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Those who sacrifice Liberty in the name of Security deserve neither"-Ben Franklin-

The Patriot Act a Prelude to Dominion

The government can spy on you without a warrant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How:

The Patriot Act: passed by Congress on October 24th 2001 (HR3162)

Most Congress members voted for it without actually reading the bill. Also see Patriot II (HR3448)

The Patriot Act Allows the FBI and private security firms it contracts with, to access US citizens, library records, business and Internet records, in a terrorist investigation. It also circumvents attorney client priviledge, allows for foreign nationals to be held in incommunicado (without a trial) and allows for the creation of secret military tribunals for those classified as suspected 'enemy combatants'. Currently a US citizen, Jose Padilla is being held in a military brig with no access to a trial.

Bush authorized roving wiretaps that potentially affected the privacy of all Americans. Bush has cited the Patriot act as giving him the power to have the NSA engaged in domestic spying. The NSA can listen in on phone calls, track email, and anyone else 'suspected' of terrorism.. Critics contend that the NSA tracks a wider pool of Americans then those suspected to be connected to Al Qaeda.

Also in december of 2005, the New York Times reported that George W. Bush had been allowing the NSA to conduct warrantless wiretapping of American's phone and email communications above and beyond what the Patriot Act authorized, in direct violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Also major telecommunications companies, such as AT&T and Verizon were found to have disclosed their electronic records to the NSA in violation of numerous communications laws. For more on that see this article:

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
December 16, 2005
By JAMES RISEN and ERIC LICHTBLAU

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/16program.html?pagewanted=print

The issue with Democrats is how Bush can find authorization for the warrant-less searches and link it to the Patriot Act. Also they wonder how long will the Warrant-less searches stay in effect in that the 16 most controversial portions of the Patriot Act were expected to expire on 12/31/05. The law was extended until 3/10/06 so that the Senate could reach a comprimise with Democrats and republicans. Finally, Democrats contend that the issue of warrant-less searches is in the jurisdiction of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). FISA requires a higher burden of proof for warrant-less searches then what the NSA uses.

Critics also wonder what sort of precedent this sets in regards to American civil liberties, specifically the Exclusionary clause, Titles 2 & 9 of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. In the past since the abuses of the 60's and 70's the CIA and the NSA were forbidden to engage in domestic espionage. Now in the wake of 9/11/2001 that has all changed. In my view the patriot act will set a precedent that will eventually, lead to a totalitarian state. Already certain statutes in the law allow the jailing of protesters on national security grounds. (section 802) The question on any progressive's mind is whether voter apathy and the corporate conditioned notion, that capitalism is the only thing that matters and that political ignorance is bliss, will once lead a nation of wolves to the state of lambs before the slaughter.

Update: 5/24/2011

Congress Voted to extend three sections of the Patriot Act for another 4 years, with the provisions set to expire in june of 2015. These sections include the warrantless roving wiretaps provision, monitoring of all, business records, and under section 215, the monitoring of all public library records and internet access, and the tracking of the 'lone wolf,' those suspected of foreign terrorist connections even if they are not linked to a terrorist group. for more on that see this link:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/23/MN7O1JJVHL.DTL

Update: 5/26/2011

The Senate is expected to vote on extending the three provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the week. Senator Patrick Leahy attempted to insert an amendment to the bill that would require greater auditing procedures, on the FBI's use of National Security Letters, under section 505 of the 2001 USA Patriot Act, (which allow them to monitor Americans even if they are not part of a national security investigation,) to insure civil liberties are protected. Section 505 allows the FBI to spy on americans without a warrant, and could lead to reoccuring abuses of power by the government, like during the 1960's and 1970's when the FBI, NSA and CIA secretly monitored Civil Rights protesters, under Operation Chaos. Leahy's Amendment would require the Justice department and the Attorney general to submit periodical reports to Congress regarding their efforts to safeguard civil liberties, while still enforcing the Act. The majority of republicans want to make the extension permanent. The 'lone wolf' among conservatives, Senator Rand Paul, opposes the Patriot act's requirement that gun purchases be tracked by the federal government. For more of the story see this article by the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-chance-to-put-protections-in-the-patriot-act/2011/05/25/AGsSPXBH_story.html

After the attack by Jared Loughner on Congresswoman Giffords, Senator Rand Paul's stance seems more like a conservative ananchronistic ploy to appeal to right wing militia groups, who often mouth anti-establishment slogans, but often adhere to the Right wing Corporate establishment party line, even to their own detriment.

Update: 5/27/2011

Leahy's amendment was blocked from ever reaching a full vote before the Senate. So now the FBI and possibly the CIA are monitoring this website as we speak without a warrant.

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Reccomended Google search terms:

COINTELPRO, Operation Chaos, 1975-76 Church Committee, Patriot Act, roving wiretaps, NSA, 1878 Posse Comitatus law

also Check out: http://www.eff.org

Abuses of the Patriot Act

Settlements End Suits Over Raids By Officials

By COLIN MOYNIHAN

Published: June 3, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/04/us/politics/04settlements.html

For Anarchist, Details of Life as F.B.I. Target

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/us/29surveillance.html

 
 
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