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Monday, December 9, 2013

Repeal the Patriot Act


Repeal the Patriot Act

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." — Fourth Amendment to the Constitution
Forty-five days after 9/11, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act without reading it. This new law was supposed to protect you from terrorism, but it has really left you unprotected against lawless federal agents. The Patriot Act contains numerous violations of the Fourth Amendment. It gives federal agents vast new powers that have been abused to investigate innocent Americans.
In 2001 and 2006 concerned members of Congress urged expiration dates on some of the Patriot Act's most controversial powers. Regrettably, Congress has constantly renewed these powers, despite a multitude of FBI abuses. Last year, it was done with a voice vote!
The vast powers provided in this bill are explained in detail on this campaign's Background page. They include . . .
  • Roving wiretaps, where you can be caught in a phone sweep, without specific warrant
  • The infamous "library provision," where The State can monitor your reading habits, even if you have no connection to terrorism
  • National Security Letters, a tool used instead of warrants, whereby the FBI can spy on you, and the service providers who share your private info can't tell you about it
  • Provisions that require banks to report your financial activities to federal agents
This is only a partial list of the many ways the so-called Patriot Act violates your Constitutional rights.
Everyone agrees that terrorists should be caught and stopped. But before 9/11, the federal government already had powerful tools of intelligence-gathering and investigation to prevent terrorism.
  • The failures of intelligence before 9/11 were NOT addressed by the Patriot Act. Moreover,
  • Before 9/11 there were also constitutional checks and balances to protect your liberty and privacy. Under the Patriot Act, those checks and balances are gone.
  • In fact, the Justice Department's Inspector General has reported that between 2003 and 2006, the FBI issued nearly 200,000 NSLs. The Inspector General has also found serious FBI abuses of the NSL power.
In conclusion . . .
  • The Patriot Act should not have been passed because it violates the Constitution.
  • The Patriot Act would not have prevented 9-11, and it is NOT needed to combat future terrorist acts.
  • The Patriot Act has been constantly abused, in spite of the usual worthless political promises that it would not be.
  • The Patriot Act should be repealed.
Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy!
  • Your position will be counted by each Congressional office,
  • Will educate the Congressional staffer who reads it,
  • May be passed up the chain of command,
  • May receive a reply (many DC Downsizers get them). If you receive such a letter, please share it with us