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PATRIOT II Legislation Leaked 851

Posted by michael
from the goodbye-FOI dept.
Buck Mulligan writes "The Center for Public Integrity reports that it has obtained a copy of PATRIOT II -- a huge law enforcement power grab that is intended to build on the USA PATRIOT Act. It's called the 'Domestic Security Enhancement Act.' CPI says it would increase domestic intelligence gathering and surveillance while reducing judicial review and public access to information. For more on the first PATRIOT Act, see the EPIC page."
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PATRIOT II Legislation Leaked

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 08, 2003 @01:35PM (#5259139)
    Article is here [publicintegrity.org], but server is crapping out. Here's the text:

    Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act Center Publishes Secret Draft of 'Patriot II' Legislation By Charles Lewis and Adam Mayle (WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2003) -- The Bush Administration is preparing a bold, comprehensive sequel to the USA Patriot Act passed in the wake of September 11, 2001, which will give the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic intelligence-gathering, surveillance and law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decrease judicial review and public access to information. The Center for Public Integrity has obtained a draft, dated January 9, 2003, of this previously undisclosed legislation and is making it available in full text (12 MB). The bill, drafted by the staff of Attorney General John Ashcroft and entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, has not been officially released by the Department of Justice, although rumors of its development have circulated around the Capitol for the last few months under the name of "the Patriot Act II" in legislative parlance.

    "We haven't heard anything from the Justice Department on updating the Patriot Act," House Judiciary Committee spokesman Jeff Lungren told the Center. "They haven't shared their thoughts on that. Obviously, we'd be interested, but we haven't heard anything at this point."

    Senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee minority staff have inquired about Patriot II for months and have been told as recently as this week that there is no such legislation being planned. Mark Corallo, deputy director of Justice's Office of Public Affairs, told the Center his office was unaware of the draft. "I have heard people talking about revising the Patriot Act, we are looking to work on things the way we would do with any law," he said. "We may work to make modifications to protect Americans," he added. When told that the Center had a copy of the draft legislation, he said, "This is all news to me. I have never heard of this."

    After the Center posted this story, Barbara Comstock, director of public affairs for the Justice Dept., released a statement saying that, "Department staff have not presented any final proposals to either the Attorney General or the White House. It would be premature to speculate on any future decisions, particularly ideas or proposals that are still being discussed at staff levels."

    An Office of Legislative Affairs "control sheet" that was obtained by the PBS program "Now With Bill Moyers" seems to indicate that a copy of the bill was sent to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Vice President Richard Cheney on Jan. 10, 2003. "Attached for your review and comment is a draft legislative proposal entitled the 'Domestice Security Enhancement Act of 2003,'" the memo, sent from "OLP" or Office of Legal Policy, says.

    Comstock later told the Center that the draft "is an early discussion draft and it has not been sent to either the Vice President or the Speaker of the House."

    Dr. David Cole, Georgetown University Law professor and author of Terrorism and the Constitution, reviewed the draft legislation at the request of the Center, and said that the legislation "raises a lot of serious concerns. It's troubling that they have gotten this far along and they've been telling people there is nothing in the works." This proposed law, he added, "would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive 'suspicion,' create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups."

    Some of the key provision of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 include:

    Section 201, "Prohibition of Disclosure of Terrorism Investigation Detainee Information": Safeguarding the dissemination of information related to national security has been a hallmark of Ashcroft's first two years in office, and the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 follows in the footsteps of his October 2001 directive to carefully consider such interest when granting Freedom of Information Act requests. While the October memo simply encouraged FOIA officers to take national security, "protecting sensitive business information and, not least, preserving personal privacy" into account while deciding on requests, the proposed legislation would enhance the department's ability to deny releasing material on suspected terrorists in government custody through FOIA.

    Section 202, "Distribution of 'Worst Case Scenario' Information": This would introduce new FOIA restrictions with regard to the Environmental Protection Agency. As provided for in the Clean Air Act, the EPA requires private companies that use potentially dangerous chemicals must produce a "worst case scenario" report detailing the effect that the release of these controlled substances would have on the surrounding community. Section 202 of this Act would, however, restrict FOIA requests to these reports, which the bill's drafters refer to as "a roadmap for terrorists." By reducing public access to "read-only" methods for only those persons "who live and work in the geographical area likely to be affected by a worst-case scenario," this subtitle would obfuscate an established level of transparency between private industry and the public.

    Section 301-306, "Terrorist Identification Database": These sections would authorize creation of a DNA database on "suspected terrorists," expansively defined to include association with suspected terrorist groups, and noncitizens suspected of certain crimes or of having supported any group designated as terrorist.

    Section 312, "Appropriate Remedies with Respect to Law Enforcement Surveillance Activities": This section would terminate all state law enforcement consent decrees before Sept. 11, 2001, not related to racial profiling or other civil rights violations, that limit such agencies from gathering information about individuals and organizations. The authors of this statute claim that these consent orders, which were passed as a result of police spying abuses, could impede current terrorism investigations. It would also place substantial restrictions on future court injunctions.

    Section 405, "Presumption for Pretrial Detention in Cases Involving Terrorism": While many people charged with drug offenses punishable by prison terms of 10 years or more are held before their trial without bail, this provision would create a comparable statute for those suspected of terrorist activity. The reasons for presumptively holding suspected terrorists before trial, the Justice Department summary memo states, are clear. "This presumption is warranted because of the unparalleled magnitude of the danger to the United States and its people posed by acts of terrorism, and because terrorism is typically engaged in by groups - many with international connections - that are often in a position to help their members flee or go into hiding."

    Section 501, "Expatriation of Terrorists": This provision, the drafters say, would establish that an American citizen could be expatriated "if, with the intent to relinquish his nationality, he becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United Stated has designated as a 'terrorist organization'." But whereas a citizen formerly had to state his intent to relinquish his citizenship, the new law affirms that his intent can be "inferred from conduct." Thus, engaging in the lawful activities of a group designated as a "terrorist organization" by the Attorney General could be presumptive grounds for expatriation.

    The Domestic Security Enhancement Act is the latest development in an 18-month trend in which the Bush Administration has sought expanded powers and responsibilities for law enforcement bodies to help counter the threat of terrorism.

    The USA Patriot Act, signed into law by President Bush on Oct. 26, 2001, gave law enforcement officials broader authority to conduct electronic surveillance and wiretaps, and gives the president the authority, when the nation is under attack, to confiscate any property within U.S. jurisdiction of anyone believed to be engaging in such attacks. The measure also tightened oversight of financial activities to prevent money laundering and diminish bank secrecy in an effort to disrupt terrorist finances.

    It also changed provisions of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was passed in 1978 during the Cold War. FISA established a different standard of government oversight and judicial review for "foreign intelligence" surveillance than that applied to traditional domestic law enforcement surveillance.

    The USA Patriot Act allowed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to share information gathered in terrorism investigations under the "foreign intelligence" standard with local law enforcement agencies, in essence nullifying the higher standard of oversight that applied to domestic investigations. The USA Patriot Act also amended FISA to permit surveillance under the less rigorous standard whenever "foreign intelligence" was a "significant purpose" rather than the "primary purpose" of an investigation.

    The draft legislation goes further in that direction. "In the [USA Patriot Act] we have to break down the wall of foreign intelligence and law enforcement," Cole said. "Now they want to break down the wall between international terrorism and domestic terrorism."

    In an Oct. 9, 2002, hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher testified that Justice had been, "looking at potential proposals on following up on the PATRIOT Act for new tools and we have also been working with different agencies within the government and they are still studying that and hopefully we will continue to work with this committee in the future on new tools that we believe are necessary in the war on terrorism."

    Asked by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) whether she could inform the committee of what specific areas Justice was looking at, Fisher replied, "At this point I can't, I'm sorry. They're studying a lot of different ideas and a lot of different tools that follow up on information sharing and other aspects."

    Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy Viet Dinh, who was the principal author of the first Patriot Act, told Legal Times last October that there was "an ongoing process to continue evaluating and re-evaluating authorities we have with respect to counterterrorism," but declined to say whether a new bill was forthcoming.

    Former FBI Director William Sessions, who urged caution while Congress considered the USA Patriot Act, did not want to enter the fray concerning a possible successor bill.

    "I hate to jump into it, because it's a very delicate thing," Sessions told the Center, without acknowledging whether he knew of any proposed additions or revisions to the additional Patriot bill.

    When the first bill was nearing passage in the Congress in late 2001, however, Sessions told Internet site NewsMax.Com that the balance between civil liberties and sufficient intelligence gathering was a difficult one. "First of all, the Attorney General has to justify fully what he's asking for," Sessions, who served presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush as FBI Director from 1987 until 1993, said at the time. "We need to be sure that we provide an effective means to deal with criminality." At the same time, he said, "we need to be sure that we are mindful of the Constitution, mindful of privacy considerations, but also meet the technological needs we have" to gather intelligence.

    Cole found it disturbing that there have been no consultations with Congress on the draft legislation. "It raises a lot of serious concerns and is troubling as a generic matter that they have gotten this far along and tell people that there is nothing in the works. What that suggests is that they're waiting for a propitious time to introduce it, which might well be when a war is begun. At that time there would be less opportunity for discussion and they'll have a much stronger hand in saying that they need these right away."

  • Taken from My blog.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @01:40PM (#5259170)
    Holy damn...

    Got your tinfoil hats ready? Ok...here we go.

    Patriot Act. v2.0

    Section 101:Would extend the idea of a "foreign power" to include all persons. Regardless of if they are affiliated with terrorists or not. mmm...ok

    102: v 1.0 limits "agents of a foreign power" to people to are activly violating or have the goals to violate federal law. v2.0 wants to eliminiate this.

    This alone, combined with the known abuses of v1.0, would give any administratiion absolute and ultimate control. There is another 15 odd pages of further detail..but no more is needed.

    I believe that somebody overreached. Between this and the doubling of the tax cut, things might be about to change...

    -----

    The problem with the two clauses listed above is that it opens ANYBODY up to a full investiation..which includes revoking citizenship and deportation.

    Mmmm...facism...*drool*

  • my submission (Score:5, Informative)

    by joebeone (620917) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @01:42PM (#5259187) Homepage
    The Center for Public Integrity [publicintegrity.org] has intercepted [publicintegrity.org] a sequel to the Patriot Act [eff.org] that is being called the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003". Here are a few mirrors to the document... (we will need more): one [publicintegrity.org], two [privacy.org], and three [well.com]. A notable part of the prospective legislation is that a new federal felony [securityfocus.com] is created for willfully using encryption during the comission of a felony and that a judge in a different part of the country can issue a search warrant for another part of the country for terrorism or "computer crime". Why should you care if this isn't even close to law yet? 1) It's written by John Ashcroft and 2) The Bush administration is great at getting these things passed during emergencies (wasn't the homeland color just kicked up a notch [google.com]?)
  • Re:I can only hope (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:01PM (#5259294) Journal
    We don't need a police state!
    You don't have one already? Last time I was in the US, a policeman stopped me for crossing the road, and told me he could give me a $10 'ticket' for that (although he let me off with a warning in the end).
  • Re:Just what... (Score:3, Informative)

    by egoff (636181) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:01PM (#5259297)

    You've heard the old line "first Hitler went after the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so I did not protest"...

    If you protest the war on Iraq, prepare to [wsws.org] arrested [converge.org.nz]

    If you're a citizen of an Arabic or Islamic country, report to the INS [aclu.org]

    The list goes on an on... Wake UP!

  • by Ty (15982) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:15PM (#5259381) Homepage

    What makes you think you're safe from the U.S. government no matter where you live in the world?

    I hate to tell you, but our Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has executed tens of thousands of people, in foreign countries, over the last 40 years. Do a google for "CIA death squads", do some reading, and feel scared.

    Furthermore, let us not forget our current administrations mad mission in IRAQ, blatently violating the sovereignty of another nation. But then again, this is just another in the long list of US "interventions" - Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Guatemala, etc etc.

  • Re:hmm... (Score:3, Informative)

    by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:17PM (#5259393) Homepage Journal

    PGP? What about ssh??

    That's a damnned good point. Actually, if you think about it, it's really impossible to use any modern operating system without the use of some level of encryption. (even Win95 seeks to obfuscate the user password, if pitiably) Therefore, it would seem that this adds 5 years to the penalty of any crime whose details in any way are associated with computers.

  • by tdell (36889) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:24PM (#5259432)
    Yesterday we created an OCR'd version of this document, now available at Daily Rotten [dailyrotten.com].
  • by zabieru (622547) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:28PM (#5259462)
    Fact of the matter is that Michael Moore aside, that donation never happened. $43 million was given to aid organizations to be spent in Afganistan, and we can assume that some of that made its way into the pockets of the Taliban, but the Bush administration actually put a good bit of effort into trying to get it to the people of Afganistan. Mr. Moore lies a lot, really. There's an article on Salon about that one, you can check SNOPES for a couple other cases of him continueing to make claims that were specious to begin with, and which he had been notified were false.
  • Mirror of full draft (Score:3, Informative)

    by waytoomuchcoffee (263275) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:38PM (#5259548)
    Best mirror for the full draft is here [pbs.org].
  • by slughead (592713) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:45PM (#5259614) Homepage Journal
    Oh jesus christ

    1. Some of the language from the first patriot act was written under the Clinton Administration.

    2. It was approved by a 99/0 margin in the Democrat's senate, and passed in the house by a 340/40 margin.

    Get off your high liberal horse, jackass. Both parties want your soul.

    Vote libertarian.
  • by VooDoo999 (619582) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:47PM (#5259633)
    Section 312, "Appropriate Remedies with Respect to Law Enforcement Surveillance Activities": This section would terminate all state law enforcement consent decrees before Sept. 11, 2001, not related to racial profiling or other civil rights violations, that limit such agencies from gathering information about individuals and organizations. The authors of this statute claim that these consent orders, which were passed as a result of police spying abuses, could impede current terrorism investigations. It would also place substantial restrictions on future court injunctions.

    They may start caring when it's open season on whoever the 'law enforcement agencies' has a beef with. Pissed of some cop? Look out. Make one too many bacon jokes, all the sudden, you and your slashdot buddies are terrorists and they're allowed to watch you 24/7, or hold you without bail for as long as they want. The only criteria for watching every move you make is that you might be a terrorist.

  • by scoove (71173) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @02:50PM (#5259659)
    Especially if you live in Nebraska!

    Per the Register story about ES&S and Sen. Hagel, let me give you a few more details that the Register didn't report, as well as some clarification on the alleged mail order guru Harris:

    - ES&S is mostly owned by World Enterprises, not the McCarthy Group. McCarthy and World Investments (VC subsidiary of World Ent.) do lots of investments together, but World definitely lead on this one. Incidentally, World Enterprises owns Omaha's only newspaper, the Omaha World Herald. They have a hundred-year history of anticompetitive practices against other area newspapers and enjoy their monopoly status very well. They do an acceptable job printing a paper, though they've had some amusing missteps (i.e. declaring the Internet a "temporary fad only interesting to computer geeks" back in 1996).

    - The Hagel election conspiracy story is unfortunately nothing more than a bizarre construction by nutcase and self-declared expert Bev Harris (btw, I think we've reached the point in society where the expression "right-wing conspiracy nut" needs to be changed to reflect the lack of party exclusivity on these oddballs!). Anyone familiar with Nebraska politics knows that the state's democratic party is in total disarray and has failed to produce any viable candidates other than quasi-moderate Senator Ben Nelson (the 2002 races were a total disgrace and provided no political balance and parity to the state's republicans). Nebraskans rarely ever elect leftists and see themselves as moderates. Hagel is a product of uncontested elections.

    - Hagel does have his own set of problems, including presidential ambition that frequently sets him at odds with his president, and his excessive comfort with the views of lobbyists. He's been very pro RIAA and broadcasting industry, pro-baby bell, anti open source, anti-internet broadcaster, etc. He's not much of a person of principle and quite the "vote to the highest bidder" type, unfortunately.

    - The real story on ES&S: A few years ago, my company was asked to assist ES&S in their documentation. After assessing the project, I declined and indicated the problems at ES&S were structural, not cosmetic. Inept management, totally absent process management and the usual Omaha "big small town" practice of putting incompetent but aspiring sons and daughters of the community's social elite into senior management of each other's companies was much to blame. There's plenty of "high self-esteem, low competence" at ES&S but no grand conspiracy.

    *scoove*

  • by easyfrag (210329) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @03:18PM (#5259861)
    Most Americans don't know and many Canadians don't remember that Canada once fought its own "War on Terror" with a violent (and very small) sect of Quebec Separists during the late '60s and early '70s. It all came to a head during the October Crisis [cbc.ca] during which martial law was declared (via the War Measures Act) and citizens suspected of having ties to terrorists were rounded up. These measures were temporary of course, and the terrorist attacks ended afterwards but many people in Canada still wonder if such drastic measures were neccessary.
  • Suppressed Quote (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 08, 2003 @03:40PM (#5259950)
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government"
    --Thomas Jefferson

    And I'm sure that the government is now much more tyrannical than was ever imagined possible in his day.

  • by Aexia (517457) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @04:21PM (#5260146)
    Libertarians aren't a valid alternative by virtue of the fact that they're not Republicans or Democrats.

    Sure, I'd vote Libertarian over Republican but they're still fairly kooky. The national platform is okay but they people they recruit to run at the local level are typically... well, nuts.
  • Too late (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmai l . c om> on Saturday February 08, 2003 @04:41PM (#5260223) Homepage
    We already have our own patriot act. It's called Bill C17.

    We have constant surveilliance now. And the police are expanding.
    We have a secert police that is accountable to no one.
    The police can arrest anyone for anything for 60 days, and a judge can extend that forever.

    On top of that our goverment has been data mining our data, and collecting private information for years.

    Just remember my neighbors to the south, you have guns and can fight back. They've already taken ours.

  • Re:Oh yay... (Score:3, Informative)

    by will_die (586523) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @05:39PM (#5260486) Homepage
    Except for one thing, most of the things listed are already in effect in most of Europe.
    I am an US citizen living and working in Europe. If I change anything about my status, work address, home address, etc I have a few days where in which to inform the state and federal government. That is in addition to the yearly letters informing them about me and my living location.
    Even before I want to switch jobs I have to send massive paperwork(to get this job it was over 20 pages double sided) and this include information about my relative and financial status in the US to the government and get approval; this usally takes 6-9 months.
    If the government wants me out I am out, the government can even decide that I owe them money and take year to inform me of that, in which case I will also have to pay interest on that.
    As an other example I was recently down to Italy for 2 weeks of vacation, during that time the local police stations were provided a picture of me along with information such as my birth date,location etc.
  • by sp1nl0ck (241836) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @05:53PM (#5260541)
    First off, I don't live in the US - I'm in the UK. Consider yourselves lucky you don't have this thing the UK calls parliamentary supremacy - this means no court has power over parliament, and, by extension, the government. At least the supreme court can overturn laws that don't fit in with your constitution... We don't even have one of them!

    What happened to the much-vaunted freedom of expression and speech (and is someone going to remove the lyrics about the "land of the free" from the US national anthem as a consequence)? Example: what constitites "material support" to a terrorist group? Handing out flyers? "Political donations"? Well, that's anyone who gives money to NORAID out, unless the IRA aren't terrorists according to the definition of the US government.

    To take it to an extreme, what would stop (say) the Republicans declaring the Democrats (or any other political party) a "terrorist group"? I admit it's highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened. All the party in power needs is a huge majority. Like the one Labour have in the UK parliament (160-odd seats out of about 659).

    One of the posters below this one suggested that you yanks are going to have to live under the threat of being expatriated for supporting a group the USG doesn't like... Well, IANAL but I can't see this particular power-grab standing up in your Supreme Court if it comes to that. You lucky people.
  • Re:Patriot? (Score:2, Informative)

    by austus (199520) <austus.gmail@com> on Saturday February 08, 2003 @07:40PM (#5261052) Homepage
    There is a huge peace movement here. Please don't try to over-generalize.
  • by r2ravens (22773) on Saturday February 08, 2003 @08:15PM (#5261239)
    From near the end of the article:

    "It raises a lot of serious concerns and is troubling as a generic matter that they have gotten this far along and tell people that there is nothing in the works. What that suggests is that they're waiting for a propitious time to introduce it, which might well be when a war is begun. At that time there would be less opportunity for discussion and they'll have a much stronger hand in saying that they need these right away."

    This has been the tactic of the Bush administration from the very beginning - control and timing of information to maximize spin and reduce adverse effects on the administration's goals. Yes, other administrations have done this, but this one has an incredible mastery of it. Or are we just not paying attention? The author of this article "gets it."

    I've got a hundred dollar bill that says that, even though we've already seen the first drafts of what they propose, it won't be sent to lawmakers until the war starts... or ends. And there is going to be a war, Bush needs it to prop up his approval ratings. And he has to have it now, Next year will be too close to the election.

    If it started next year and dragged on into the time of the elections, it could be a benefit for him as the people don't usually like to change administrations in the middle of a war. But if it went badly, there wouldn't be enough time to spin it positively before the election. But this year is perfect. If it goes well, he will be "the war-time president that kept us safe from those dirty terrorists." If it goes badly, the people will forget or at least the emotional intensity about it will fade by election time. (BTW, regards the 'dirty terrorists' issue, there was a poll [salon.com] conducted (not by salon, but by the Princeton Survey Research Associates) that said that 50% of the American public believed that one or more of the 9/11 hijackers was an Iraqi, 33% didn't answer and only 17% knew the truth that none were. - That's how well the spin and disinformation works.)

    The chief architect of the administration's PR, spin and disinformation organization is Karl Rove, one of the members of Richard Nixon's dirty tricks squad and a long-time political strategist who has been a consultant on many campaigns over the years. There is a good article here [prospect.org] that describes Rove's tactics.

    The key points of this strategy are:

    Use whatever excuse is available at the time to justify the administration's long-term ideological agenda. That's what we're talking about here.

    Count on the American public's (and the media's) inability to remember anything from one year to the next. Ok, pop quiz. Who remembers that in the debates Bush said that the military should not be used for 'nation building'? Sort of like what we're doing in Afghanistan and about to do in Iraq?

    Keep everything under wraps. J. H. Hatfield's book Fortunate Son - The Making of an American President (70,000+ copies of the uncomplimentary biography suggesting Bush's cocaine conviction were recalled by the publisher and shredded at the reqest of the Bush campaign. Hatfield himself turned up dead a few months later. I had a helluva time finding any information on that. The book is still available here [softskull.com] but it's not on the newsstands or in bookstores.) Dick Cheney's energy task force - the court has ordered him to turn over the list of the attendees (not even the notes) and the administration is still fighting it. Not a document has been produced yet. Just the list of attendees eems sort of innocuous, doesn't it? Jose Padilla, the 'dirty bomber'? (See more below on this.)

    Cut embarrassing players loose and pretend they're exceptions. Harvey Pitt resigning [forbes.com] on the eve of the election. Trent Lott stepping down as Senate majority leader after failing to get the backing of the White House.

    And as an example of the biggest threat to our hard-fought constitutional rights, does anyone remember the "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla? He had been in custody for some time before Ashcroft announced his alleged activities and his arrest. Ashcroft made the announcement on the day that FBI agent Coleen Rowley was scheduled to give a press conference to discuss her observation of failures [time.com] in intelligence analysis that might have helped the FBI uncover the 9/11 hijacking plan. Without question, this was timed to steal the media attention from her press conference.

    On the same day, the administration labeled Padilla an "enemy combatant" and had him moved from the civillian justice system (a New Jersey jail) to a military brig in North Carolina where he remains to this day with no contact from his attorney. His attorney has attempted to file a writ of habeus corpus on his behalf, but has been prevented from doing so because the writ must be signed by the defendent who she can't get in to see! [thisamericanlife.org] (Sorry, it's realaudio but worth the listen) In effect, the administration has suspended habeus corpus, a 700 year legal tradition and one of the foundations (some say *the foundation*) of modern jurisprudence.

    Many noble and honorable people have died to protect the freedoms that this administration is removing wholesale. The oft repeated Ben Franklin quote is right on the mark: The examples of Israel and Ireland have long proved that you can not "win a war on terrorism." And removing the very freedoms that the administration claims are the reason that the terrorists "hate us so much" results in a win for the terrorists. How about removing instead the real reasons that many in the Islamic world are opposed to the United States; forced exportation of our culture, religion and business interests to other countries through globalization and our interference in their affairs. The path we are on can only reduce our freedoms and turn more people of this Islamic world against us.

    We need PATRIOT II like we need a damn hole in the head. I'm really concerned about the state of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in this country and I'm not sure who I should be more afraid of, George Bush, John Ashcroft or Karl Rove. I'm certainly more afraid of them than I am of terrorists.

    Ok, I've got my Nomex undies on, flame away. But if you must, don't just label me a liberal, commie, pinko hippie, counter my logic or refute my facts. I'm not trying to be a troll, just covering my ass. :)
  • Re:What party? (Score:2, Informative)

    by psykocrime (61037) <mindcrime@@@cpphacker...co...uk> on Saturday February 08, 2003 @10:18PM (#5261813) Homepage Journal
    hat party would I have to join if I wanted to oppose such a bill?


    What party has as one of its main issues being the safeguarding of our rights and constitution?


    The Libertarian Party [lp.org] is exactly what you're looking for. Go to their website, read the platform, and see what you think.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 09, 2003 @06:04PM (#5266675)
    www.lp.org

    Draw your own conclusions.
  • by nealmcb (125634) on Sunday February 09, 2003 @10:51PM (#5268081) Homepage
    The first public release of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 was scanned in, and thus both huge and not in a searchable text format.

    A text HTML version wtih OCR document processing courtesy of Soylent Communications is now mirrored by EFF:

    http://eff.org/Censorship/Terrorism_militias/son-o f-patriot.php [eff.org]

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.

Working...