Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Card carrying member?

Speaking of government over reaching:

The Patriot Act comes to mind. You remember:


"Just 45 days after the September 11 attacks, with virtually no debate, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Many parts of this sweeping legislation take away checks on law enforcement and threaten the very rights and freedoms that we are struggling to protect. For example, without a warrant and without probable cause, the FBI now has the power to access your most private medical records, your library records, and your student records... and can prevent anyone from telling you it was done."

USA Today had an interesting Op-Ed today.

"'Trust me' just doesn't fly."

It noted the many drawbacks of the act:

" The law allows secret searches of any home or business by federal agents, with no deadline to notify the owners or occupants that a search has taken place. This has been used against innocent citizens.

• It authorizes collection of personal information from libraries, businesses and medical providers even if there is no evidence of any connection with terrorism. And those ordered to supply the information are barred from letting anyone know that Big Brother is engaging in such activities.

• The law defines domestic terrorism so broadly it could be applied to completely unrelated acts, even peaceful protests.

After months of denials that turned out to be false, the Justice Department reversed itself and acknowledged April 5 that it had secretly searched the home of an Oregon lawyer who was wrongly accused of being a perpetrator of last year's train bombings in Madrid. He was never told of the search.

A Muslim student in Idaho was prosecuted because he posted Internet links to objectionable materials, even though identical links were available on the Web sites of a major news outlet and the government's own expert witness in the case.

And while the granting of unprecedented law-enforcement powers was justified as essential to the special needs of the war on terrorism, the act's provisions have been used in criminal investigations as mundane as a Las Vegas bribery probe."

Contact your congress member, tell them to fix the Patriot Act and let AG Gonzalez know where to get off.

Check out the ACLU web site for all the info on the ACT and where to contact your representitive.


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