Saturday, September 13, 2003

Patriot Act rears its ugly head again

Yahoo! News - President Asks for Expanded Patriot Act

The USA Patriot act of 2001 is a monster that eats people. It’s a threat to our civil rights and a callous insult to every military man and woman who has served to secure our liberty.

Now the president, apparently oblivious to the public’s disdain of his Orwellian affronts to the character of our republic, is seeking to expand the act again. I thought this was dead months ago, but obviously the neocons are tenacious as terriers.

What irks me the most about the president’s position is the assertion that law enforcement is hamstringed by the law. Two thoughts: 1) If they can’t enforce the law within the law, they’re an ineffectual joke and I don’t want to hear them crying. 2) Duh, no joke George. The constitution, the codes and case law have sought to protect the people from the tyranny inherent in power since this nation was founded.

"The House and the Senate have a responsibility to act quickly on these matters," Bush said. "Untie the hands of our law enforcement officials so they can fight and win the war against terror."

This is no joke. President bush wants “Administrative Subpoenas,” giving prosecutors the power to demand documents from citizens without court approval. And the power to hold people in jail without bail, without have to show that they’re dangerous. Both are so unconstitutional, it’s staggering.

Past efforts by John Ashcroft to expand Patriot have included revocation of citizenship of terrorism suspects, the withholding of information about detainees, and … get this … a DNA database of people associated with terrorist groups. That’s frightening; the kind of desperate power-mongering I never thought I’d see.

If there is evidence sufficient under the Fourth Amendment, let the accused terrorist be brought to justice as provided by our laws. That’s what we do, because that’s who we are.

An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.
- Thomas Jefferson

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
- George Washington

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