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the anti-patriot act

Discussion in 'Politics' started by beast, May 27, 2011.

  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    Obama, in Europe, signs Patriot Act extension

    Obama, in Europe, signs Patriot Act extension - Yahoo! News

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    By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press – 2 hrs 6 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

    "It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," Obama said Friday after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    With Obama in France, the White House said the president used an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.

    Congress sent the bill to the president with only hours to go on Thursday before the provisions expired at midnight. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused.

    The Senate voted 72-23 for the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities. The House passed the measure 250-153 on an evening vote.
    [ For complete coverage of politics and policy, go to Yahoo! Politics ]

    A short-term expiration would not have interrupted ongoing operations but would have barred the government from seeking warrants for new investigations.

    Congress bumped up against the deadline mainly because of the stubborn resistance from a single senator, Republican freshman Rand Paul of Kentucky, who saw the terrorist-hunting powers as an abuse of privacy rights. Paul held up the final vote for several days while he demanded a chance to change the bill to diminish the government's ability to monitor individual actions.

    The measure would add four years to the legal life of roving wiretaps, authorized for a person rather than a communications line or device; court-ordered searches of business records; and surveillance of non-American "lone wolf" suspects without confirmed ties to terrorist groups.

    The roving wiretaps and access to business records are small parts of the USA Patriot Act enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But unlike most of the act, which is permanent law, those provisions must be renewed periodically because of concerns that they could be used to violate privacy rights. The same applies to the "lone wolf" provision, which was part of a 2004 intelligence law.

    Paul argued that in the rush to meet the terrorist threat in 2001 Congress enacted a Patriot Act that tramples on individual liberties. He had some backing from liberal Democrats and civil liberties groups who have long contended the law gives the government authority to spy on innocent citizens.

    Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he voted for the act in 2001 "while ground zero was still burning." But "I soon realized it gave too much power to government without enough judicial and congressional oversight."

    Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said the provision on collecting business records can expose law-abiding citizens to government scrutiny. "If we cannot limit investigations to terrorism or other nefarious activities, where do they end?" he asked.

    "The Patriot Act has been used improperly again and again by law enforcement to invade Americans' privacy and violate their constitutional rights," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington legislative office.

    Still, coming just a month after intelligence and military forces tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden, there was little appetite for tampering with the terrorism-fighting tools. These tools, said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, "have kept us safe for nearly a decade and Americans today should be relieved and reassured to know that these programs will continue."

    Intelligence officials have denied improper use of surveillance tools, and this week both FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sent letters to congressional leaders warning of serious national security consequences if the provisions were allowed to lapse.

    The Obama administration says that without the three authorities the FBI might not be able to obtain information on terrorist plotting inside the U.S. and that a terrorist who communicates using different cell phones and email accounts could escape timely surveillance.

    "When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we would be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot attacks against our country, undetected," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. In unusually personal criticism of a fellow senator, he warned that Paul, by blocking swift passage of the bill, "is threatening to take away the best tools we have for stopping them."

    The nation itself is divided over the Patriot Act, as reflected in a Pew Research Center poll last February, before the killing of bin Laden, that found that 34 percent felt the law "goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties. Some 42 percent considered it "a necessary tool that helps the government find terrorists." That was a slight turnaround from 2004 when 39 percent thought it went too far and 33 percent said it was necessary.

    Paul, after complaining that Reid's remarks were "personally insulting," asked whether the nation "should have some rules that say before they come into your house, before they go into your banking records, that a judge should be asked for permission, that there should be judicial review? Do we want a lawless land?"

    Paul agreed to let the bill go forward after he was given a vote on two amendments to rein in government surveillance powers. Both were soundly defeated. The more controversial, an amendment that would have restricted powers to obtain gun records in terrorist investigations, was defeated 85-10 after lawmakers received a letter from the National Rifle Association stating that it was not taking a position on the measure.

    According to a senior Justice Department national security official testifying to Congress last March, the government has sought roving wiretap authority in about 20 cases a year between 2001 and 2010 and has sought warrants for business records less than 40 times a year, on average. The government has yet to use the lone wolf authority.

    But the ACLU also points out that court approvals for business record access jumped from 21 in 2009 to 96 last year, and the organization contends the Patriot Act has blurred the line between investigations of actual terrorists and those not suspected of doing anything wrong.

    Two Democratic critics of the Patriot Act, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Udall of Colorado, on Thursday extracted a promise from Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that she would hold hearings with intelligence and law enforcement officials on how the law is being carried out.

    Wyden says that while there are numerous interpretations of how the Patriot Act works, the official government interpretation of the law remains classified. "A significant gap has developed now between what the public thinks the law says and what the government secretly claims it says," Wyden said.


    Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman and Pete Yost contributed to this report.
  2. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Once again, thanks (NOT) NRA for standing up for us. If I wasn't already a life member I would not renew my membership with them.
    BackwoodsmanUSA and Falcon15 like this.
  3. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Gotta love those Paul's. He did give it a good shot. Still, money talks in Washington.

    As for the NRA, I don't expect them to come to our rescue every time the People fail to respond to tyranny themselves. The NRA is limited by its membership clout and funding -it isn't a surefire method to defeating tyranny. The People have failed, that is the point. The more People we can get to stand together, the better. United we stand; divided we fall.
    VisuTrac and Falcon15 like this.
  4. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    same as when we fight any monster
    a man alone cant fight a t-rex
    but 100 can kick its ass
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Pretty much agree. The NRA has to pick its fights. Resource limited in spite of the continuous mailings asking for more money. I have to think they would take in more if they didn't have everyone ready to toss the solicitations in the trash before reading. (It feels so good when they stop beating you.)
    tacmotusn and Falcon15 like this.
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Agreed that the people have failed miserably and the NRA will never be able to rescue the people when .goob wants to push something. The main thing that bothers me is if the NRA is the biggest org to TRY and protect your gun rights, why would they not at least take a position on the measure. Just to say they support it does not cost anything and at least lets .goob know that they, the members, want our rights protected.
    tacmotusn and Falcon15 like this.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I understand completely. Ghrit said it best: they have to pick their fights. It isn't fair, it isn't right, and it is deeply disheartening. Unfortunately, this is the reality we live in.

    I can be somewhat poetic when I envision this world...
    The day when the people stood as one inside the republic has long been vanquished. We, the few which remain, exist only as shadows of those who came before us. On all sides we are surrounded by the wicked and the vain, the greedy and the corrupt. Every second in this life they grow stronger and we continue to diminish. But, the day will come when even their kind will reach critical mass, when the age of tyranny and oppression has run its course and all who stand on that day will witness a rebirth of liberty. We know that this is self evident because our own history is riddled with this same pattern. The people grow complacent, and through various methods adopt a new perspective to fuel their lust. The few will become empowered over the many until a small number have had enough and the system self destructs. The manner in which these tyrants are empowered is the very same method they leave this world; through war and bloodshed. And so, the people will welcome the tyrant and despotism with open arms and thunderous applause. And one day, maybe a long time in the future, standing upon the very precipice of change, one or more souls will dare to challenge what is and embark upon the next journey.

    On another note, I also like Cheetos because they are crunchy with a subtle softness inside somewhere.
    tacmotusn and Mountainman like this.
  8. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    The last time they sent me info on joining I wrote on there as soon as you stop caving in and start fighting for freedom I'll join. I haven't heard anything back, that's been a couple of years ago.

  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Thanks for letting us down.

    I guess you have your answer now.
  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    I'm going to try that on all the crap they send me wanting money, even after being a life member, and see what happens.
  11. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Sorry but I'm not like .gov I don't continue to throw money into things that don't work.

  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Good one. I figure it like this: is $20 worth a chance to sustain freedom? Or perhaps we could say it's better than sitting around complaining. Maybe donate to other pro-gun causes, although they don't have nearly the same support and clout the NRA does, which would be kind of like donating to the balkanization of the entire process to begin with. You see, it's simple: We stand together or we fall separately. You don't like the NRA for your own reasons, and they are legitimate complaints; yet we all should at least try to come to terms with the fact that we, as a people have no other common ground to unite us -the NRA offers us a single voice with our combined efforts. It isn't perfect, only a Sim City computerized recreation can be perfect. In the real world we try and often fail -but we pick ourselves back up again and keep trying. In the spirit of promoting liberty I believe this is a fair exchange.

    Your mileage may vary, as can be expected these days.
    ghrit likes this.
  13. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    I understand what your saying and even some what agree, but when they wright a letter saying they won't even take position on it. WTF Would a letter saying they where against it really have coasted that much more??? I have lost all faith in the system, and the players, no one in power has half an pound of back bone. If you elect someone different you get the same results.

    beast likes this.
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    It's true, that we do not elect the President, the electoral college decides the winner --and even then we have Die-Bold and miscounts to contend with. Of course, this was all meant to appear to be mismanaged and a disgrace in order to create a lack of faith on our part. Starting with Clinton, the scandalous intrigue brought on impeachment and dishonor to the country; since it was also a coverup for Chinagate, it served more than one purpose and opened the door for the next stage in dismantling the voice of the citizenry. When G.W. and Al Gore were running, the state of Florida voting, managed by those working under Marvin Bush went into action; there was no better way to illustrate the ineffectiveness of democracy than the charade which took place there. Finally, we come to Obama, who is neither elected nor a natural born citizen; the final stone in the arch has been laid, and the people are left doubting their purpose on the continent which born them.

    I do not blame you for having zero faith in the political system. But, this is all beside the point.

    The NRA serves as a single crucible where the collective voice of the people can be heard. It is only as strong as we make it. And yes, it is not without its flaws. Rather than give up and complain to deaf ears, wouldn't it be better to contribute a tiny fraction of your FRN's to a cause which may prove at the very least to slow down this incremental march toward an all-encompassing police state nightmare? Time is not our friend in this battle to regain liberty. And make no mistake, some of us will never give up fighting this any way we can.
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