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View Full Version : Nat'l Security Harsh language from Forbes: End the PATRIOT Act.


Direckshun
05-27-2011, 01:34 AM
Not used to seeing this kind of hostility out of Forbes.

http://blogs.forbes.com/richardsalsman/2011/05/26/kill-the-un-american-patriot-act/

Kill The Un-American Patriot Act
Richard M. Salsman
May. 26 2011 - 6:37 pm

This Memorial Day weekend, as we properly honor the U.S. military heroes who’ve fought so valiantly to secure our safety and liberty, the U.S. Congress is voting on the status of the expiring PATRIOT Act. Officials have used the PATRIOT Act since 2001 to routinely and repeatedly violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. The only truly moral and constitutional choice for the GOP-controlled Congress to make this weekend is to let the entire Act expire and die. Should Congress instead renew it, President Obama should veto it.

Sadly, neither result is very likely. Both political parties in America today – liberals and conservatives alike – have become as disdainful of civil liberties as they’ve already been, for decades, of economic liberties. When neither economic nor civil liberties are any longer respected by a government, its citizens become serfs. What good reason remains to fight our enemies abroad, when so many of liberty’s enemies lie within?


Enacted in October 2001 in the fear-laden wake of 9/11, the initial PATRIOT Act got lopsided votes in the House (357-66) and Senate (98-1), before getting the president’s approval. Both political parties heralded the Act, just as they pushed eagerly for establishing another rights-violating cabinet agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with its now well-known sub-department, that perpetual penetrator of innocent bodies, precious privacies, and human dignities – the Transportation Security Agency (TSA).

By endorsing the Act, the DHS, and the TSA, U.S. politicians pretended to make a priority of national defense and to deflect attention from the fact that 9/11 was one of the most egregious cases of government failure in U.S. history. All the elements necessary to prevent 9/11 had already existed, yet America’s national defense was not Washington’s priority. Today it’s still not a top priority, given how the U.S. military is so thinly dispersed abroad, engaged in foreign “nation-building” and defending millions of non-Americans.

The misdirection and dishonesty so emblematic of the Act is dramatized by its acronym, “USA PATRIOT,” which stands for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.” No law that so violates Fourth Amendment rights can be said to “unite” or “strengthen” America. The Act effectively jettisons that long-cherished principle of civilized criminal law and American jurisprudence: that one is presumed innocent until (and unless) proven guilty. Under the Act we’re all assumed to be guilty unless we prove our innocence. What could be more un-American than that?

Nor does the PATRIOT Act work to enhance security, as its supporters so often claim: More terrorist attempts and acts have occurred in America in the decade since 9/11 than in the prior decade – including the murder of 13 military personnel and injuring of 29 others by a gun-toting Muslim, Nidal Malik Hasan, at Ford Hood, Texas, in 2009. Americans have been made no safer since 9/11, even though the PATRIOT Act has dramatically enhanced the prerogative and power of the CIA, FBI, DHS, DEA, IRS, ATF, TSA and the police to search phone records, e-mails and medical documents, or to issue search warrants absent judicial pre-approvals. The Act also has expanded the Treasury’s power to invade financial privacy and transactions.

The Act has significantly broadened the arbitrary discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities to detain and deport even legal immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts or financing. With the TSA, perfectly innocent American travelers are subjected to horrible and invasive treatment which if experienced at their workplace would be deemed unlawful sexual harassment. In the end, absolutist governments are staffed by officials just like these – those who operate above and beyond the law which others must abide.

That quintessential American, Benjamin Franklin, wrote correctly, in 1759, that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Indeed, without liberty we must lack the prosperity and righteousness needed to defend our security. These principles are embodied in the U.S. Constitution, specifically in its Fourth Amendment, which is supposed to ensure that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The PATRIOT Act and its auxiliary measures work slowly but surely to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment.

In a famous U.S. Supreme Court decision, Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez (1963), Justice Arthur Goldberg acknowledged that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact” which could preclude government from adopting reasonable or legitimate means to ensure our safety and security. But he also stressed that “It is fundamental that the great powers of Congress to conduct war and to regulate the Nation’s foreign relations are subject to the constitutional requirements of due process. The imperative necessity for safeguarding these rights to procedural due process under the gravest of emergencies has existed throughout our constitutional history, for it is then, under the pressing exigencies of crisis, that there is the greatest temptation to dispense with fundamental constitutional guarantees which, it is feared, will inhibit governmental action. The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances . . . In no other way can we transmit to posterity unimpaired the blessings of liberty, consecrated by the sacrifices of the Revolution.”

By definition, anyone who dares to oppose the PATRIOT Act is presumed to be “un-patriotic.” In fact, by opposing it we oppose an American police state. That’s precisely where this horrid Act inexorably moves us, especially given the open-ended nature of the so-called “war on terrorism,” which is an unwinnable war aimed at a tactic which involves no specific end date yet also no specific place on earth where it might not occur. This irrational, self-defeating scheme of “security” entails an eternal and ubiquitous state of emergency – a setting which only empowers government to impose “extraordinary measures” to curb and quash our rights and liberties, without end or limit. It’s well known that today’s conservatives care little for our Fourth Amendment rights, but what about those hypocritical civil libertarians, who were right to protest and fight when Mr. Bush violated rights with the Act, but now stand by silently as Mr. Obama does the same thing?

The misnamed PATRIOT Act incorporates the essence of un-American government and unjust legislation; it should be abolished unapologetically, with alacrity, and in the name of liberty – by both political parties.

notorious
05-27-2011, 06:34 AM
I support almost anything that leads to more freedoms and seperation from government.,

NewChief
05-27-2011, 07:08 AM
Obama just signed off on the reauthorization.... via electripen... while he's traveling overseas. Bastard.

Garcia Bronco
05-27-2011, 07:21 AM
In no way does the Patriot Act overrule the 4th Amendment:

blaise
05-27-2011, 07:26 AM
Saying more terrorist attempts in the past decade shows the Patriot act doesn't work doesn't seem very sound. More attempts doesn't mean the Patriot Act isn't doing anything effective. It means they've made more attempts.

If there's been more school shootings in the last decade, should we just say educating teachers and students about warning signs isn't doing anything to prevent shootings from happening?

Jaric
05-27-2011, 07:40 AM
http://i725.photobucket.com/albums/ww253/TapeOperator/clapping.gif

vailpass
05-27-2011, 09:58 AM
Obama just signed off on the reauthorization.... via electripen... while he's traveling overseas. Bastard.

LMAO Would have been even better if he had signed it while sitting in the front office at GITMO.

Lzen
05-27-2011, 01:18 PM
Saying more terrorist attempts in the past decade shows the Patriot act doesn't work doesn't seem very sound. More attempts doesn't mean the Patriot Act isn't doing anything effective. It means they've made more attempts.

If there's been more school shootings in the last decade, should we just say educating teachers and students about warning signs isn't doing anything to prevent shootings from happening?

I tend to agree with him in that it needs to expire. But I did notice this point and agree with you in that this was not a good argument.

Direckshun
05-27-2011, 06:56 PM
Except that he wasn't arguing that point.

He was rebutting the argument that the PATRIOT Act keeps Americans safer. Not arguing that it makes us less safe.

It's a fine distinction, but it's worth noting.

KILLER_CLOWN
05-27-2011, 06:57 PM
They could have at least changed the name to the UnPatriotic Act.

blaise
05-28-2011, 11:27 AM
Except that he wasn't arguing that point.

He was rebutting the argument that the PATRIOT Act keeps Americans safer. Not arguing that it makes us less safe.

It's a fine distinction, but it's worth noting.

He's saying the fact there's been more attempts shows the act hasn't enhanced security. More attempts don't show whether or not it has enhanced security.

Dave Lane
05-28-2011, 01:04 PM
It's time for that beast to go away. I'm sure his security guys r whispering in his ear how much this is needed but enough.

go bowe
05-28-2011, 01:09 PM
He's saying the fact there's been more attempts shows the act hasn't enhanced security. More attempts don't show whether or not it has enhanced security.

ok, what's logic got to do with it?

here you go ruining a perfectly good mini-rant, have you no shame?

go bowe
05-28-2011, 01:12 PM
It's time for that beast to go away. I'm sure his security guys r whispering in his ear how much this is needed but enough.

it should go away, but apparently that would be bad politics for our elected officials...

now that osama is gone, maybe we'll stop investing so much in the name of security...

but then that would be bad politics too...

Direckshun
05-29-2011, 10:04 PM
He's saying the fact there's been more attempts shows the act hasn't enhanced security. More attempts don't show whether or not it has enhanced security.

That's fair.

How do you measure "enhanced security," then? (Something measurable, please.)

And what's your take on the PATRIOT act?

KILLER_CLOWN
05-29-2011, 11:33 PM
From Bush to Obama, the snooping goes on

Dan Kennedy
London Guardian
May 29, 2011

Remember section 215?

It was a notorious provision of the USA Patriot Act, renewed on Thursday, that allowed the government to snoop on what library books you’d borrowed, what videos you’d rented, your medical records – anything, really, if investigators thought it might have something to do with terrorism, no matter how tangential.

I wrote about it for the Boston Phoenix in 2003, as an example of the then budding excesses of the Bush-Cheney years.

Well, section 215 is back – not that it ever went away. Charlie Savage reports in Friday’s New York Times that two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, have accused the Obama administration of using Section 215 for purposes not intended by Congress. Russ Feingold, then a Democratic senator for Wisconsin, raised similar alarms in 2009.

The senators know what the White House is up to because they were privy to secret testimony. But under Senate rules, they can’t reveal what they learned. Thus they have demanded that the White House come clean with the public. “Americans would be alarmed if they knew how this law is being carried out,” Udall is quoted as saying.

Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute recently described section 215 in an interview with Salon, so:

“It allows investigators to get an order from the FISA court permitting them to compel the production of any tangible thing that is relevant to an investigation. It’s pretty unlimited in scope. Any record or other thing that pertains to a suspected agent of a foreign power or someone in contact with them is under the law considered to be ‘presumptively relevant’. That means the judge has no discretion to deny such requests. The records don’t have to belong to anyone who is thought to be guilty of anything.”

Rest of the article is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/may/27/patriot-act-civil-liberties

http://www.prisonplanet.com/images/may2011/290511feature.jpg

BigChiefFan
05-30-2011, 12:18 PM
I'd rather not have my rights trampled on in the name of security.

Barak Obuttocks
06-18-2011, 11:03 AM
WWSOD

what would senator obama do?

Simplex3
06-18-2011, 11:34 AM
WWSOD

what would senator obama do?

We should all vote present?