T Nation

The War on Freedom

  1. The second Patriot Act is a mirror image of powers that Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler gave themselves. Whereas the First Patriot Act only gutted the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and seriously damaged the Seventh and the Tenth, the Second Patriot Act reorganizes the entire Federal government as well as many areas of state government under the dictatorial control of the Justice Department, the Office of Homeland Security and the FEMA NORTHCOM military command. The Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as the Second Patriot Act is by its very structure the definition of dictatorship.

SECTION 501 (Expatriation of Terrorists) expands the Bush administration?s ?enemy combatant? definition to all American citizens who ?may? have violated any provision of Section 802 of the first Patriot Act. (Section 802 is the new definition of domestic terrorism, and the definition is ?any action that endangers human life that is a violation of any Federal or State law.?) Section 501 of the second Patriot Act directly connects to Section 125 of the same act. The Justice Department boldly claims that the incredibly broad Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act isn?t broad enough and that a new, unlimited definition of terrorism is needed.

Under Section 501 a US citizen engaging in lawful activities can be grabbed off the street and thrown into a van never to be seen again. The Justice Department states that they can do this because the person ?had inferred from conduct? that they were not a US citizen. Remember Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act states that any violation of Federal or State law can result in the ?enemy combatant? terrorist designation.

SECTION 201 of the second Patriot Act makes it a criminal act for any member of the government or any citizen to release any information concerning the incarceration or whereabouts of detainees. It also states that law enforcement does not even have to tell the press who they have arrested and they never have to release the names.

SECTION 301 and 306 (Terrorist Identification Database) set up a national database of ?suspected terrorists? and radically expand the database to include anyone associated with suspected terrorist groups and anyone involved in crimes or having supported any group designated as ?terrorist.? These sections also set up a national DNA database for anyone on probation or who has been on probation for any crime, and orders State governments to collect the DNA for the Federal government.

SECTION 312 gives immunity to law enforcement engaging in spying operations against the American people and would place substantial restrictions on court injunctions against Federal violations of civil rights across the board.

SECTION 101 will designate individual terrorists as foreign powers and again strip them of all rights under the ?enemy combatant? designation.

SECTION 102 states clearly that any information gathering, regardless of whether or not those activities are illegal, can be considered to be clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power. This makes news gathering illegal.

SECTION 103 allows the Federal government to use wartime martial law powers domestically and internationally without Congress declaring that a state of war exists.

SECTION 106 is bone-chilling in its straightforwardness. It states that broad general warrants by the secret FSIA court (a panel of secret judges set up in a star chamber system that convenes in an undisclosed location) granted under the first Patriot Act are not good enough. It states that government agents must be given immunity for carrying out searches with no prior court approval. This section throws out the entire Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

SECTION 109 allows secret star chamber courts to issue contemp charges against any individual or corporation who refuses to incriminate themselves or others. This sections annihilate the last vestiges of the Fifth Amendment.

SECTION 110 restates that key police state clauses in the first Patriot Act were not sunsetted and removes the five year sunset clause from other subsections of the first Patriot Act. After all, the media has told us: ?this is the New America. Get used to it. This is forever.?

SECTION 111 expands the definition of the ?enemy combatant? designation.

SECTION 122 restates the government?s newly announced power of ?surveillance without a court order.?

SECTION 123 restates that the government no longer needs warrants and that the investigations can be a giant dragnet-style sweep described in press reports about the Total Information Awareness Network. One passage reads, ?thus the focus of domestic surveillance may be less precise than that directed against more conventional types of crime.?

*Note: Over and over again, in subsection after subsection, the second Patriot Act states that its new Soviet-type powers will be used to fight international terrorism, domestic terrorism and other types of crimes. Of course the government has already announced in Section 802 of the first USA Patriot act that any crime is considered domestic terrorism.

SECTION 126 grants the government the right to mine the entire spectrum of public and private sector information from bank records to educational and medical records. This is the enacting law to allow ECHELON and the Total Information Awareness Network to totally break down any and all walls of privacy.

The government states that they must look at everything to ?determine? if individuals or groups might have a connection to terrorist groups. As you can now see, you are guilty until proven innocent.

SECTION 127 allows the government to takeover coroners? and medical examiners? operations whenever they see fit. See how this is like Bill Clinton?s special medical examiner he had in Arkansas that ruled that people had committed suicide when their arms and legs had been cut off.

SECTION 128 allows the Federal government to place gag orders on Federal and State Grand Juries and to take over the proceedings. It also disallows individuals or organizations to even try to quash a Federal subpoena. So now defending yourself will be a terrorist action.

SECTION 129 destroys any remaining whistleblower protection for Federal agents.

SECTION 202 allows corporations to keep secret their activities with toxic biological, chemical or radiological materials.

SECTION 205 allows top Federal officials to keep all their financial dealings secret, and anyone investigating them can be considered a terrorist. This should be very useful for Dick Cheney to stop anyone investigating Haliburton.

SECTION 303 sets up national DNA database of suspected terrorists. The database will also be used to ?stop other unlawful activities.? It will share the information with state, local and foreign agencies for the same purposes.

SECTION 311 federalizes your local police department in the area of information sharing.

SECTION 313 provides liability protection for businesses, especially big businesses that spy on their customers for Homeland Security, violating their privacy agreements. It goes on to say that these are all preventative measures ? has anyone seen Minority Report? This is the access hub for the Total Information Awareness Network.

SECTION 321 authorizes foreign governments to spy on the American people and to share information with foreign governments.

SECTION 322 removes Congress from the extradition process and allows officers of the Homeland Security complex to extradite American citizens anywhere they wish. It also allows Homeland Security to secretly take individuals out of foreign countries.

SECTION 402 is titled ?Providing Material Support to Terrorism.? The section reads that there is no requirement to show that the individual even had the intent to aid terrorists.

SECTION 403 expands the definition of weapons of mass destruction to include any activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

SECTION 404 makes it a crime for a terrorist or ?other criminals? to use encryption in the commission of a crime.

SECTION 408 creates ?lifetime parole? (basically, slavery) for a whole host of crimes.

SECTION 410 creates no statute of limitations for anyone that engages in terrorist actions or supports terrorists. Remember: any crime is now considered terrorism under the first Patriot Act.

SECTION 411 expands crimes that are punishable by death. Again, they point to Section 802 of the first Patriot Act and state that any terrorist act or support of terrorist act can result in the death penalty.

SECTION 421 increases penalties for terrorist financing. This section states that any type of financial activity connected to terrorism will result to time in prison and $10-50,000 fines per violation.

SECTIONS 427 sets up asset forfeiture provisions for anyone engaging in terrorist activities.

There are many other sections that I did not cover in the interest of time. The American people were shocked by the despotic nature of the first Patriot Act. The second Patriot Act dwarfs all police state legislation in modern world history.


Does this really surprise you? I say it all the time: the people in power will do whatever is necessary to keep power.

I am beginning to think that they are arming themselves with the law in case of any French riot-esque incidents in this country that may have to do with the government.

I agree, they would love it to be a police state. And it is heading that way.


Well, you know speaking against the actions of the government is "REPREHENSIBLE".


But I thought George II said it was ok to dissent? I am so confused.


I think people, especially Bush-haters, overreact to the Patriot Act, but there are parts of it that are very disturbing. Leaving aside the broader issue of our treatment of enemy combatants (i.e. torture), the idea that this Administration thinks it is OK to lock up U.S. CITIZENS (Hamdi and Padilla, regardless of their guilt) for years with no trial is scary.


So are our resident freepers.


I don't think that anyone can call me a "Bush hater." However, the Patriot Act is ripe for abuse by one of our many federal police agency's.

I would like all of the "Bush lovers" to wake up. This is not a republican vs democrat matter. It's a matter of freedom! I can only repeat what I wrote on another thread regarding this same matter:

There is a lot wrong with the Patriot Act and I think Senator Feingold's additons are a great start in fixing it.

Those who are not familiar. The following are just two things the good Senator wants to change:

"With respect to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the so-called "library" provision that can be used to obtain library, medical and other sensitive business records, the Senate bill would require the government to convince a judge that a person is connected to terrorism or espionage before obtaining those records.

The bill would also require the government in most circumstances to notify the target of a "sneak and peek" search warrant within seven days of the search, instead of the undefined delay that is currently permitted by the Patriot Act. It would impose new four-year sunsets on three of the most troublesome provisions, and provide recipients of intrusive business records orders and National Security Letters with the explicit right to challenge them in court."

Conservatives (and everyone else) should find plenty wrong with the Patriot Act as it now stands.
If you think that law enforcement will not abuse authority when unchecked think again! These are human beings who make mistakes and need to be kept in line. No different than any other agency with such great authority.

I will never trade liberty for perceived security and I hope everyone feels that way.


Very good post Zeb. I don't understand how anyone could believe that this is something to overreact too. When given that much power, it is garaunteed that the party in power can crush political dissent in all manners.

It is all empowering to the government, and something directly out of 1984. Liberals should be against it because it invades all sort of personal rights. Conservatives should be against it becausee it is the definition of big government...except that big government no longer means a bureaocracy, but evil big government that can imprison anyone for any offense under the guise of terrorism. And yet, it has not been dismantled yet. Why?


Because speaking against the government is "REPREHENSIBLE"!!

Come on, just one or two more times of me using that should satisfy the craving.


WARNING! This is somewhat off topic:

A few months ago I saw Jesse Ventura on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. They were discussing the patriot act and the intrusion of goverment into people private lives in the name of national security.

Jesse, a former Navy SEAL, said that after watching how the beltway snipers brought Washington to a high level of panic, he concluded that a highly trained, ie. SEAL level team of 10, operating autonomously nation-wide in two man sniper teams could paralyze the american populace indefinitely.

He felt that such a threat could not be protected against no matter how many freedoms were rescinded. Apparently he feels so strongly about the erosion of personal freedoms that he is leaving the US to live abroad.

I'm not agreeing with his position, but I found it an interesting perspective coming from a former military man and elected official.

Do people feel that the patriot act is helping make them safer? Do you feel that the act was drafted specifically to allow the abuses that are feared to occur or do you feel that the abuse would be the exploitation of unfortunate loop-holes?

I don't have a definitive opinion on the issue but from what I've read it appears to be flawed in some respects.

I think that the polarization of american politics into right and left and republican and democrat makes situations like this much more difficult to solve, with neither side willing to acknowledge the benefit of what the other side is offering, or their own initial mistakes.

Wow, this started out as a post about jesse ventura, took a detour through the spirit of the patriot act and ended up as a rumination on the downside of political polarization.



p.s. For those of you who caught the Donny Deutsch show: what is with Jesse Ventura? Did he go off his meds when he decided to grow the braided dual goatee? Way to boost the credibility scale Captain Morgan.


Good post. While I don't think the Patriot Act is the dawn of American fascism, which is what some on the fringe left would have you believe, I do think it's profoundly disturbing, and un-American.


Great post. The ease with which far less trained enemies than Navy SEALs can terrorize a free society is why I feel that the one vital thing (and one of the few good things) this administration has done is introduce a doctrine of pre-emptive war and active, offensive engagement of terrorists and terrorist supporters abroad.


From almost exactly one year ago:

I wonder where JeffR is these days? Not that I miss him, but I would expect at least one "what are the alternatives!!" thrown out for good measure.


In all fairness, I haven't read the legislation. To the extent that we're relying on interpretations of the legislation that might be biased, we aren't really serving ourselves well in trying to analyse it.


Actually, we aren't doing ourselves well by ignoring it.


Ah, the good old days. That almost brought a tear to my eye...


You know, that is a hell of a statement. Looking at how the beltway sniper did it, I couldn't imagine guys with elite training doing this. Who would even be able to handle that? Not regular cops, I daresay.

Really, aside from having cameras literally everywhere and a thought police walking around, there would be no way to stop something like this. Of course the odds of this specific instantce happening are low.

But how hard is it really to do something nowadays? How hard is it to strap dynamite to yourself and hop on a NYC subway car at rush hour? Or at the tree in Rockefeller center during Christmas? I would say easier than one thinks. Will the Patriot ACt prevent this kind of attack? No.

In a democracy, you cannot watch everyone all at once, especially in the great cities we have, and the tendency to congregate for big events. I hate to say it, but it could still happen anywhere, anytime.


I never said to ignore it. I'm just pointing out that we're relying on a possibly biased account, posted anonymously on an internet forum, to inform us as to the content of this bill. Well, maybe you aren't (I obviously don't know), but I am.
It would probably behoove all of us to research both sides of the issue, and see what legal experts are saying about it.


POX wrote:

"I wonder where JeffR is these days? Not that I miss him, but I would expect at least one "what are the alternatives!!" thrown out for good measure."

Hey POX!!!


You haven't progressed at all!!!

I'd love to have an in depth discussion on why YOU are bad for the country, but my posts are too dangerous for public consumption



I actually wrote that post because I was laughing at you. You are very funny...a fucking laugh riot. The one question that runs through my mind constantly is, "does this guy work out or just jump into his "W" embroidered cheerleading outfit in his spare time?" Like the licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.