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Monday, April 12, 2010
Congress Votes to Extend the un-PATRIOTic Act
Last week, the Barack Obama signed into law an extension of the unconstitutional USA PATRIOT Act. I write the words in capital letters, because it’s an acrostic. It’s supposed to stand for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act” of 2001. The Act hasn’t united America, except insofar as all but a few Americans are united in their opposition to this gross violation of human rights in America.
As for the “tools” provided by the Act, these tools include searches of Americans’ homes, businesses, business records, and email messages without search warrants; wiretaps without search warrants, indefinite detentions without charges, and confiscation of assets simply because someone is “suspected” of being a terrorist. The Department of Homeland Security (the domestic Gestapo created by the USA PATRIOT Act) routinely terrorizes Americans at airports and makes lists of suspected terrorists in order to further abuse their rights. More recently, machines for electronic strip searches have been added to DHS’s tools of terrorism in airports.
As part of fighting “domestic terrorism,” the FBI provided police departments with a list of warning signs for recognizing “possible domestic terrorists.” They include, but aren’t limited to 1.) having supported a third-party candidate in the 2008 election, 2.) expressions of support for the Bill of Rights, 3.) and quoting America’s Founding Fathers.
The USA PATRIOT Act didn’t presume to authorize the FBI’s abuse of American’s rights, but this abuse proceeded from the climate of government terrorism unleashed by the act. A more apt acrostic might include the word ACT in the acrostic: Unbelievably Sadistic Authoritarians Putting Americans Through Ridiculously Insane Ordeals and Tearing Away Constitutional Traditions.
Only 97 congressmen had the courage to vote against the extension of this intrusion of our privacy and other violations of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. To see how your congressman voted, click here and take a look.
f your congressman voted to continue the abuse of your liberties, you may want to bear that in mind in the November 2, 2010, congressional election. More than a dozen congressmen didn’t even bother to vote one way or the other. As Dante Alighieri wrote, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” You may want to remember that as well. A new broom sweeps clean.
Other September 11, 2001, articles in this blog