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items tagged with USA PATRIOT Act

Slave or Rebel? Ten Principles for Escaping the Matrix and Standing Up to Tyranny
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2015-06-10 20:14:16

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

It’s a shell game intended to keep us focused on and distracted by all of the politically expedient things that are being said – about militarized police, surveillance, and government corruption – while the government continues to frogmarch us down the road toward outright tyranny.

Unarmed citizens are still getting shot by militarized police trained to view them as the enemy and treated as if we have no rights. Despite President Obama’s warning that the nation needs to do some “soul searching” about issues such as race, poverty, and the strained relationship between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve, police killings and racial tensions are at an all-time high. Just recently, in Texas, a white police officer was suspended after video footage showed him “manhandling, arresting, and drawing his gun on a group of black children outside a pool party.”

Americans’ private communications and data are still being sucked up by government spy agencies. The USA Freedom Act was just a placebo intended to make us feel better without bringing about any real change. As Bill Blunden, a cybersecurity researcher and surveillance critic, points out, “The theater we’ve just witnessed allows decision-makers to boast to their constituents about reforming mass surveillance while spies understand that what’s actually transpired is hardly major change.”

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Nationally Declared Emergencies Seek to Suspend the Constitution
Written By: Kathleen McCarthy
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2011-09-01 11:20:07

It is hard to imagine our leaders approving plans and/or legislation that would suspend the U.S. Constitution under any circumstances, but that is precisely what has occurred. This is not a conspiracy theory, but very real authority that the national government has granted itself under the guise of protecting the country during a declared national emergency.

After 9/11, a series of legislative events took place, most without congressional debate, and nearly all under the people’s radar. These include the Homeland Security Act of 2002; the USA PATRIOT Act in its original and renewed forms (which removed due process and allows warrantless searches of and seizures from citizens deemed a threat to “the continuity of government” without probable cause based on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Domestic Extremism Lexicon”); the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (HR 5122); the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (HR 4144); the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (HR 6166, which removed the writ of habeas corpus, allowing permanent imprisonment without benefit of counsel or petition to the court); the REAL ID Act (attached to an emergency appropriations bill); the FISA Amendments Act (which gave telecom companies retroactive immunity for providing access to customers’ private phone lines); and National Presidential Security Directive 51 (which dictates that Congress has no authority during national emergencies).

Combined, this legislation is dangerous because it asserts the authority to suspend the U.S. Constitution and transfer all governance (city, county, and state) to the federal government. All that is required to assume this transfer of power is a presidential declaration of a national emergency and martial law.

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U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s Letter of Opposition to the PATRIOT Act
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2011-02-18 11:46:28

(Editor’s note: U.S. Senator Rand Paul [R-Kentucky] released the following letter to his fellow Senators on February 15.)

James Otis argued against general warrants and writs of assistance that were issued by British soldiers without judicial review and that did not name the subject or items to be searched.

He condemned these general warrants as “the worst instrument[s] of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever w[ere] found in an English law book.” Otis objected to these writs of assistance because they “placed the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.” The Fourth Amendment was intended to guarantee that only judges – not soldiers or policemen – would issue warrants. Otis’ battle against warrantless searches led to our Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable government intrusion.

My main objection to the PATRIOT Act is that searches that should require a judge’s warrant are performed with a letter from an FBI agent – a National Security Letter (“NSL”).

I object to these warrantless searches being performed on United States citizens. I object to the 200,000 NSL searches that have been performed without a judge’s warrant.

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Ted Rall: How to Speed Stimulus
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2009-07-23 22:07:18

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