Social Change & Activism discussion

30 views
PATRIOT ACT

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Milay (new)

Milay | 1 comments Just wondering if anyone here has any opinions on the way the Patriot Act has changed Americas protection of freedom and Activism itself. It is my knowledge that the Act gives the government freedom to regard activists as terrorists at their discretion given the right circumstance. I personally find this act to be a direct assault to our constitution and all the rights that others who came before us fought so vigilantly for and which made America what it is (or at least was before this Act).

When I read some of the postings regarding the Patriot Act on www.whitehouse.gov I get the sense that they speak in a tone one would use when regarding an 8 year old. Terrorists bad, Patriot Act good. I sincerely feel my intelligence is being offended and I wonder why more people don't feel the same. Here is a quote from the aforementioned website:

"Safeguarding America:
President Bush Signs Patriot Act Reauthorization
On March 9, 2006, President Bush Signed The USA PATRIOT Improvement And Reauthorization Act Of 2005. Since its enactment in October 2001, the Patriot Act has been vital to winning the War on Terror and protecting the American people. The legislation signed today allows intelligence and law enforcement officials to continue sharing information and using the same tools against terrorists already employed against drug dealers and other criminals. While safeguarding Americans' civil liberties, this legislation also strengthens the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) so that it can better detect and disrupt terrorist threats, and it also gives law enforcement new tools to combat threats. America still faces dangerous enemies, and no priority is more important to the President than protecting the American people without delay."

It seems like everything is based on the one word "Terrorist", yet they obviously fail to shed some light on how easily that word can be used against any person who is against the governing administration and its policies.

I would also like to know why NOONE is targeting this issue for the upcoming 2008 elections. I've researched all the democratic candidates and they all voted for this Act twice with the exception of Dennis Kucinich.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 31, 2008 05:58AM) (new)

I hope you will excuse such a long post, but when I read yours I decided you would appreciate this. A couple of years ago I self-published a novel about five ultra conservative men who enter into a conspiracy to dismantle the federal government and seize control of the country. The book is hardly 'mainstream' fare, but there were things that disturbed me deeply about what was going on in this country and I felt the need to speak out. One of the "tools" the conspirators use are a series of laws called the Patriot Acts. Here is the excerpt from the book taken from the research a young grad student is doing to determine why the nation's political conscience shifted so far to the right.

The research showed that the period between 2000 and 2025 was particularly tough on civil liberties granted under the United States Constitution due to a series of laws known as the Patriot Acts. The first Patriot Act, passed shortly after the 9/11 attack, expanded the government’s power to conduct surveillance without warrants, hold suspected terrorists incommunicado for indefinite periods, and confiscate the property of anyone found to be supporting terrorist groups. Subsequent Patriot Acts further expanded the government’s power to gather information about private citizens as well as deport resident aliens and naturalized citizens suspected of committing acts of terrorism or aiding terrorist organizations. A treaty negotiated with Mexico provided for the creation of a high security detention center to house the deportees who were unable to find a country willing to take them in. The United States compensated Mexico for their cooperation by adopting highly favorable immigration and trade policies.
The American Patriot Activities Act passed in 2012 required that all organizations with memberships greater than fifty register with the Department of Homeland Security and submit the names and social security numbers of their members. The Citizen Identity Protection Act passed a few months later mandated that all Americans be issued a national identity card and provided the funding for a major expansion of the Social Security Data File to house the information the government planned to collect. In addition to tracking each person’s social, professional, political and religious affiliations the Social Security record of every individual would also contain biometric, academic and employment data. Access to biometric data was vital, according to press releases issued by the Department of Homeland Security, to prevent terrorists from stealing the identity of American citizens.
The academic information that the government intended to store on the Social Security Data File included the scores obtained on the national competency tests taken in the fourth and eleventh grades as well as cumulative grade point averages, degrees obtained, internships and participation in foreign study programs. The employment data that was to be captured included dates, salary levels and descriptions of all positions held and employer tax identification numbers. This information would be extracted from expanded Form W-2’s submitted by employers. Data for self-employed persons would be taken from their income tax filings.
Of all the Patriot Acts, it was the Weapons Control Act caused the most furor. This Act made it a crime to possess any firearm other than a hunting rifle and these had to be registered with the Gun Control Unit of the Department of Homeland Security. Gun collectors were allowed to maintain and add to their collections, but the weapons had to be registered and rendered inoperable. Josh watched several videos of conservative political commentators railing against what they saw as an attack on the rights of the people granted under the Second Amendment, but to no avail. Cited as vital to national security the people’s representatives in a Congress dominated by conservatives, took away the guns—to the delight of liberals who had been advocating gun control for decades.
According to media accounts and a variety of other sources identified during the computer scans, liberals viewed the Patriot Acts as an assault on civil liberties from the start, while conservatives saw them as necessary tools in the war against terrorism. Gradually, however, conservatives also became uncomfortable with the expanded powers of the federal government and lawsuits were filed by a surprisingly diverse collection of special interest groups. In spite of the mounting pressure from both the left and the right, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patriot Acts reasoning that issues of national security took precedence over individual rights—even those expressly granted under the United States Constitution. Josh’s computer assigned all of the Patriot Acts to the Hydra File.

Just in case you're wondering, the conspiracy to dismantle the federal government is successful.


message 3: by Nomy (new)

Nomy | 8 comments maud i love this excerpt. i think i might have to get your book...


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Nomy

If you do decide to read The Founding Five, I would really appreciate your reaction. It's not a "traditional thriller" in the sense that the reader is "in" on the conspiracy from the beginning and understands how and why it succeeded. The tension comes from observing the protagnist's efforts to uncover the identify of the conspirators and the dangers he faces in doing so.

Like most self-published on-demand books, it's a little pricey for a paperback, but it is available in ebook format for around $6.

Thanks for expressing interest.


back to top