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PATRIOT act. Dictatorship to come.

Fantasea

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swampkritter said:
No, not this time. I personally have never been in any trouble with police officers of any sort. However, I have seen abuse of authority on several levels by many government agencies.
Tell me about the abuse of authority you have seen on several levels by many government agencies.

Since there's a physical limit of ten thousand characters per individual post, you may have to split the anecdotes among several posts.
 

swampkritter

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Fantasea said:
Tell me about the abuse of authority you have seen on several levels by many government agencies.

Since there's a physical limit of ten thousand characters per individual post, you may have to split the anecdotes among several posts.


Without doing massive research to find more, three incidents come to mind:

1. Ruby Ridge: What happened at Ruby ridge when Randy Weaver's family was killed is an abuse of authority.

2. Waco: If the government so desired, they could have arrested David Koresh many times without invading his compound and killing people.

3. Recently, the Florida Dept. of Family and Childrens Services took an Indian woman's baby moments after the child was born. The reason? they said that the baby had no stable home. The woman was in the U.S. legally, visiting relatives, when she was struck by a car and gave birth prematurely. The woman and her family in india is fairly well off with property and plenty of money. This woman does not speak english and wasn't given an interpreter until the day they took her child, so she really did not have a clue as to what was happening until it was too late.

All you have to do is to read the news.
 

slim

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I am sorry Swampkritter,

Some of these people only want to see some parts of the news. They like to imagine that the people they are ruled by are decent and just.

Sorry guys. This is an illusion. The nation you live in is run by corporations, oil tycoons and neo-conservative madmen. The war on terror is a war against Imperialist opposition to the West. Noticed emergency powers at home lately?
 

swampkritter

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I am sorry Swampkritter,

Some of these people only want to see some parts of the news. They like to imagine that the people they are ruled by are decent and just.?[/QUOTE]

Government is never "decent and just" all the time. Human nature dictates that there will always be abuse of authority by government officials at all levels at some point. The best thing that can be done is to ensure that the abusers are punished for their actions. Too much power in the hands of government is never a good thing.

slim said:
Sorry guys. This is an illusion. The nation you live in is run by corporations, oil tycoons and neo-conservative madmen. The war on terror is a war against Imperialist opposition to the West. Noticed emergency powers at home lately?



Concerning the war on terror, I can't agree with you there. We should have been waging that battle years ago.
 

Fantasea

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swampkritter said:
Without doing massive research to find more, three incidents come to mind:

1. Ruby Ridge: What happened at Ruby ridge when Randy Weaver's family was killed is an abuse of authority.

2. Waco: If the government so desired, they could have arrested David Koresh many times without invading his compound and killing people.

3. Recently, the Florida Dept. of Family and Childrens Services took an Indian woman's baby moments after the child was born. The reason? they said that the baby had no stable home. The woman was in the U.S. legally, visiting relatives, when she was struck by a car and gave birth prematurely. The woman and her family in india is fairly well off with property and plenty of money. This woman does not speak english and wasn't given an interpreter until the day they took her child, so she really did not have a clue as to what was happening until it was too late.

All you have to do is to read the news.
Which one of these relates to the Patriot Act?

The Clinton Administration, that epitome of civil rights and stupidity, bungled and ended up unintentionally killing a lot of folks, yet you twist it to appear as a deliberate act.

The worst you can cite about Florida is that action was taken to ensure the protection of a child, obviously at risk, whose mother was injured and, perhaps, temporarily unable to adequately care for her child. Is the "offense" you cite one of being over-protective? Can you imagine the media frenzy if there was no intervention and the child had died?

I'm not familiar with the story but it would appear that the local 'relatives' weren't of much help in the situation. Why would that be?
 
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swampkritter

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Fantasea said:
Which one of these relates to the Patriot Act?

My point is simple: The abuse of this act is certain, if not under the current administration under a future one.

Fantasea said:
The Clinton Administration, that epitome of civil rights and stupidity, bungled and ended up unintentionally killing a lot of folks, yet you twist it to appear as a deliberate act.?

Yiu call that bungling? It shows a blatant disregard for civil rights.

Fantasea said:
The worst you can cite about Florida is that action was taken to ensure the protection of a child, obviously at risk, whose mother was injured and, perhaps, temporarily unable to adequately care for her child. Is the "offense" you cite one of being over-protective? Can you imagine the media frenzy if there was no intervention and the child had died?

Can you imagine the grief the mother is going through because of the uneccessary loss of her child? what about the lack of an interpreter until the deed was basically done?

Fantasea said:
I'm not familiar with the story but it would appear that the local 'relatives' weren't of much help in the situation. Why would that be?

Who knows? I await more news on this incident.
 

slim

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At first Nero was a just Emperor who listened to his advisors and made Rome prosperous. However, by the time he was 22 he realised he had absolute power and no-one except for his mother could stop him. He had her killed and had his advisors killed or exiled.

Obviously this is not the same case now but we still experience the abuse of power. As hinted before by others, the leader of a nation should be kept in an interdependent position so authority does not crumble and on the other hand, freedoms and justice do not suffer.
 

Fantasea

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swampkritter said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasea
Which one of these relates to the Patriot Act?
My point is simple: The abuse of this act is certain, if not under the current administration under a future one.
So what you are actually saying is that these situations are not connected with the Patriot Act and that despite your claim to the contrary, you don't know of any situations of abuse which are. Yet you have no compunction about making preposterous claims.

Have I got that right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasea
The Clinton Administration, that epitome of civil rights and stupidity, bungled and ended up unintentionally killing a lot of folks, yet you twist it to appear as a deliberate act.?
Yiu call that bungling? It shows a blatant disregard for civil rights.
I call it the socialist-liberal-democrat method of problem solving, with an Arkansas twist to it.

I wonder why there was no call from the media for heads to roll after Ruby Ridge and Waco? Perhaps you have an idea on the subject which you would like to share? If either of those fiascoes had been a Republican escapade, we'd still be hearing the protests, wouldn't we?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasea
The worst you can cite about Florida is that action was taken to ensure the protection of a child, obviously at risk, whose mother was injured and, perhaps, temporarily unable to adequately care for her child. Is the "offense" you cite one of being over-protective? Can you imagine the media frenzy if there was no intervention and the child had died?
Can you imagine the grief the mother is going through because of the uneccessary loss of her child? what about the lack of an interpreter until the deed was basically done?
Until the bleeding heart libs got into the picture, I bet that the mother was thankful that she was receiving the kind of treatment she could never have received "at home", and that her child was safe, sound, and protected during her period of incapacity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasea
I'm not familiar with the story but it would appear that the local 'relatives' weren't of much help in the situation. Why would that be?
Who knows? I await more news on this incident.
Are you familiar with the expression, "Going off half-cocked"?

That's getting to be 'liberal-speak' for, "Press the panic button at the first sign there may be something to complain about. So what if nothing materializes; at least we got the media coverage."
 

swampkritter

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So what you are actually saying is that these situations are not connected with the Patriot Act and that despite your claim to the contrary, you don't know of any situations of abuse which are. Yet you have no compunction about making preposterous claims.

I never once said that any example I gave was in any way connected to the patriot act.
What would prevent a future administration from abusing the patriot act? Nothing.

I call it the socialist-liberal-democrat method of problem solving, with an Arkansas twist to it.

Same thing, a violation of civil rights by the federal government.

I
wonder why there was no call from the media for heads to roll after Ruby Ridge and Waco? Perhaps you have an idea on the subject which you would like to share? If either of those fiascoes had been a Republican escapade, we'd still be hearing the protests, wouldn't we?

Absolutely correct!

Are you familiar with the expression, "Going off half-cocked"?

That's getting to be 'liberal-speak' for, "Press the panic button at the first sign there may be something to complain about. So what if nothing materializes; at least we got the media coverage."

The fact that she wasn't able to communicate without an interpreter and was not provided with one until the day they took her child is enough of an alarm bell.
Florida's Dept of Family and Childrens Services are well known for removing children from the parents without just cause.
I have fought them in the past and know many others who have as well. In my case I won, others weren't so lucky.

 

RightinNYC

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swampkritter said:
I never once said that any example I gave was in any way connected to the patriot act.
What would prevent a future administration from abusing the patriot act? Nothing.

What would prevent ANY government from enacting their emergency powers? Nothing. You are setting up foolish straw men to scare people.
Same thing, a violation of civil rights by the federal government.


er, no.

The fact that she wasn't able to communicate without an interpreter and was not provided with one until the day they took her child is enough of an alarm bell.
Florida's Dept of Family and Childrens Services are well known for removing children from the parents without just cause.
I have fought them in the past and know many others who have as well. In my case I won, others weren't so lucky.


This situation should have been handled IMMEDIATELY with her son being sent back to Cuba. There was no need for an interpreter.
 

swampkritter

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RightatNYU said:
What would prevent ANY government from enacting their emergency powers? Nothing. You are setting up foolish straw men to scare people..

No. ANY such powers, and the Patriot act IS NOT an emergency power, is subject to abuse by the government. My entire point is I do not trust the government with the additional powers as listed in the Patriot Act.
Even now they are talking about monitoring everyone's internet surfing. SOURCE: Feds want Web-surfing records



RightatNYU said:

Exactly why, in your opinion, aren't these incidents civil rights violations?



RightatNYU said:
This situation should have been handled IMMEDIATELY with her son being sent back to Cuba. There was no need for an interpreter.

Cuba? she was in this country LEGALLY from INDIA.
 

slim

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"Even now they are talking about monitoring everyone's internet surfing"

They are talking about making it legal. Who knows if they are doing it already...?
 

Fantasea

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swampkritter said:
Originally posted by Fantasea
So what you are actually saying is that these situations are not connected with the Patriot Act and that despite your claim to the contrary, you don't know of any situations of abuse which are. Yet you have no compunction about making preposterous claims.
I never once said that any example I gave was in any way connected to the patriot act.

What would prevent a future administration from abusing the patriot act? Nothing.
As long as the Republicans remain in control, you needn't worry. However, if the Democrats get back in, watch out. Remember, that's where the Ruby Ridge and Waco pecadilloes originated.
Originally posted by Fantasea
I call it the socialist-liberal-democrat method of problem solving, with an Arkansas twist to it.
Same thing, a violation of civil rights by the federal government.
Nope. It was the Dems.
Originally posted by Fantasea Quote:
I wonder why there was no call from the media for heads to roll after Ruby Ridge and Waco? Perhaps you have an idea on the subject which you would like to share? If either of those fiascoes had been a Republican escapade, we'd still be hearing the protests, wouldn't we?
Absolutely correct!
Are you making a media accusation?
Originally posted by Fantasea
Are you familiar with the expression, "Going off half-cocked"?

That's getting to be 'liberal-speak' for, "Press the panic button at the first sign there may be something to complain about. So what if nothing materializes; at least we got the media coverage."
The fact that she wasn't able to communicate without an interpreter and was not provided with one until the day they took her child is enough of an alarm bell.
Florida's Dept of Family and Childrens Services are well known for removing children from the parents without just cause.
I don't know about that. They were trying to protect Elion Gonzales until Janet Reno's goons broke in and abducted him.
I have fought them in the past and know many others who have as well. In my case I won, others weren't so lucky.
Lucky for you.
 

swampkritter

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Fantasea said:
As long as the Republicans remain in control, you needn't worry. However, if the Democrats get back in, watch out. Remember, that's where the Ruby Ridge and Waco pecadilloes originated..

Republican, Democrat, it doesn't matter. In a future administration, the Patriot Act more than likely will be abused.

Fantasea said:
Nope. It was the Dems.

The Dems in control of the Federal Government. There have been abuses like these fron both Democrats and Republicans in the past.

Fantasea said:
Are you making a media accusation?

The media's obvious liberal bias show's it's ugly head on a daily basis.

Fantasea said:
I don't know about that. They were trying to protect Elion Gonzales until Janet Reno's goons broke in and abducted him.

One case out of how many?
 

Fantasea

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swampkritter said:
Republican, Democrat, it doesn't matter. In a future administration, the Patriot Act more than likely will be abused.



The Dems in control of the Federal Government. There have been abuses like these fron both Democrats and Republicans in the past.



The media's obvious liberal bias show's it's ugly head on a daily basis.



One case out of how many?
Well, if that's what your crystal ball tells you .....
 
A

AJCG

RightatNYU said:
It's funny, the rights violations that you mention occurring in the UK are the types of things that are done here in the US by the LEFT, not the right, so your idea that Bush will push them on the people is a bit off. And also, there is no way Bush will maintain power through the next election. That's simply a foolish statement.

English guy here just wanted to say that Tony is anything but left (We call this labour) and currently the right (Conservatives) are finding it extreemly hard to have an agenda against labour due to Tony's agenda being so far right...... :confused:
 

Youve Got To Be Kidding!

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WEST PHILADELPHIA -- Animal rights activists tell NBC 10 that the FBI targeted their home last week.

Armed anti-terrorism agents with the FBI's joint-terrorism task force raided the West Philadelphia home.

"I think that the agents with guns and dogs in a house for a group called Hugs for Puppies is pretty much overkill," said Kate Zaidan.

The agents entered the home with guns. They got seven people out of bed and made them leave the home.

"A guy with a gun comes in my room and tells me to get dressed and come downstairs so they can search through my belongings," said Jason Fults.

Fults and Zaidan are two of several environmental and antiwar activists who live in the house. They say the agents were looking for Nick Cooney.

Cooney is an animal rights activist with Hugs for Puppies.

A search warrant shows agents were looking for computers and hard drives related to protests of companies doing animal testing.

"We'll go to their office and hold demonstrations there," said Cooney. "We'll go to the homes of executives and hold legal demonstrations at their houses."

Cooney said he feels the raid is retaliation by the companies for going after them.

The activists said the raid is an example of abuses of the Patriot Act.

"Not only is it not okay to dissent, but it's not okay to live with or be friends with anybody that's dissenting either or you can expect armed government thugs to come in your house and take your stuff," said Fults.

The FBI in Chicago conducted this raid. A spokesperson would only tell NBC 10 that this is part of an ongoing investigation.

The activists in the home said they have hired civil rights attorneys.
 

Youve Got To Be Kidding!

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Mary Lieberman saw exactly how the Patriot Act might be abused when she was the director of a church-based group in Knoxville helping Iraqi refugees.

"An agent from the FBI came into my office and said, 'Let me look at all your files of all your Iraqi-born clients,'" said Lieberman.

All the files meant personal and medical records of refugees legally in America, some because they had fought Saddam Hussein. Under the Patriot Act, the FBI has broad power to go after terrorists, but Lieberman says she felt a chill for Americans.

"It just felt like this overbroad fishing expedition," Lieberman says.

Asked what she would say to those people who would expect no less of the FBI, Lieberman answers, "I would say first it would be the Iraqis and then it would be somebody else… Mr. John Q. Public. It would be you."

When Lieberman fought the FBI, a federal judge forced her to give up some but not all of the Iraqi records. She's joined an ACLU lawsuit challenging the reach of the Patriot Act.

Those who would reform the Patriot Act, including liberals and conservatives, do not claim there has been widespread abuse of civil liberties so far, only that the potential exists. Out on the presidential campaign the issue is should the Patriot Act be changed.

President Bush wants the Patriot Act to stand as is.

"The Patriot Act defends our liberty," says the president. "The Patriot Act makes it possible for those of us in a position of responsibility to defend the liberty of the American people. It's essential law."

Sen. John Kerry, however, has proposed reforms.

"There's several provisions in the act that I think need to be changed," says Kerry.

Kerry would require FBI agents to list "specific facts" when they want personal records and "specific targets" when they want roving wiretaps. He would also let parts of the act expire at the end of next year.

"We're not going to undo those parts of it that are very important to the security of our country," he says.

What frightens Mary Lieberman is the secrecy the FBI has under the Patriot Act. When agents want personal records, for a certain time, the person being investigated cannot be told.

"I was really scared," Lieberman says, "not just for these clients, but just for my country."

But defenders of the act say that secrecy is needed so terrorists don't know the Feds are looking, that Mary Lieberman and innocent Americans can relax.
 

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ACLU and Peace Fresno Call on California Officials and Lawmakers to Investigate Surveillance of Anti-War Group

April 21, 2004




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRESNO, CA -- In a formal complaint filed today with California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and Peace Fresno are calling for a full investigation into the undercover surveillance of the anti-war group.

"The infiltration of Peace Fresno was unjustified and is inconsistent with California’s constitutional right to privacy," said Mark Schlosberg, Police Practices Policy Director of the ACLU of Northern California. "This type of law enforcement activity should not be allowed to happen again in Fresno or anywhere else in California. It is therefore vital that Attorney General Lockyer fully investigate this incident and issue specific guidelines to prevent similar incidents in the future."

Peace Fresno, a community organization, learned in September 2003 that a member of the Fresno County Sheriff Department’s Anti-Terrorism unit had infiltrated and conducted undercover surveillance of its members between January and June.

"After six months of trying to get answers from the Fresno Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, we still don’t know why we were infiltrated, what information was collected, and who authorized the surveillance," said Nick DeGraff of Peace Fresno.

The ACLU and Peace Fresno are asking Attorney General Lockyer to:

investigate the role of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department Anti-Terrorism Unit in conducting surveillance of peace and social justice groups;


issue specific guidelines to the Fresno County Sheriff Department clearly stating that law enforcement may not monitor or spy on individuals or groups involved in First Amendment activity without reasonable suspicion of a crime; and


publicly release his office’s findings about the surveillance.
Peace Fresno members discovered one of its members was actually a government agent when the Fresno Bee published an obituary on September 1, 2003, about Aaron Kilner’s death in a motorcycle accident. In his obituary, Kilner - known to Peace Fresno as Aaron Stokes - was identified as a member of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department’s "anti-terrorist team." When members of Peace Fresno saw the picture and read the obituary they began piecing the story together.

The groups also sent a letter today to Senator Barbara Boxer (D, CA), asking that she take steps to protect the privacy rights of Peace Fresno members and request a full accounting of the FBI’s involvement in the surveillance of the group.

Last January, the ACLU and members of Peace Fresno filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act seeking information about the government’s infiltration of the local group. The requests were filed with the offices of the FBI and U.S. Attorney, who maintain a Joint Terrorism Task Force with local law enforcement agencies in the Fresno area.

The requests were prompted in part by the New York Times’ disclosure last November of an internal FBI bulletin advising local law enforcement agencies around the country to report certain protest activities to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The letter to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer is online at
http://www.aclu.org/FreeSpeech/FreeSpeech.cfm?ID=15522&c=86

The letter to Senator Barbara Boxer is online at
http://www.aclu.org/FreeSpeech/FreeSpeech.cfm?ID=15523&c=86
 

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At a news conference on March 11, 2002, the ACLU of Colorado disclosed documents that show that the Denver Police Department has been monitoring and recording the peaceful protest activities of Denver-area residents and keeping files on the expressive activities of law-abiding advocacy organizations, many of which are falsely labeled in the files as "criminal extremist."
 

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ACLU Appalled by Ashcroft Statement on Dissent; Calls Free Speech "Main Engine of Justice"

December 10, 2001




Statement of Laura W. Murphy,
Director, ACLU Washington National Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON -- In a blatant attempt to stifle growing criticism of recent government policy, Attorney General Ashcroft delivered testimony last week equating legitimate political dissent with something unpatriotic and un-American. We urge the Attorney General to learn from the history of American dissent -- from the Civil War to the civil rights struggle -- that free and robust debate is one of the main engines of social and political justice. While we feel as strongly as the rest of America that those who perpetrated the monstrous acts of September 11 must be brought to justice and our future safety ensured, we forcefully disagree with the Attorney General that domestic debate about the government response in any way harms the investigation. In fact, we believe debate only strengthens our government in this time of national crisis.

The Attorney General swore an oath to guard the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, including the First Amendment. For him to openly attack as "aiding the enemy" those who question government policy is all the more frightening in light of his constitutional duty to protect each and every American's right to speak and think their mind. Even worse is the tone of derision used by the Attorney General to mock his detractors, declaring their concerns "phantoms" and charging that their criticism brings "comfort to the enemy."

There is evidence that the recent steps by the Administration to hold secretive military tribunals, to allow the government to eavesdrop on confidential attorney-client conversations and to blanket interrogate and detain Arab-Americans and Muslims are problematic for liberty in America. Ashcroft should welcome a free and robust debate about the appropriateness and legality of his positions as a means of legitimizing his authority, not weakening it.

American history demonstrates clearly that the search for truth tends to become muddied in times of crisis. Since the turn of the last century, America has seen each of its military conflicts prod the government into taking steps to stifle domestic dissent. Ashcroft's statement suggests that, if we are not careful, the tragedy of September 11 might be compounded by a repeat of this history.

While we firmly support the Administration in its efforts to prevent another September 11, we cannot abide - nor can the American commitment to liberty and democracy support - any attempt by the Administration to dictate or coerce the thoughts we think or the opinions we hold. Thinking critically about government policy is the strongest shield against government excess.

We will continue to voice our disagreement when we feel the government has stepped out of bounds and will do so with the conviction that one of the highest forms of patriotism is devotion to the Constitution and the freedoms guaranteed within, including the right to speak out in disagreement with the powers that be.
 

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NEW YORK -- In response to a demand made by the New York Civil Liberties Union earlier this week, police officials have agreed to halt a recently implemented secret program of interrogating protesters about their political affiliations and prior demonstration activities, the NYCLU announced today.

"As a city and a nation, we are at a crossroads about civil liberties," said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. "The city's initiation of these interrogations reveals how willing government is to abandon basic First Amendment values in these difficult times, while its reversal shows that New Yorkers can successfully defend their civil liberties."

Under the program, which had been in effect at least since the large February 15 antiwar rally here, the NYPD had forced hundreds of protesters charged with minor offenses to surrender information about their political affiliations and prior protest activity. That information was being collected on a recently disclosed form entitled, "Criminal Intelligence Division/Demonstration Debriefing Form."

In a letter sent on Tuesday to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the NYCLU informed the City that it had received many reports of protesters being taken to Police Headquarters after being charged with minor offenses (such as blocking a sidewalk) and then being interrogated about their political activities. The letter explained that the reports received by the NYCLU indicate that those arrested had not been advised of their right to counsel, that requests to see counsel were ignored or met with threats of prolonged detention, and that lawyers seeking access to those being interrogated were kept outside One Police Plaza. The NYCLU learned late yesterday that the NYPD would halt the interrogations.

"Compiling police dossiers about peaceful protest activity and lawful political associations is wrong and opens the door to serious police abuse," said Christopher Dunn, Associate Legal Director of the NYCLU. "Though we are pleased that the Department has agreed to halt these interrogations, they should never have started in the first place and they raise troubling questions about the Police Department's respect for lawful, political activity."

The text of the NYCLU letter follows:


BY FACSIMILE AND FIRST CLASS MAIL

April 8, 2003

Raymond Kelly
Commissioner
New York City Police Department
One Police Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10038

Dear Commissioner Kelly:

We write to express our deep concern about an initiative by which the NYPD’s Intelligence Division may be collecting and compiling information about lawful and protected demonstration activity and political associations. If this initiative in fact is underway, we call upon you to halt it immediately and to destroy any records created as a result of it.

Following the arrests of a large number of demonstrators charged with minor offenses at the antiwar rally on February 15, 2003, the NYCLU received reports that many of those arrested had been held for hours at One Police Plaza and had been questioned about political activity before being issued desk appearance tickets and released. We received similar reports about such questioning of those arrested for minor offenses at the large antiwar march on March 22, 2003. In both instances, we were informed that those arrested had not been advised of their right to counsel, that requests to see counsel were ignored or met with threats of prolonged detention, and that lawyers seeking access to those being interrogated were kept outside One Police Plaza.

Late last week, we received a copy of a report form that we understand has been used in conjunction with the processing of demonstrators arrested at recent protest events here in New York City, including the February 15 and March 22 events. That form suggests that the reports we received were accurate and may well have understated the Department’s activity.

The form, a copy of which we enclose, is entitled "Criminal Intelligence Division / Demonstration Debriefing Form." It bears the emblem of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division and of a federal agency. Its first section calls for information identifying the Intelligence Division officer conducting the interrogation. It then contains a section calling for specific information about the person arrested, including the demonstrator’s passport number and "Alien Registration" number. It then calls for information about the person’s organizational affiliations and has a space for "Prior Demonstration History."

This form, viewed in conjunction with the reports we have received, raises the troubling prospect that the NYPD has embarked upon a concerted campaign to collect information about lawful First Amendment activity and is using the coercive environment of an arrest interrogation to obtain that information outside the presence of counsel. We also are concerned that the Department may be entering this information into some sort of database, with the potential result that information about lawful political activity is being intermingled with criminal-justice or even alleged terrorist information.

We can think of no legitimate reason why the New York City Police Department would be targeting demonstrators for interrogation about their political activities and affiliations. If the Department is collecting and compiling such information -- and, perhaps, is sharing it with the federal government -- we think this would be wholly inappropriate and should be halted. We also would call on you to assure that any such information that has been compiled be destroyed.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience about this matter.

Sincerely,

Christopher Dunn
Associate Legal Director

Donna Lieberman
Executive Director

c: Stephen Hammerman, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters
Michael Cardozo, Corporation Counsel

Gail Donoghue, Special Assistant to the Corporation Counsel
 

Youve Got To Be Kidding!

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Conservative Voices Against the USA PATRIOT Act

Todd Lakey, Canyon County Republican Chairman (“Idaho GOP for limits on the Patriot Act,” The Spokesman-Review, 6/15/2004)

“We want to support our preside, and we want to fight terrorism throughout the world, but we also want to be careful of our personal liberties.”

State Rep. Janet Miller (R-Boise) (“Idaho GOP for limits on the Patriot Act,” The Spokesman-Review, 6/15/2004)

“The Patriot Act was a very good idea. I think they just wrote it so hastily that they maybe went more in-depth than they should have done. We, of course, in Idaho really believe in personal freedom and not having the government meddle in our lives, so I think taking another look at it is a good idea.”

Idaho GOP platform plank (“Idaho GOP for limits on the Patriot Act,” The Spokesman-Review, 6/15/2004)

“The Patriot Act is necessary to facilitate the cooperation between law enforcement agencies. We support appropriate amendments to limit the incursion upon personal freedoms, rights, and liberties of American citizens.”

Harry Schneider, Legislative Chairman, Pennsylvania Sportsman's Association. ("Administration policies prompt some gun owners to recoil," Associated Press, 4/14/04)

"Most gun owners are not very enthusiastic and they’re very apprehensive about aspects of the Patriot Act, specifically about search-and-seizure rules. They’re just not going to dig into their wallets or devote their time to help Bush."

Kevin Starrett, Executive Director, Oregon Firearms Federation ("Gun Groups May Not Be Bush Campaign Weapon," Los Angeles Times, 4/13/04)

"Had the Clinton administration proposed the Patriot Act, which is a real scary thing for gun owners, the Republican-controlled Congress would have been apoplectic."

Bob Barr, former Republican member of Congress (“Patriot Act divides Bush loyalists,” Washington Times, 4/5/2004)

“The Fourth Amendment is a nuisance to the administration, but the amendment protects citizens and legal immigrants from the government's monitoring them whenever it wants, without good cause -- and if that happens, it’s the end of personal liberty.”

“I don’t care if there were no examples so far. We can’t say we'll let government have these unconstitutional powers in the Patriot Act because they will never use them. Besides, who knows how many times the government has used them? They’re secret searches.”

Larry Pratt, Executive Director, Gun Owners of America (Coalition for Constitutional Liberties Weekly Update, Free Congress Foundations, 2/27/2004)

“Anytime the government is in a conflict, they see it as an opportunity to aggrandize themselves and run roughshod over the Constitution”

“More laws are being made making things illegal. All of us stand to be in violation of some law.”

“Farmers [including some who were wielding guns] participated in civil disobedience at the site of the main water valve. [Under the PATRIOT Act,] The Klamath farmers would have been a terrorist organization.”

On the membership of Gun Owners of America:

“They see the Bill of Rights and defense of freedom as seamless”

“The government feels that we, the people, need to be transparent. It should be the other way around.”

Rep. Chris Chocola (R-IN-2) (“Bush gets ‘high marks’,” South Bend Tribune, 1/21/2004)

[Chocola held back an immediate endorsement of the president's call for renewal of the Patriot Act when it expires next year]

“That's a debate we’ve got to have.”

Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA-11) (“Feedback to the state of the union address,” Contra Costa Times, 1/24/2004)

“I think Congress will spend more time debating the Patriot Act, or any reauthorization of the Patriot Act. We passed it originally in a time of crisis. I have concerns about provisions in the Patriot Act, particularly when it comes to protecting the privacy of the average American citizen.”

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee (“Inside Politics,” Washington Times, 1/23/2004)

Mr. Sensenbrenner, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said “over my dead body” will the act be reauthorized without undergoing thorough re-examination in hearings held by the House.

Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House ("The Policies of War: Refocus the mission," San Francisco Chronicle, 11/11/03)

"We must ensure that the legal tools provided are not abused, and indeed, that they do not undermine the very foundation our country was built upon."

"I strongly believe the Patriot Act was not created to be used in crimes unrelated to terrorism."

"Recent reports, including one from the General Accounting Office, however indicate that the Patriot Act has been employed in investigations unconnected to terrorism or national security.

In our battle against those that detest our free and prosperous society, we cannot sacrifice any of the pillars our nation stands upon, namely respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. Our enemies in the war against terrorism abuse the Islamic law known as the Sharia that they claim to value. It is perversely used as justification for their horrific and wanton acts of violence.

We must demonstrate to the world that America is the best example of what a solid Constitution with properly enforced laws can bring to those who desire freedom and safety. If we become hypocrites about our own legal system, how can we sell it abroad or question legal systems different than our own?

I strongly believe Congress must act now to rein in the Patriot Act, limit its use to national security concerns and prevent it from developing "mission creep" into areas outside of national security.

Similarly, if prosecutors lack the necessary legislation to combat other serious domestic crimes, crimes not connected to terrorism, then lawmakers should seek to give prosecutors separate legislation to provide them the tools they need, but again not at the expense of civil rights. But in no case should prosecutors of domestic crimes seek to use tools intended for national security purposes.

This war against terrorism requires Americans and American institutions to have the "courage to be safe," this courage must include keeping to the American principles that have made this country great for more than 200 years."

Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID) ("Otter to speak on Patriot Act dissent," Idaho State Journal, 11/9/2003)

"You cannot give up freedom, you cannot give up liberty, and be safe. When your freedom is lost, it makes no difference who took it away from you. (The terrorists) have won. What did they want to do? Take away our freedom. They've won in some cases."

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (“Senators join forces to roll back parts of Patriot Act,” Washington Times, 10/16/03)

[On the introduction of the Security and Freedom Ensured (SAFE) Act]

“This has nothing to do with the current administration; it's about putting into effect the right law.”

“It's time we adjusted this law to assure civil liberties are not being trampled.”

David Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union (“Civil liberties advocates laud Sununu for stand on Patriot Act reform,” Manchester Union Leader, 10/16/2003)

“These are people who are now taking a look at it and saying much of this is a good law, but let’s make sure we didn’t go too far. While the government should have all the power it needs to protect us, it shouldn’t have all the power it’d like to have.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) ("Hatch alarms right over anti-terror act," Salt Lake Tribune, 9/15/2003)

"To date it appears portions of the Patriot Act may have moved the scales out of balance"

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, board member, National Rifle Association and American Conservative Union ("Hatch alarms right over anti-terror act," Salt Lake Tribune, 9/15/2003)

"I don’t know whether Hatch is slower to see this than other Republicans, but the Butch Otter vote was a statement to the administration that Congress is not going to stand there like potted plants and accept everything they send over. It’s been two years since 9-11, and for the administration to still answer the public's questions about how these powers are being used with ‘Just trust us’ is insulting."

Rep. Jim Leach, (R-IA) ("Latest Anti-Terrorism Proposals Not Likely to Move Through Congress Quickly," Congressional Quarterly, 9/11/2003)

"There are very few acts of Congress that deserve more careful oversight than the Patriot Act."

John W. Whitehead, President, Rutherford Institute (Memo on “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Terrorists: A Rutherford Institute Response to Attorney General John Ashcroft’s ‘Patriot Act Tour’ and Website,” 8/27/03 available at: http://www.rutherford.org/PDF/JWWPatriotActResponse.pdf)

“Attorney General Ashcroft charges that passage of the Patriot Act radically changed ‘a culture of law enforcement inhibition’ in America. When the Act restricts or weakens constitutional and statutory protections for fundamental rights of privacy and personal autonomy, including a right characterized by the Supreme Court as being ‘as old as the Magna Carta,’ one can surely forgive a reasonable observer for wondering whether, in throwing off “inhibitions” on law enforcement for the sake of its pursuit of terrorists, America has carefully calibrated the ramifications of this authoritarian revolution for its continued commitment to the life and liberty of all its people.”

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee ("Specter blasts part of anti-terrorism act," Associated Press, 8/2/2003)

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Youve Got To Be Kidding!

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On section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act]:

"I don’t think that’s any of the government’s business. I don’t think what people read is subject to inquiry. What difference does that make? It has a chilling effect on fundamental freedom of activity."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) ("Murkowski Proposes Changes to USA PATRIOT Act to Protect Civil Liberties While Fighting Terrorism," Press Release from the Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski, 8/01/2003)

"Given the tragic events of Sept. 11th there is no question that federal law enforcement agencies needed more tools and that Congress needed to update our nation's anti-terrorism laws. But it is also clear that Congress has an obligation to make sure the law is working as intended. We must strike a careful and constitutional balance between protecting the individual rights of Americans and giving our law enforcement and intelligence officials the tools they need to prevent future terrorist attacks. To date it appears portions of the Patriot Act may have moved the scales out of balance.

My goal is simply to make sure that our laws are balanced. I want to make sure that law enforcement has all the tools they need to protect us, while also protecting our individual freedoms and liberties - the very same principles upon which the United States was founded and that make this nation so great today."

Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID) ("House Lawmakers Limit Scope of Patriot Act Powers," Fox News, 7/29/2003)

"I think [law enforcement officials] are trampling on our rights and they are doing it in the name of trying to protect us from domestic terrorism’"

Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID) (Congressional Record, Page H7289, 7/22/2003)

"Mr. Chairman, over 200 years ago when the formulation of this great republic was being put together, John Stuart Mill sat down and probably put the essence of this government in writing better than anyone could. ‘ A people,’ he said, ‘may prefer a free government, but if from indolence or carelessness, or cowardice, or want of public spirit, they are unequal to the exertions necessary for preserving it; if they will not fight for it when it is directly attacked; if by momentary discouragement or temporary panic, they can be deluded by the artifices used to cheat them out of it; or if in a fit of enthusiasm for an individual, they can be induced to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, in all these cases, they are more or less unfit for liberty. And though it may have been to their good to have had it for a short time, they are unlikely long to enjoy it.’

The United States PATRIOT Act was well intentioned, Mr. Chairman, especially during a time of uncertainty and panic. However, now we have had a chance to step back and examine it objectively. The legislation deserves serious reevaluation. While I agree with some of the new powers granted to the Federal law enforcement authorities that may be, and I stress ‘may be,’ necessary, many more are unjustified and are dangerously undermining our civil liberties.

We have the opportunity to revisit these sections of the USA PATRIOT Act and to correct these mistakes from those first frenzied weeks after September 11, 2001.

One provision, section 213, allows delayed notification of the execution of a search warrant. It authorizes no-knock searches of private residences, our homes, either physically or electronically. By putting off notice of the execution of a warrant, even delaying it indefinitely, section 213 of the USA PATRIOT Act prevents people, or even their attorneys, from reviewing the warrant for correctness in legalities.

These ‘sneak and peek’ searches give the government the power to repeatedly search a private residence without informing the residents that he or she is the target of an investigation. Not only does this provision allow the seizure of personal property and business records without notification, but it also opens the door to nationwide search warrants and allows the CIA and the NSA to operate domestically.

American citizens, whom the government has pledged to protect from terrorist activities, now find themselves the victims of the very weapon designed to uproot their enemies.

It is in defense of these freedoms that I offer this amendment today to the Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for the fiscal year 2004 bill. This amendment would prohibit any funds from being used to carry out section 213 of the USA PATRIOT Act as signed into law on October 26, 2001. Through the passage of this amendment, Americans would have reinstated a different kind of security; one giving them renewed confidence in their government in tirelessly protecting their individual freedom from unjustified and unnecessary intrusion.

Being secure at the expense of our freedom is no real security. Like many Idahoans who have come to me with their concerns about the USA PATRIOT Act and in passionate defense of their freedoms, we must continue to examine our actions to correct our mistakes to guard against the apathy or the indifference to safeguarding our liberties.

To these Federal agencies, it is a house, it is a building, it is a business; but to us, Mr. Chairman, it is our homes, and there is nothing more sacred than homes in America because it is the foundation on which we build our families. It is the arsenal in which the virtue and hope of every generation resides, and it is the fundamental primer of any free people.

We can, with the adoption of this first alteration to the PATRIOT Act, begin the reclamation of our title of a Nation as a people fit for liberty."

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee (Statement of Chairman Sensenbrenner at House Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing on the Department of Justice, 6/05/2003)

"As I stressed during legislative consideration of the PATRIOT Act, my support for this legislation is neither perpetual or unconditional. I believe the Department of Justice and Congress must be vigilant toward short-term gains which ultimately may cause long-term harm to the spirit of liberty and equality which animate the American character. We must maintain a fundamental commitment to ensure the protection of Americans while defending the beliefs that make us American. To my mind, the purpose of the PATRIOT Act is to secure our liberties, not undermine them."

Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA) ("Patriot Act seen as danger to civil liberties," Mount Shasta News, 6/04/2003)

"It’s a fine line we walk between our freedoms and having to defend ourselves. The Act has to be carefully monitored so it is not abused and the innocent are not harmed."

Wayne Anthony Ross, former National Rifle Association vice president ("I Spy," Anchorage Daily News, 5/23/2003)

"This (act) needs a substantial amount of review."

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) ("Young wants changes in Patriot Act," Associated Press, 5/13/2003)

"I think the Patriot Act was not really thought out. I’m very concerned that, in our desire for security and our enthusiasm for pursuing supposedly terrorists, that sometimes we might be on the verge of giving up the freedoms which we're trying to protect."

[On the possibility that he would co-sponsor legislation introduced by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), that prevent judges on the FISA court from issuing warrants to search library and bookstore records for "personally identifiable information concerning a patron."]

"It goes to show you I’m willing to look at the right side of an issue. I think he’s right in this issue. I don't think it’s anybody’s business what I’m reading in the library."

James Gilmore, Chair, Federal Commission on Terrorism Policy and former Virginia Governor ("Gilmore Cautious Over State Of Security And Civil Liberties," National Journal: Technology Daily, 5/12/2003)

"I am not prepared to say that the [USA] PATRIOT Act is being used in any unlawful way, but as citizens, we have a duty to be watchful of that, particularly if PATRIOT Act II comes along."

Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), member of the House Judiciary Committee, ("Senate OKs More Power for FBI Surveillance," Salt Lake Tribune, 5/10/2003)
 
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