Quote of the Day: "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 those powers, despite a multitude of FBI abuses. Last year, the extension was passed with just a voice vote!
Now, another expiration is at hand -- February 28, 2011. Unfortunately, Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has introduced H.R. 67 to renew the provisions for another year.
The hardwired letter on this campaign reads . . .
Repeal the Patriot Act. Do NOT renew any of its provisions.
To this I added the following personal comments, which you may copy from or borrow for your own letter . . .
All of the following provisions of the Patriot Act violate the Constitution . . .
* Roving wiretaps, where my calls can be monitored without specific warrant
* The infamous "library provision" where The State can monitor my reading habits
* National Security Letters that allow federal agents to spy on me without a Constitutional warrant, and where the service providers who share my private info can't tell me about it
* Requirements that my bank report my financial activities to federal cops and bureaucrats
This is only a partial list. Nearly everything in the Patriot Act violates the Constitution, which you swore to defend.
Please take note -- you did NOT swear an oath to defend me and my fellow citizens from every threat that makes you nervous. It's the Constitution that you're supposed to worry about first.
Everyone agrees that terrorists should be caught and stopped. But before 9/11, the federal government already had all the tools it needed to prevent that attack. The failure to prevent 9-11 was due to incompetence, NOT the Constitution.
Now, the Patriot Act has made federal incompetence more likely, NOT less. It has caused federal agents to lose their focus. The Justice Department's Inspector General reports that between 2003 and 2006 the FBI granted itself nearly 200,000 NSLs, but most of these were directed at innocent Americans, NOT potential terrorists.
What this tells me is that you are endangering me, NOT protecting me. This kind of abuse is why the Constitution limits State power, because no mere human can be trusted to use unlimited power wisely.
In conclusion . . .
* The Patriot Act should not be a law because it was NOT read before it was passed.
* 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.
Please obey your Constitutional oath of office. Repeal the Patriot Act, and OPPOSE any extension of its provisions.
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