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Commentary :: Government & Elections

Patriot Act-the sequel

Upcoming legislation makes the Patriot Act permanent and guts the rest of the Bill of Rights
Patriot Act-The Sequel
Chris Boland

While the U.S. has been distracted by watching the War in Iraq, a lot has been going on here.

There is legislation being proposed that will tragically affect this country for generations because it tears at the core of what America stands for and what makes America great. This act has attacked the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with a vengeance and the threat that the USA PATRIOT ACT will become a permanent fixture is very real.

In the original document, Sec.224, a sunset clause provides that it “shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005" but this will be changed if what is being planned gets passed by our Congress.

The USA PATRIOT ACT (HR 3162), actually an acronym, stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (Oct. 25, 2001)" and with absolutely no debate in Congress it was presented October 24 2001 and passed on October 25, 2001.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and the Neo-conservatives are not content with this and have come up with a sequel- PATRIOT II that will make permanent their first bill. Thankfully, because of the courage of someone in Federal government and that of the Center for Public Integrity, this document has been posted on the World Wide Web for all of us to study. What was started with the Bill of Rights by the passing of PATRIOT I will be finished with PATRIOT II. Say goodbye to the Constitution.

Professor David Cole of the Georgetown Univ. Law Center has written a 2-page PDF document that discusses the points of Patriot Act II. “Dr. David Cole said the legislation, called the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, "raises a lot of serious concerns. It's troubling that they (the Justice Department) have gotten this far along, and they've been telling people there is nothing in the works. Cole warned that this proposed law
• would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence authorities,
• reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance,
• authorize secret arrests,
• create a DNA database based on unchecked executive suspicion,
• create new death penalties
• seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups."

From the Online Journal article "Patriot Act II takes care of the rest of your pesky civil liberties" by Edward Bishop Winslow.

"The Second Patriot Act is a mirror image of powers that Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler gave themselves. Whereas the First Patriot Act only gutted the First, Third, and the Fifth Amendments and seriously damaged the Seventh and the Tenth, the Second patriot Act reorganizes the entire Federal government as well as many areas of state government under the dictatorial control of the justice department, the Office of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency management Authority (FEMA) and the Northern Military Command (NORTHCOM).
The Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as the Second Patriot Act is, by its very structure, the definition of DICTATORSHIP."

(My caps-CB) quote taken from Alex Jones article Total police State Takeover, Global Outlook, issue Number 4.spring 2003

Under the original Patriot Act, the Federal government has incarcerated US citizens without due process, which will affect all Americans. With the advent of Patriot II, actually The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, the Feds are just getting started, as these are some of the laws we would be looking forward too.

From Alex Jones article (Edited)
“A Brief Analysis of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003 Also Known as Patriot Act II
SECTION 201 of the second Patriot Act makes it a criminal act for any member of the government or any citizen to release any information concerning the incarceration or whereabouts of detainees. It also states that law enforcement does not even have to tell the press who they have arrested and they never have to release the names.

SECTION 102 states clearly that any information gathering, regardless of whether or not those activities are illegal, can be considered to be clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power. This makes news gathering illegal.

SECTION 103 allows the Federal government to use wartime martial law powers domestically and internationally without Congress declaring that a state of war exists. ?Martial Law?(CB)

SECTION 106 is bone-chilling in its straightforwardness. It states that broad general warrants by the secret FSIA court (a panel of secret judges set up in a star-chamber system that convenes in an undisclosed location) granted under the first Patriot Act are not good enough. It states that government agents must be given immunity for carrying out searches with no prior court approval. This section throws out the entire Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

SECTION 109 allows secret star-chamber courts to issue contempt charges against any individual or corporation who refuses to incriminate themselves or others. This section annihilates the last vestiges of the Fifth Amendment.

SECTION 110 restates that key police state clauses in the first Patriot Act were not sunsetted and removes the five year sunset clause from other subsections of the first Patriot Act. After all, the media has told us: "This is the New America. Get used to it. This is forever."

SECTION 126 grants the government the right to mine the entire spectrum of public and private sector information from bank records to educational and medical records. This is the enacting law to allow ECHELON and the Total Information Awareness Network to break down any and all walls of privacy. The government states that they must look at everything to "determine" if individuals or groups might have a connection to terrorist groups. As you can now see, YOU ARE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT. (My caps-CB)

SECTION 128 allows the Federal government to place gag orders on Federal and State Grand Juries and to take over the proceedings. It also disallows individuals or organizations to even try to quash a Federal subpoena. So now defending yourself will be a terrorist action.

SECTION 202 allows corporations to keep secret their activities with toxic biological, chemical or radiological materials.?

They will not be required to address any potentially devastating effect on the immediate environment. The robber barons win this one as the EPA will limit public access to information allowing "corporations to more easily hide and potentially ignore the risks that these facilities pose to workers and nearby residents. This provision seems to build off a bill introduced by Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)"

Alex Jones Article continued (edited)
“SECTION 205 allows top Federal officials to keep all their financial dealings secret, and anyone investigating them can be considered a terrorist. This should be very useful for Dick Cheney to stop anyone investigating Haliburton.

SECTION 322 removes Congress from the extradition process and allows officers of the Homeland Security complex to extradite American citizens anywhere they wish. It also allows Homeland Security to secretly take individuals out of foreign countries.

SECTION 402 is titled "Providing Material Support to Terrorism." The section reads that there is no requirement to show that the individual even had the intent to aid terrorists.

The American people were shocked by the despotic nature of the first Patriot Act. The second Patriot Act dwarfs all police state legislation in modern world history.

SECTION 501 (Expatriation of Terrorists) expands the Bush administration's "enemy combatant" definition to all American citizens who "may" have violated any provision of Section 802 of the first Patriot Act……The Justice Department boldly claims that the incredibly broad Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act isn't broad enough and that a new, unlimited definition of terrorism is needed.
Under Section 501 a US citizen engaging in lawful activities can be grabbed off the street and thrown into a van never to be seen again. The Justice Department states that they can do this because the person "had inferred from conduct" that they were not a US citizen. Remember Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act states that any violation of Federal or State law can result in the "enemy combatant" terrorist designation.?

In the Progressive, Nat Hentoff, talks about Section 501 and I quote:

"Under our laws up to now, an American would have to declare a clear intent to abandon his or her citizenship. But Patriot Act II would dispense with that requirement by stating that "an intent to relinquish nationality need not be manifested in words, but can be inferred from conduct" Under this Bill, if you send a check for an organization's legal activities, not knowing the Justice Department labeled it "terrorist," you could be deported "by inference.""

Is the US Department of Justice along with the rest of the Bush Administration out of control? With more than 100 changes in law being proposed, Americans should be concerned about what America will look like when the Neo-conserves get through gutting the documents set forth by our Founding Fathers.

I firmly believe that these are emotional times and that many lawmakers are not using their heads to decide what legislation should prevail. What will the America of the future look like? Do you want the Police state that is coming with the passage of this legislation? It is important that each of us think about it and not give up our rights in the name of a fictitious security.

Incidentally Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have not taken a position for or against the Domestic Security Act as of April 25th. I called them for their position on that date.
Feinstein Phone: (202) 224-3841
Boxer (202) 224-3553
Sam Farr voted against the first Patriot Act and is committed to the same position on this legislation.

There are 120 pages to this document and if anyone is interested, they can go to this site to view it in its entirety.

For David Coles 2 page article, go to

USA PATRIOT ACT Electronic Frontier Foundation
Alex Jones article Total police State Takeover, Global Outlook, issue Number 4.spring 2003
Nat Hentoff's article Revenge of the Patriot Act, the Progressive April 2003
For Further reading on the original Patriot Act got to
For original Alex Jones article go to:
Quote section 202

Thanks to Terry Maushardt for her contribution to this article

Chris Boland

chrisb (at)

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