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As Patriot Act Expiration Looms, Critics Hope for Sunset on Mass Surveillance


#1

As Patriot Act Expiration Looms, Critics Hope for Sunset on Mass Surveillance

Nadia Prupis, staff writer, Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

With the fate of the USA Patriot Act still hanging in the balance late afternoon Friday—and lawmakers eager to leave Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day barbecues and campaign stops in their home states—the chance to see the sun go down on the controversial spying bill is still on the table.


#2

Even if our "leaders" sunset it, they will just add it's provisions as riders to other bills or continue to not follow the rule of law.


#4

I'm done with all this "hope" talk. Yeah, you got any hope left you are going to be disappointed. Too late for any democracy in this sad nation. It's over. Time for a rebellion.


#5

If you study history, you will note the parallels between 1930s Germany and here. There was a document, long prepared, which would take the constitutional rights of the German People away. That was Hitler's Enabling Acts. It allowed the government to listen in to phone calls, read mail, spy, arrest or kill without trial, observe people to ensure that they were "good Nazis" and not dissidents of any sort.
* When the SS burned the Reichstag building and blamed it on a mentally impaired Dutch communist. The Enabling Acts were brought out and put in force, "to protect the German People from Communism." It was in place for the "duration of the emergency," which lasted until the Fuehrer's death in his bunker in Berlin.
* In the US, the long prepared, unconstitutional, illegal and misnamed Patriot Act was brought out right after 911 and voted in without even reading it, to "protect the American People from Islam."
* With that Act, We the People lost our constitutional government and our Bill of Rights in favor of an ever growing totalitarian system of total surveillance and control, bolstered by numerous other acts to build upon the original.
* Again, just like Germany, the US promoted war after war, using that to build the most powerful (and expensive) Wehrmacht the world has ever seen, or has been bombed by.
* If you would like to see where this all comes from, Google PNAC and get a copy of the NeoCon plan for the world to be controlled by the US by military and financial domination. PNAC stands for Project for a New American Century, and it is replete with the countries to invade or control, etc. When this was written, there was a lot of discussion about how to make it work. It was stated that in order to get the people behind this, a New Pearl Harbor was needed. That this would stampede the people into accepting the program.
* Can you say 911? I knew you could.
* Herman Goering summed it all up shortly before he died at Nuremberg.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same for any country."
Herman Goering to Gustave Gilbert at Nuremberg, 18 April, 1946
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Propaganda Minister gave instruction as to how to achieve it.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
* “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”
* “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
Joseph Goebbels, MiniProp for Hitler’s Third Reich
1897-1945
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This nation worked well for over two hundred years using the Constitution and Bill of Rights as our rule and guide. It was not perfect, but it worked well and we had a reasonably prosperous nation, which took care of its people.
* The preamble to the Constitution covers it pretty well, but people seem to have forgotten it.
* "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
* That Constitution has just about everything covered, including how to amend the document, but there is nothing in it that allows it to be amended or replaced by Legislative or Executive fiat, and that is exactly what happened, and we let it happen just as the German People did.
* Benjamin Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty
to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin 1759
* I'm old enough to remember WW-II and what we sacrificed to rid the world of Fascism and Nazism. To see it all rising again in the nation of my birth is heartbreaking.
* Somehow, a nation of over 320 million should be able to find a way to regain control of this nation from the wealthy thieves and their sock puppets who control it.
* As a start, let the Patriot Act die a lonely and unlamented death!
;-})


#6

Until the Federal Gov't is willing to declassify all their various documents collected after 9/11/2001, I see no reason why we should have to surrender ours, for them to hold into the foreseeable future. Certainly, a gov't willing to lie its' citizen into the greatest moral hazard since our founding, Iraq War 2.0, has no right under law to withhold information of any kind. Transparency works both ways and it is incumbent on the Federal Gov't to remember the true meaning of " consent of the governed " and to know we empower the gov't, and, not the other way around. A true " redress of grievances " requires the Federal Gov't to listen to its' citizens, who are saying with a clear voice, " enough is enough, back off. "


#7

Sorry, but it should be citizens and not citizen in line 3. Also, since the business of America is business, the definition of a moral hazard is: " moral hazard occurs when the party with more information about its actions or intentions has a tendency ( no kidding ) or incentive (really, no kidding ) to behave inappropriately from the prospective of the party with less information ( no shit, sherlock ). End this fiasco once and forever!


#8

Patriot Act Expiration. I didn't know that the bloody thing could breath as well. Obviously, its breath is quite foul.

Or is the article trying to tell us about the EXPIRY of the Patriot Act.


#9

Good analysis.

Based on the Patriot Act, activities by the NSA, CIA, FBI, military units, and the President's "Kill List," and the repression against Occupy Wall Street, and the repression of protests against police violence, etc., here's what the government has taken away from us to date:

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus (Article I, Section 9);

The Right of the people to peaceably assemble (1st Amendment);

The Right against unreasonable and Warrantless searches and seizures (4th Amendment);

The Right of due process of law before being deprived of life, liberty, or property (5th Amendment);

The Right to a public trial by jury (6th Amendment);

The Right against cruel and unusual punishment (6th Amendment);

The Right to government of, by & for the people:
Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Our Bill of Rights and the Writ of Habeas Corpus WERE the foundation upon which OUR RIGHTS trumped the rights of the empire.

In other words, we are now and have been under Martial Law -- subject only to the dictates of the empire.

Not counting the foreign victims of our empire, perhaps only small numbers of U.S. citizens have been unconstitutionally eliminated, but everything is in place to handle large numbers of dissidents.

Keep the faith and may the Force be with you.


#10

This is a paper I have delivered a number of times over the years. It might be of interest here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Contract with America
by
Steve Osborn

THE American People signed a contract. An agreement between the Governed and the Government. It is called the Constitution of the United States. The first ten amendments to that constitution is known as the Bill of Rights. As Justice Hugo Black stated, “It is my belief that there are absolutes in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what words meant and meant their prohibitions to be ‘absolutes.’”
* Think about it:
* Without the First Amendment, newspapers could only print the “party line” or be suppressed. Books and plays would be censored or banned. We might have to attend the State Authorized Religion, or be forbidden to attend any other form of worship, or any worship at all. We would have no right of public assembly or protest, nor could we petition the government for a redress of grievances.
* Without the Second Amendment, we would be a completely disarmed populace, at the mercy of government troops or security forces.
* Without the Third Amendment, the government could quarter troops in your home without your consent.
* Without the Fourth Amendment, the government’s security force or military could search your home at will, without a warrant, confiscate your papers and property, monitor your communications and phone conversations without your ever knowing about it.
* Without the Fifth Amendment, you could be picked up, your property confiscated, you could be held incommunicado for an indefinite time without legal counsel and could be forced to testify against yourself.
* Without the Sixth Amendment, your could be held for an indefinite period, without charge, and without being told why you’re being held. Your trial, if any, could be held in secret without your being able to confront your accusers or examining any evidence, nor would you have the right to legal counsel.
* Without the Seventh Amendment, in civil suits, you would not have the right of trial by jury.
* Without the Eighth Amendment, there would be no limit on the amount of bail set or fines imposed, and any cruel punishment could be meted out, even death by torture.
* Without the Ninth Amendment, any rights not spelled out would be forfeit to the government.
* Without the Tenth Amendment, the People of the United States would have no powers reserved to themselves, it would all lie with the State.
* Wouldn’t it be tragic if the Congress were to give to the Executive, through misguided PATRIOTism, an ACT that would unconstitutionally repeal those rights guaranteed by the Constitution and turn it all over to Homeland Security?
Read your Constitution and Bill of Rights, then read the text of the Patriot Act and the proposed amended Patriot Act, then think about it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Of course I wrote this a number of years ago. It is much worse now. Perhaps a fait accompli.
;-})


#11

"It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!"


#12

An excellent comment, Minitrue. We do not want AIPAC and their powerful group of Congressional dual citizens with Israel to take us into more wars, especially those inspired by the fears and lies of Mr. Netanyahu, one of the most scorned heads of state in the world. We must be able to tell each other the truth without persecution. Our news reporters must be enabled to speak truth without having it edited by the Pentagon or other supposed "patriots." Our power to suppress truth must not extend its long arms to Russia and Mr. Snowden. People like Chelsea Manning must not be punished for revealing the truth to the people. There's something very detrimental to democracy about secrecy and Orwellian control of "group think." We must eschew "free speech pens" during public demonstrations. Liberate the people! It makes democracy happen.


#13

Yes indeed! Thank you!
;-})