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02 July 2011

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LeaNder

We have arrived at an interesting point in history.

While we do not have an authoritarian development, the use of democracy is developing authoritarian aspects. We need a democratization of democracy.

J

Colonel,

It has been said that the Patriot Act had already been drafted by DOJ personae many years ago and had been gathering dust in a drawer, then 911 happened and it was taken out of the drawer and rushed to Congress whereupon Members of Congress in their panic lather pushed it through 'without reading it thoroughly'. Elements of the 'Patriot Act' are an anathema to freedom, and more akin to police state rule by iron fist. Guilty until you can prove yourself innocent, the old tried and true КГБ Лубянка approach. Look at how those who dared to disagree with Republican rule during Bush/Cheney days in the White House, they were relegated to hastily constructed holding prisons without even a hint of due process.

Today our Constitution and Bill of Rights would not pass the 'Patriot Act Test', both Patriot Act I and II. I say we trash the Patriot Acts as they are an anathema to American freedom both in intent and spirit.

Jackie

J - Any idea when the DOJ drafted the Patriot Act? I asked my then Congressman, Dennis Moore, in 2002 when this handy, dandy act was drafted because it sure seemed to come out of nowhere really fast and I really didn't think Ashcroft had it up his sleeve at the time.

No satisfactory answer at that meet the congessman event, which was packed.

Grimgrin

Thomas Paine at least probably would be killed outright, without bothering with legal mechanisms. After all he was a charismatic propagandist who's widely distributed message was providing material and moral support to an insurgent army.

Roy G.

...a long train of abuses and usurpations...

Sounds like the past 10 years to me. Unfortunately, it appears the populace has been rendered too stupid, lazy, complacent or complicit to actually live up to our founders' decree. Still, these words, and people here at SST and elsewhere give me hope.

Fred

An excellent question. I wonder about

"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power."

Seems this refers to our current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can't possibly let the 'politicians' -you know - the constitutionally elected representatives of the American people, decide when to commit or remove troops; we have to wait on the generals to tell us we are 'safe'.

Fred

You will not see the following oath taken from the current members of the House and Senate:

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

J

Jackie,

A former Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh under Bush 2 (2001-2003) claims to have been the 'chief architect' of the Patriot Act. However it has been said that the Patriot Act was in fact written under the Reagan years, long before 911, even before the 1996 Anti-Terrorism Act. It has been said that the 1996 Anti-Terrorism Act's most troubling provisions were in fact taken from the Reagan era original Patriot Act creation. During the Reagan years, there were heated debates with both House and Senate Judiciary Committees regarding the dictates coming from the original Patriot Act. The Reagan Administration, followed by Bush 1 Administration continued to push and lobby and twist arms of the Congress to erode both our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Up until 911, Congress was the only thing stopping 'police-state creep', and after 911 the 'rush' to put the Patriot Act into place then took only a six weeks rush job. The 1995 OKC bombing incident was the impetus 'used as a smoke-screen' for the 'rushed' 1996 Anti-terrorism Act legislation, and subsequently 911 was the impetus 'used as a smoke-screen' for the 'rushed' Patriot Act 1 and subsequent Patriot Act 2.

Dusting off the history books, one can find that Section 218 of the 1996 Anti-terrorism Act effect upon FISA surveillance, removed the previous 'intelligence gathering caveat' as no longer the 'primary purpose' of surveillance, greasing the skids to the easier only had to be "a significant purpose" of the surveillance.

Like those in the past, there are those in our present who continue to try and create and pass carefully crafted unconstitutional laws, even in the dead of night.

Jackie

J,
Thank you for the explanation. At the time it was passed, I figured it had been sitting out there awaiting just the right opportunity to get it passed.

What has always infuriated me about the PATRIOT act is that it is aimed at us, like we attacked ourselves on 9/11. It seemed like a really stupid response to that event, but I suppose in the fevered mind of some government functionary it made perfect sense.

J

Jackie,

The 'bureaucrats' are under the false assumption that they are the government. Our Constitution/Bill of Rights/General Welfare Clause of the Constitution spells it out otherwise -- the people are the government. It's time that the 'pinheads' a.k.a. bureaucrats know and understand that the 'government has the inherent right to 'ignore' their pinhead stupidity. And those deluded souls who enforce the pinheads decrees also need to wake up and understand that they are being screwed by the pinheads just like the government/people are and stop enforcing their pin-headed stupidity.

Here's a video you might find enjoyable and somewhat thought-provoking wheither you agree with its author and his premise.

The Tinydot
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=H6b70TUbdfs

HS328

J & J

It wouldn't be surprising to find that the original Patriot Act was drafted as part of the continuance of government (COG) plan and exercises back in the Reagan era.

William R. Cumming

Thanks J and HS328 for your comments. There are largely accurate. They are largely accurate IMO. DOJ maintains wish lists of standby legislation and in working with DOJ on standby documents and in particular those with Presidential authority involved, often NSC overruled DOJ in classifying at the highest levels. This precluded their review and effective use in many exercises and gave those authorized access the impression they had gone through careful legal review by DOJ and other departments and agencies and even Congress.

Nothing of the sort should be assumed and just as my comments should suggest that SCOTUS does not really have any comprehension of the National Security State as a direct threat as currently implemented to our democracy [Republic] few in the NSC understand our Constitution or its role. Attempts to add the AG to the statutory membership of the NSC 9the closest to this happened was lost by one vote in the Senate for a bill introduced by former Senator Fritz Hollings of S.C.) means that often NSC actions and orders have no repeat NO legal review.

This aspect of NSC ops should long ago have been addressed by President's and in particular this one. But he seems to not understand the Constitution or its needed protection by the President from his own minions.

Just as an example ask what legal review was conducted of the recently released revised National Strategy for Counterterrorism.

zanzibar

On this Independence Day it should be noted that only one senator voted against the Patriot Act in 2001. Sen. Russ Feingold. And of the 66 votes against that act in the House, it was mostly liberal members. It seems that the "strict constitutionalists" were there in name only.

In this "War on ..." era, Thomas Jefferson would likely be spending time in Guantanamo under preemptive detention.

optimax

It should also be noted that certain forces within the US government have thought of democracy as a danger to their power. Herbert Hoover started surveillance on Ernest Hemmingway in 1940 because of his ties to Cuba. Later, when Hemmingway's health began to decline, he complained to friends the FBI was surveilling him. They thought he was paranoid (back then people didn't think their government was capable of such abuses), contributing to Hemmingway's mental decline that ended with electric shock and suicide. Declassified FBI documents show Hemmingway was right.

The Patriot Act is a means to control US citizens in the guise of protecting us.

http://www.timesofoman.com/viewcolumndetails.asp?.ratopic_nd=412

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