Monday, February 14, 2011

PATRIOT ACT ANALYSIS

Submitted By:Tony Caputo
"If the United States is at war against terrorism to preserve freedom, a new coalition of conservatives and liberals is asking, why is it doing so by wholesale abrogation of civil liberties? They cite the Halloween-week passage of the antiterrorism bill -- a new law that carries the almost preposterously gimmicky title: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act" (USA PATRIOT Act). Critics both left and right are saying it not only strips Americans of fundamental rights but does little or nothing to secure the nation from terrorist attacks."
--Kelly O'Meara, "Police State," Insight Magazine, 11/9/01





"Many people do not know that the USA PATRIOT Act was already written and ready to go long before September 11th. . . . Similar antiterrorism legislation was enacted in the 1996 Antiterrorism Act, which however did little to prevent the events of 9/11, and many provisions had either been declared unconstitutional or were about to be repealed when 9/11 occurred. . . . History . . . shows that the Reagan and Bush I Administrations repeatedly attempted to push such laws through. Oklahoma City proved that only a `real' terrorist attack would convince Congress. Furthermore, it is obvious that the proponents of this amendment [to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] know it is an end-run around the Fourth Amendment. They have had many years to think about it and have repeatedly shown their willingness to enact carefully crafted, unconstitutional laws."
--Jennifer Van Bergen, "The USA PATRIOT Act
Was Planned Before 9/11
," truthout, 5/20/02


"[T]he USA PATRIOT Act . . . stands out as radical in its design. To an unprecedented degree, the Act sacrifices our political freedoms in the name of national security and upsets the democratic values that define our nation by consolidating vast new powers in the executive branch of government. . . . Chillingly, the Attorney General's response to the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act was not a pledge to use his new powers responsibly and guard against their abuse, but instead was a vow to step up his detention efforts. Conflating immigrant status with terrorist status, he declared: `Let the terrorists among us be warned, if you overstay your visas even by one day, we will arrest you.' . . . The Administration's blatant power grab, coupled with the wide array of anti-terrorism tools that the USA PATRIOT Act puts at its disposal, portends a wholesale suspension of civil liberties that will reach far beyond those who are involved in terrorist activities."
--Nancy Chang, "The USA PATRIOT Act: What's So Patriotic
About Trampling on the Bill of Rights?
," Sr. Litigation Atty,
Center for Constitutional Rights, November 2001


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