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InvisibleEdame
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Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
Loc: outta here
There goes the 4th Amendment
    #2227332 - 01/08/04 03:36 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I'm not normally this forward, but lets face it, you guys are fucked (and if we don't get Blair out of #10 we're probably right behind you).

The Bush administration managed to sneak in a piece of Patriot II legislation in another bill, which Bush signed on the saturday of Hussein's capture (how blatant can you get?).

Quote:


(emphasis mine)
Bush Grabs New Power for FBI

While the nation was distracted last month by images of Saddam Hussein's spider hole and dental exam, President George W. Bush quietly signed into law a new bill that gives the FBI increased surveillance powers and dramatically expands the reach of the USA Patriot Act.

The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 grants the FBI unprecedented power to obtain records from financial institutions without requiring permission from a judge.

Under the law, the FBI does not need to seek a court order to access such records, nor does it need to prove just cause.

Previously, under the Patriot Act, the FBI had to submit subpoena requests to a federal judge. Intelligence agencies and the Treasury Department, however, could obtain some financial data from banks, credit unions and other financial institutions without a court order or grand jury subpoena if they had the approval of a senior government official.

The new law (see Section 374 of the act), however, lets the FBI acquire these records through an administrative procedure whereby an FBI field agent simply drafts a so-called national security letter stating the information is relevant to a national security investigation.

And the law broadens the definition of "financial institution" to include such businesses as insurance companies, travel agencies, real estate agents, stockbrokers, the U.S. Postal Service and even jewelry stores, casinos and car dealerships.

The law also prohibits subpoenaed businesses from revealing to anyone, including customers who may be under investigation, that the government has requested records of their transactions.

Bush signed the bill on Dec. 13, a Saturday, which was the same day the U.S. military captured Saddam Hussein.

Some columnists and bloggers have accused the president of signing the legislation on a weekend, when news organizations traditionally operate with a reduced staff, to avoid public scrutiny and criticism. Any attention that might have been given the bill, they say, was supplanted by a White House announcement the next day about Hussein's capture.

James Dempsey, executive director of the Center for Democracy & Technology, didn't see any significance to the timing of Bush's signing. The 2004 fiscal year began Oct. 1 and the Senate passed the bill in November. He said there was pressure to pass the legislation to free up intelligence spending.

However, Dempsey called the inclusion of the financial provision "an intentional end-run" by the administration to expand the administration's power without proper review.

Critics like Dempsey say the government is trying to pass legislation that was shot down prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when the Bush administration drafted a bill to expand the powers of the Patriot Act.

The so-called Patriot Act II was discovered by the Center for Public Integrity last year, which exposed the draft legislation and initiated a public outcry that forced the government to back down on its plans.

But critics say the government didn't abandon its goals after the uproar; it simply extracted the most controversial provisions from Patriot Act II and slipped them surreptitiously into other bills, such as the Intelligence Authorization Act, to avoid raising alarm.

Dempsey said the Intelligence Authorization Act is a favorite vehicle of politicians for expanding government powers without careful scrutiny. The bill, because of its sensitive nature, is generally drafted in relative secrecy and approved without extensive debate because it is viewed as a "must-pass" piece of legislation. The act provides funding for intelligence agencies.

"It's hard for the average member to vote against it," said Dempsey, "so it makes the perfect vehicle for getting what you want without too much fuss."

The provision granting increased power was little more than a single line of legislation. But Dempsey said it was written in such a cryptic manner that no one noticed its significance until it was too late.

"We were the first to notice it outside of Congress," he said, "but we only noticed it in September after it had already passed in the House."

Rep. Porter Goss (R-Florida), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that reviewed the bill, introduced the legislation into the House last year on June 11, where it passed two weeks later by a vote of 410-9. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on July 31.

Goss's staff said he was out of the country and unavailable for comment. But Goss told the House last year that he believed the financial institution provision in the bill brought the intelligence community up to date with the reality of the financial industry.

"This bill will allow those tracking terrorists and spies to 'follow the money' more effectively and thereby protect the people of the United States more effectively," he said.

But Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota), who opposed the legislation, told the House, "It is clear the Republican leadership and the administration would rather expand on the USA Patriot Act through deception and secrecy than debate such provisions in an open forum."

Despite her remarks, however, McCollum voted in favor of the legislation.

A number of other representatives expressed concern that the financial provision was slipped into the Intelligence Act at the 11th hour with no time for public debate and against objections from members the Senate Judiciary Committee, which normally has jurisdiction over the FBI. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the minority leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with five other members of the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the Intelligence Committee requesting that their committee be given time to review the bill. But the provision had already passed by the time their letter went out.

"In our fight to protect America and our people, to make our world a safer place, we must never turn our backs on our freedoms," said Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-Idaho) in a November press release. "Expanding the use of administrative subpoenas and threatening our system of checks and balances is a step in the wrong direction."

Otter, however, also voted in favor of the bill.


Charlie Mitchell, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said many legislators failed to recognize the significance of the legislation until it was too late. But he said the fact that 15 Republicans and over 100 Democrats voted against the Conference Report of the bill indicated that, had there been more time, there probably would have been sufficient opposition to remove the provision.

"To have that many people vote against it, based on just that one provision without discussion beforehand, signifies there is strong opposition to new Patriot Act II powers," Mitchell said.

He said legislators are now on the lookout for other Patriot Act II provisions being tucked into new legislation.

"All things considered, this was a loss for civil liberties," he said. But on a brighter note, "this was the only provision of Patriot II that made it through this year. Members are hearing from their constituents. I really think we have the ability to stop much of this Patriot Act II legislation in the future."




--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: There goes the 4th Amendment [Re: Edame]
    #2227409 - 01/08/04 04:30 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

which Bush signed on the saturday of Hussein's capture (how blatant can you get?).

I think the neocons on the board have already decided that was just "coincidence"  :rolleyes:


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,808
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: There goes the 4th Amendment [Re: Edame]
    #2227489 - 01/08/04 05:37 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Your concern for the 4th, while touching, leaves me curious.

Are you as concerned for the rest of the amendments?


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,808
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: There goes the 4th Amendment [Re: Xlea321]
    #2227490 - 01/08/04 05:38 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Should you find a neocon here, ask them.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleEdame
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Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
Loc: outta here
Re: There goes the 4th Amendment [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2229357 - 01/08/04 09:05 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
Your concern for the 4th, while touching, leaves me curious.

Are you as concerned for the rest of the amendments?




Not equally no.  I don't have any particular affinity for the 2nd, but that's mostly due to cultural differences.  I think as a whole it's an incredible document, much more to the point than the one drawn up for the EU.

In all honesty I mentioned it only as a headline to grab people's attention, and I'm quite surprised at the lack of response, but maybe I'm preaching to the converted or we're all too jaded and cynical these days. :smile:

This legislation has already been used to obtain the details of approx. 270,000 visitors to Las Vegas over X-mas, so if you flew  or stayed in a hotel there recently, it's likely the FBI now have a file with your name on it.  The FBI have already started using Patriot act legislation to investigate ordinary crimes, and I see no reason to believe they won't use these new powers the same way.


--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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InvisibleMOTH
Wild Woman
 User Gallery

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 23,363
Loc: In the jungle
Re: There goes the 4th Amendment [Re: Edame]
    #2229699 - 01/08/04 11:23 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Edame said:
Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
Your concern for the 4th, while touching, leaves me curious.

Are you as concerned for the rest of the amendments?




In all honesty I mentioned it only as a headline to grab people's attention, and I'm quite surprised at the lack of response, but maybe I'm preaching to the converted or we're all too jaded and cynical these days. :smile:





I read about this already.  Put me in the cynical-not-surprised-in-the-slightest category.  Thanks for taking the time to post this here though.  *sigh*


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