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15 December, 2005
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Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

Junk the Un-Patriotic, Patriot Act

And junk the U. S. Representatives and Senators who vote for it too!

. . . by letting Usama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda scare our Congress into sacrificing basic tenets of our American freedom and our American democracy, Usama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda already have defeated the Bush administration and the United States.

"Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Ben Franklin) Congress has given up our essential liberty supposedly for safety. Thus if we do not stop Congress from renewing the dastardly Patriot Act, we deserve neither safety nor liberty. Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

MozillaQuest Magazine Op-ED

15 December 2005 (C)

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Please see our more recent Patriot Act editorial, Patriot Act Bad for Internet Users -- Kill it!

Update Note:

16 December 2005: The U.S. Senate in effect killed the U. S. Patriot Act this morning by voting against closing debate (cloture) on the bill to renew the Patriot Act. It takes 60 votes to invoke cloture in the U.S. Senate. The vote for closure was only 52 votes and 47 voted against cloture. Thus the cloture failed by 8 votes and unless some parliamentary dirty tricks are pulled, the Patriot Act for the most part dies on 31 December 2005.

There is a good chance that Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, will try to pull some dirty parliamentary tricks to renew the Patriot Act. So please read this article -- and keep in mind that you still need to contact your U.S. Senators and Congressperson as mentioned in the article to let them know you are opposed to the Patriot Act.

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The Un-Patriot Act is an attack on free (as in freedom, liberty, and privacy -- not as in free beer) use and enjoyment of the Internet including e-mail, messaging, chat, Web surfing, forums, and many other Internet services.

"The USA PATRIOT Act broadly expands law enforcement's surveillance and investigative powers and represents one of the most significant threats to civil liberties, privacy and democratic traditions in U.S. history." (The USA PATRIOT Act, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Link in the Resources section at end of this article.)

There is nothing patriotic about the Patriot Act. The so-called Patriot Act not only is un-patriotic, it is an insult to our Constitution, our American Democracy, the American Patriots that founded our country, and all American patriots -- living and dead. In effect, by letting Usama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda scare our Congress into sacrificing basic tenets of our American freedom and our American democracy, Usama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda already have defeated the Bush administration and the United States.

"Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Ben Franklin)

Congress has given up our essential liberty supposedly for safety. Thus if we do not stop Congress from renewing the dastardly Patriot Act, we deserve neither safety nor liberty. Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

Computer-wise and technology-wise,

"The Government can monitor an individual's web surfing records, use roving wiretaps to monitor phone calls made by individuals "proximate" to the primary person being tapped, access Internet Service Provider records, and monitor the private records of people involved in legitimate protests." (The USA PATRIOT Act, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Emphasis added. Link in the Resources section at end of this article.)

On its surface, the Un-Patriot Act appears to be a tool to fight terrorism. The U.S. Congress hurriedly passed it shortly after 9/11. Consequently, Congress did not look closely into what the bill did and even those Representatives and Senators that did look closely at it were conned into overlooking it's unconstitutional and un-American provisions -- because at that time they did not want to appear to mollycoddle terrorism.

The Un-Patriot Act

"gives sweeping search and surveillance to domestic law enforcement and foreign intelligence agencies and eliminates checks and balances that previously gave courts the opportunity to ensure that those powers were not abused. [The] PATRIOT [Act] and follow-up legislation now in development threaten the basic rights of millions of Americans. "(The USA PATRIOT Act, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Emphasis added. Link in the Resources section at end of this article.)

Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

It is very questionable if the domestic intelligence gathering, search, and surveillance powers given to law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the Patriot Act are necessary to fight terrorism. It appears that an intelligence team known as Able Danger had the information about the then upcoming 9/11 attack a year before the 9/11 attack -- but were not allowed to provide the info to the appropriate law enforcement people. Thus, the Un-Patriot Act is not necessary to fight terrorism in that the intelligence needed to defend against a 9/11 sort of attack is obtainable with pre-Un-Patriot Act methods and police powers. Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

Moreover and for the most part, intelligence sharing between and among intelligence and law enforcement agencies can be facilitated by executive (Presidential) order. Thus, the Un-Patriot Act is not necessary to fight terrorism in that the intelligence needed to defend against a 9/11 sort of attack is shareable with pre-Un-Patriot Act methods and police powers via executive order rather than a congressional act. Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives has just passed a bill making the Un-Patriot Act permanent. And the U.S. Senate plans to pass a bill tomorrow that will make the Un-Patriot Act permanent. This must be stopped!

The Un-Patriot Act must be thrown out and allowed to die. If any of its provisions are really necessary to fight terrorism, they can be included in a new bill built from the ground up -- rather than a poorly patched Un-Patriot Act. The current Patriot Act is nothing but dysfunctional FUD. And whatever they call the new bill, they should not call it a Patriot Act. Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

You can and must take immediate action to stop making the Un-Patriot Act permanent. To do that call, email, snail mail and/or telegraph your U. S. Senators and Congress people now! Or do all of those things.

Tell your U. S. Senators that if they vote in favor of making the Un-Patriot Act permanent, you will vote against them whenever they run for re-election! Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

And tell them if they vote against making the Un-Patriot Act permanent, they will be doing the right thing and you will vote for them whenever they run for re-election! Throwing out the Un-Patriot Act is the right thing to do!

If your U. S. Representative voted in favor of making the Un-Patriot Act permanent, tell him or her unless he or she moves for reconsideration and then votes against making the Un-Patriot Act permanent, you will vote against him or her whenever he or she runs for re-election! Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do!

If your U. S. Representative voted against making the Un-Patriot Act permanent, tell him or her that was the right thing to do and you will vote for him or her whenever he or she runs for re-election! Throwing out the Un-Patriot Act is the right thing to do!

You can get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of your U. S. Senators and your U. S. Representative from the EFF. Renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do! l

For more detail and information about the Patriot Act and why renewing the Un-Patriot Act is the wrong thing to do, please see the resources listed below.

Resources

EFF


House Renews 16 Provisions of the Patriot Act (L.A. Times)

The 2001 USA PATRIOT Act (Electronic Privacy Information Center)

The USA PATRIOT Act (EPIC discussion and analysis)


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