House refuses to curb Patriot Act


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dev_null
July 8, 2004, 11:08 PM
People keep saying, "Oh, don't worry -- the House won't let this or that happen to us..."


House refuses to curb Patriot Act
Vote a victory for Bush
Thursday, July 8, 2004 Posted: 4:55 PM EDT (2055 GMT)


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican-led House bowed to a White House veto threat Thursday and stood by the USA Patriot Act, defeating an effort to block the part of the anti-terrorism law that helps the government investigate people's reading habits.

The effort to defy Bush and bridle the law's powers lost by 210-210, with a majority needed to prevail. The amendment appeared on its way to victory as the roll call's normal 15-minute time limit expired, but Republican leaders kept the vote open for about 20 more minutes as they persuaded about 10 Republicans who initially supported the provision to change their votes.

The measure had been pushed by a coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans. But they fell short in a showdown that came just four months before an election in which the conduct of the fight against terrorism will be on the political agenda.

Besides successfully fending off the effort to weaken the law, the veto threat underscored the administration's determination to strike an aggressive stance on law enforcement and terrorism.

The House has voted before to block portions of the nearly three-year-old law, but Congress has never succeeded in rolling back any of it. Yet neither has Bush succeeded in his quest to expand some of its powers.


Story (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/07/08/congress.patriotact.ap/index.html)

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stevelyn
July 8, 2004, 11:22 PM
Another reason to vote third party this election.:fire: :banghead:

Standing Wolf
July 8, 2004, 11:56 PM
Another reason to vote third party this election.

Yeah, or at least second party, since there's no visible difference between the Republicrats and the Democans.

VaniB.
July 9, 2004, 12:18 AM
Gosh,

I don't know guys??? I guess maybe I don't have a problem with the patriot act because I don't go checking out books or visiting internet sites on how to make machine guns or poison, blow up buildings, or put hits on anybody. Neither have I pedophilia interests or drug problems.

So uhhh.... which of the above is your past time and what "3rd party" did you say will help you do it?

Silly me, I'm just a happy peasant who simply appreciates my CHL rights, a 4 digit tax refund, and the repeal of the AWB we are about to receive from GW and the Republicans.

FeebMaster
July 9, 2004, 12:27 AM
Silly me, I'm just a happy peasant who simply appreciates my CHL rights, a 4 digit tax refund, and the repeal of the AWB we are about to receive from GW and the Republicans.

Kind of a stretch to say that Bush and the Republicans are about to repeal the AWB, don't you think? The sunset provision was part of the bill when it was passed, after all, and I seem to recall it being signed by a Democrat. Repealing a law requires action, letting it sunset requires nothing.

Michigander
July 9, 2004, 12:31 AM
Silly me, I'm just a happy peasant who simply appreciates my CHL rights, a 4 digit tax refund, and the repeal of the AWB we are about to receive from GW and the Republicans.
So you buy into that "tax return" thing? Thanks for letting us borrow 4-digits of your money for free.

dev_null
July 9, 2004, 10:46 AM
Vani, if you find your so-called "security" more important than any sense of individual dignity, privacy, freedom from excessive 'search and seizure,' or a distaste for Orwellian dystopias, that's your right.

"Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be." (L. Neil Smith)

- 0 -

FedDC
July 9, 2004, 12:56 PM
Hmmmm, and here I thought it was nice to be ALIVE since the PA has actually lead to the capture of terrorist suspects and quite possibly prevented terrorist attacks...

All of the whiners and complainers about the PA have no idea what it actually does. Read it and then complain about a specific thing you have problems with. To just say that the PA is bad is BS. Back up the complaining with facts and examples or don't complain.

FedDC
July 9, 2004, 12:59 PM
Back up your complaining with some facts or don't complain. The PA is a good law that has been one of the most effective tools in the war on terror. Blaming it for everything from cancer to poverty has become fashionable, but it is doshonest. The PA is not going to be "Curbed" and will be strengthened in the future because it works as evidenced by the fact that we have not had a terrorist attack on US soil despite the best efforts of the tangos. Take the BS non fact based complaining someplace where they don't check your facts like the DU.

dev_null
July 9, 2004, 04:28 PM
Tried to edit my intemperate response before, but the site went down just then...

Yeah, how dare I question what Massa says. After all, it's for my own good! :rolleyes:


- 0 -

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." - William Pitt, 1795

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animated contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

"The welfare of the people has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience." - Albert Camus

"The ideal citizen of a tyrannical state is the man or woman who bows in silent obedience in exchange for the status of a well-cared for herd animal. Thinking people become the tyrant's greatest enemies." - Claire Wolfe

"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." - Winston Churchill

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." - Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" - Patrick Henry, 1775

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

Foreign Devil
July 9, 2004, 06:28 PM
I don't want the government keeping track of the books I check out. First it's only the "bad books" on how to build bombs(which would include chemistry books), then it'll be anything only remotely seditious like Marx or unintended consequences ...

Third_Rail
July 9, 2004, 06:56 PM
Wow, if they've been tracking my library books, then I must be on the "bada**, do not f*** with" list. :p

Just what I've gotten out in the past 3 months...

Six or seven different physics books (including many on nuclear engineering/nuclear devices)
A dozen chemistry books (many on organic chemistry, specifically explosives theory/production)
Multiple metallurgy/metalworking books
Plumbing books
Architecture books
Hunting books
Firearms books
UC, How to Be Free..., More Guns Less Crime, etc.
Many Heinlein novels

and that's just in the past 3 months. I ususally get more books out, but I've been busy as of late.

Chris Rhines
July 9, 2004, 07:06 PM
Okay, first things first. My objections to the USA PATRIOT act are based on the twin concepts of self-ownership and nonaggression. If you do not adhere to those two concepts, at least somewhat, then you may as well skip this post.

Also, if you are tempted to write, "Your ideas would make it easier for terrorists to attack us!!!," or something along those lines, save your keystrokes. I've heard the arguement before, and I don't care. Freedom is more important than security, especally when its my freedom.

- The USA PATRIOT act includes amendments and changes to a number of U.S. laws dealing with financial and personal information security, including the Money Laundering Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, and the FCRA. The objectionable portion of these amendments allows the government to gain access to personal financial information and student information (credit reports, bank records, etc.) without any suspicion of wrongdoing, simply by "...certifying that the information likely to be obtained is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation." This is a pitifully low standard of evidence - unless the government can prove that I am engaging in real criminal activities, they have no business having access to my personal financial information. A warrant should be the minimum standard; better would be forbiding the governemnt from collecting such information under any circumstances.

A further, and related, objection - where does the government get off forcing private institutions to give up data on their customers? That data does not belong to the government. (We can talk about the private institutions that do so willingly on another thread.)

- Section 216 of the USA PATRIOT act allows the government to monitor and collect a great deal of electronic information under an expanded pen register statute. This is a complicated part of the statute, and probably worthy of further discussion, but the long and short of it is that the government should be prohibited from conducting such snooping unless it is authorized by a wiretap order - Section 216 makes no such requirement.

- Section 213 of the USA PATRIOT act is the one dealing with "sneak-and-peak" warrants. The government conduction secret searches of its citizens is indefensible, warrant or no. The entire purpose of having a search warrant is to have a public record of the government's reasons for conducting a search, so that such reasoning can be subject to later review. Secret warrants neatly short-circut that safeguard.

- Section 215 is really nasty - it grants the FBI the authority to request (of a federal or, presumably, state court) an order "requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)" relevant to an investigation of international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. No probable cause is required for such an order. My objections to this one should be fairly obvious.

There's plenty more, but those should get you started.

- Chris

Ellery Holt
July 10, 2004, 03:45 AM
Dear Mr. FedDC,

You've been so kind and considerate to point out to many here that they should, "[t]ake the BS non fact based complaining someplace where they don't check your facts like the DU."

Before you call people here "whiners and complainers" with no facts behind their arguments, consider that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

FedDC writes:
[The Patriot Act] works as evidenced by the fact that we have not had a terrorist attack...
If you won't correct your reasoning then you -Mr. FedDC- should take your arguments someplace where they don't check logic.

With all due respect I suggest that you should consider some study in critical reasoning. Maybe a nice community college class - surely there's one near you. Call the philosophy dept., they'll get you signed up for the class you need. Perhaps your employer will pay tuition costs?

This lesson, regardless, was free.

Most Sincerely Yours,

RevDisk
July 10, 2004, 05:30 AM
I don't know guys??? I guess maybe I don't have a problem with the patriot act because I don't go checking out books or visiting internet sites on how to make machine guns or poison, blow up buildings, or put hits on anybody.

I see. Reading an unpopular book should automatically have you put on the "possible terrorist" list. Uhm. If reading them is wrong, perhaps writing them should also be wrong. Who exactly decides what books are good or bad?

I'm sure "Unintented Consequences" and possibly "Enemies Foreign and Domestic" are likely on some list of evil books. It's not so simple.

For the overwhelming majority of books have some form of constructive intent. Information, possible scenerios, rants/raving, or literary warnings of how things might end up. I've read well over a thousand books in my life. Many I disagreed with. How does a list of those books reflect of me? If I read "Das Kapital" and "The Communist Manifesto", am I automatically to be considered a commie? If I read "My Struggle" by Hitler, am I automatically to be considered a Nazi?

How does the illusion of safety compare to the value of freedom?



Back up your complaining with some facts or don't complain. The PA is a good law that has been one of the most effective tools in the war on terror. Blaming it for everything from cancer to poverty has become fashionable, but it is doshonest. The PA is not going to be "Curbed" and will be strengthened in the future because it works as evidenced by the fact that we have not had a terrorist attack on US soil despite the best efforts of the tangos. Take the BS non fact based complaining someplace where they don't check your facts like the DU.

I'm sure the Patriot Act was written with the best of intentions. I'm sure it has helped stop some bad guys.

Under Benito Mussolini (pre-WWII), he used extreme tactics to curb crime in Italy. He put a world of hurt down on the mafia and also common criminals. Of course, many innocent folks (mostly political dissents) went to jail or were executed also. Extreme tactics, lack of oversight and no restraint indeed would be very effective. But at what cost?

Killing every Muslim in the world would indeed stop the War on Terrorism. But obviously, this is not an acceptable approach for good reason. So obviously, we're going to have to choose a slightly more legal method of dealing with the problem.

The question is, how much power should law enforcement have? It is a sliding scale. On one end, the law enforcement could have absolute power. On the other end, it could have virtually none. There is no right answer, of course. Everyone wants something different.

Bainx
July 10, 2004, 11:35 AM
.....spineless amoebas

I ask you simply, who are they serving and who is controlling them?

I ran into a friend I have not seen in a few years who was the most rabid fan of Bush I ever met. One of the first things he asked me was "Who is controlling our President? He is doing some crazy things!"

It was a reality check

El Tejon
July 10, 2004, 12:44 PM
The problem with the Patriot Act is that once "terror" is no longer the reason, the government will find a new rationale for the law. Maybe "domestic terrorists" like all you gun owners?:uhoh:

Any law that CAN be abused WILL be abused.

Chris Rhines
July 10, 2004, 01:10 PM
Murphy's Law of Politics?

"If a law can be used for two purposes, and one of those purposes will reduce individual liberty, then the law will be used in that way."

- Chris

w4rma
July 10, 2004, 01:15 PM
I ask you simply, who are they serving and who is controlling them?Who controls the most power? Who owns the biggest corporations in the world (who also own the biggest media outlets in America)? These are people that the Republican Party leadership serve. Inherited weath/investment wealth/aristocracy.

Penforhire
July 10, 2004, 02:12 PM
Sure the PA helps prevent acts of terror. So would a host of other loss-of-liberty laws. So what? The point was made that freedom should be valued more highly than safety.

The "land of the free and home of the brave" is going to the dogs, Federal dogs that is.

ninjaj448
July 12, 2004, 02:27 PM
I'm so worried about the 'Patriot Act', I won't read 'My Life'!

Das Pferd
July 12, 2004, 02:43 PM
So you buy into that "tax return" thing? Thanks for letting us borrow 4-digits of your money for free.

Finally someone who understand what "tax returns" are. The government LOVES it when they have to give you a refund. It means you were giving them a interest free loan the entire year. Your the one getting screwed.

Kinsman
July 12, 2004, 03:35 PM
Come on, Fed......"If you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about...."

That is un-American.

Come on.

rock jock
July 12, 2004, 05:17 PM
I have problems with the PA, but as I have mentioned in previous threads, I have yet to read a single poster provide details on an alternative (and viable) means to investigate or curb the activities of terrorists on US soil other than the PA. Instead, anybody who actually asks hard questions like "how would you propose to learn of or keep tabs on terrorists developing and deploying a dirty bomb?" is dismissed as a sheeple.

And no, carrying a firearm is not a viable deterrent to a WMD or coordinated suicide bombings.

alan
July 12, 2004, 05:41 PM
PA aside, has either The House or The Senate actually done ANYTHING to check the antics, the stalling, the stonewalling of the TSA?

Not that one would notice, or have I missed something interesting?

Penforhire
July 12, 2004, 07:18 PM
Rock jock, um, how about the surveillance laws we had before the PA? I mean, they took down plenty of smart criminals. Or do you believe John Gotti is dumber or had fewer means than the average terrorist? What makes you think those pre-PA laws were inadequate?

Does the PA make the job easier? Sure. So would an I.D. card that you had to swipe before you could leave or enter any home or business or start your car. Would that be okay too? I think not.

Glock Glockler
July 12, 2004, 09:44 PM
Rock jock,

Suppose some is able to detonate one or many rather potent bombs here and cause a lot of damage with the Patriot Act in place, it would seem like the Patriot Act is ineffective so would you then support it's removal?

To what extent do you think our rights should be stripped of us because of terrorism?

rock jock
July 13, 2004, 12:09 AM
Rock jock, um, how about the surveillance laws we had before the PA? I mean, they took down plenty of smart criminals. Or do you believe John Gotti is dumber or had fewer means than the average terrorist? What makes you think those pre-PA laws were inadequate?
There is no comparison between organized crime and terror cells. Organized crime families are in the business of making money, albeit illegally. As such, they must interact with their intended victims and society at large. Not to mention that they achieve their goals through intimidation, flamboyant behavior, and ongoing criminal activity. Consequently, they risk exposure by LE agencies all the time. End result, they are a known element. The key is simply to catch them in a crime. They are also driven primarily by greed, ambition, and cowardice. It makes them easy targets for sting operations and susceptible to being turned.

Terror cells, OTOH, work vigorously to remain hidden. They intentionally keep a low profile and obey the law. They typically do not worry about money and are not driven by ambition. They are motivated by ideology. They work for a single goal - dealing the US a destructive blow by causing as much death and terror as possible. They are not afraid to die; on the contrary they look forward to giving their lives for their cause. They hide among ethnic and immigrant populations and only make as many inorads with the local population as is necessary. They are careful, diligent, intelligent, and resourceful. They can only be detected and stopped by
tips and/or extraordinary LE legal powers.
citizenSuppose some is able to detonate one or many rather potent bombs here and cause a lot of damage with the Patriot Act in place, it would seem like the Patriot Act is ineffective so would you then support it's removal?
Non sequitor. A successful terror attack no more demonstrates its failure than a lack of an attack demonstrates it success.
To what extent do you think our rights should be stripped of us because of terrorism?
Well, we'll have to see where this goes. Ideally, as little as possible. BTW, I don't think the Ben Franklin quote applies here much. We're not talking about a small measure of safety, we are talking about survival, as individuals and as a nation. I would also add that I think much of the Pa could go away by allowing LE to specifically target (i.e., exclude from entering the country and otherwise keep under tight scrutiny) all existing and new visitors from countries that foster, support, harbor, aid, or tolerate terrorists. This includes freezing citizenship applications for same. Tough measures and certainly not PC but if it allows me to better retain my rights, I really could care less.

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