there can be more security, more restrictions and more
David Cole, professor of law at Georgetown University and author of
"Enemy Aliens," said: "In balancing liberty and security, we have
consistently relied on a double standard, imposing measures on
foreigners that we would not tolerate if they applied more broadly to
It works because the non-citizens don't vote but, "It is constitutionally suspect and counter productive as a security matter."
As for American citizens, "They seem willing to give up others' rights but not their own," said Cole.
Five thousand people have been arrested since 9-11 under the law but
none has been charged, he said. "Government always targets foreigners
first when we are asked to give up our liberties.
James Bovard, a controversial journalist in Washington, D.C. and
author of "Terrorism and Tyranny," said the 9-11 attack was "the
biggest intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor ... the attack made it
easier for them to hide their mistakes because to reveal them would
"Giving the government more power won't make us safer, it's amazing
the administration is getting away with what they doing and telling
The third panelist, Margaret Russell, a law professor at Santa Clara
University, was asked why students aren't protesting the Patriot Act.
She said law students are actively opposing it and the rest of the
university is gradually becoming aware.
Many in the audience were concerned primarily with excessive and inefficient security at airports.
Bovard said, "If someone even raises his voice at an airport, the person can be arrested."
Question from the audience: "What are the legal rights of someone who refuses to be searched at the airport?'
Bovard's answer: "He has a legal right not to fly."
Author: Peggy Stinnett, Oakland Tribune
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