Saturday, December 10, 2005

Patriot Act Extended

On Thursday, House & Senate negotiators reached an agreement to extend the USA Patriot Act before it expires at the end of the month.
Even though resolutions have been passed against the Patriot Act in 43 states & 380 communities, which can all be found at the ACLU's website , the act will be extended.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter announced they had reached an agreement that would extend for 4 years two of the Patriot Act's most controversial provisions--Permitting secret warrants for books, records, & other items for businesses, hospitals, & libraries--Plus authorizing roving wiretaps.
Extended for 4 years are also standards for monitoring "lone wolf" terrorists who may be operating independant of a foreign agent or power.
The Neo-Cons have been attempting to defend the Patriot Act by saying that the use of the Patriot Act has never been abused or used against American citizens.
Ohhh reallllly?? Isn't Section 802 of the Patriot Act specifically aimed at U.S. citizens & announces any crime as "domestic terrorism"? Also, the Washington Times has some examples.
Misuse of the Patriot Act:

--A convenience store shopkeeper was rounded up in a post-9/11/01 sweep that targeted Muslim immigrants. He is married to a naturalized U.S. citizen with kids born in the U.S.

--The Patriot Act used to obtain search warrants against doctors & scientists who had been warning about the threat of bioterrorism in the U.S.

--A webmaster was held at the Federal Corrections Institute in Tucson under the Patriot Act.

--FBI used Patriot Act to obtain financial information about key figures in a political corruption probe centured on a strip club in Las Vegas.

--A Denver photographer was arrested while taking pictures in Denver during V.P. Cheney's visit. Was physically assulted by police.

--A 12 year old boy researches for a school paper on the Bay Bridge, the Joint Terrorist Task Force shows up at boy's headmaster's office.

--Patriot Act used to harass website activist Bev Harris & told not to reveal to anyone she & her website are being investigated under the Patriot Act.

--Artists served subpoenas to appear before federal grand jury that will consider bioterrorism charges against a professor who's art involved use of biology equipment.

--2 students in Oakland were interrogated by the Secret Service after they made remarks about President Bush during a class discussion on the Iraq War. The teacher called the Secret Service & when they arrived the students asked if they could remain silent & get legal council, Secret Service replied, "We own you, you dont have any legal rights." See more on this story at

The Patriot Act threatens the rights guaranteed to American citizens in the 4th Amendment, which states that, " the right of the people to be "secure in their persons, houses, paper, & effects against unreasonable searches & seizures, shall not be violated, & no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, & particularly describing the place to be searched & the persons or things to be seized."
The USA Patriot Act pisses all over the 4th Amendment. The United States goverment wants us to be afraid to speak our minds in fear of investigation, arrest, or jail. They have obtained too much power and, "Absolute power corrupts absolutley."