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Patriot Act II
February 7, 2003 3:37 PM   Subscribe

If you thought the Patriot Act was bad... It looks like it's going to get worse. Center for Public Integrity has the full text (pdf) for the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003". Lowlights include a "DNA database on 'suspected terrorists'" as well as pretrial detention for "suspected terrorists" without bail. There's more. (via The Scoop)
posted by owillis (45 comments total)

 
Well, at least it's not with bail. That would be scary.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:42 PM on February 7, 2003


How do you define terrorism? Is it the actual act, the suspected act? And what act are you referring to? It could be blowing up a building, or it could be 'degrading the American way of life' which if left to John Ashcroft would be anything that is not in line with what a good Evangelical Christian would do, opening up the doors to charging people with terrorism that aren't terrorists at all, but have a differing viewpoint.

Section 501, “Expatriation of Terrorists”: This provision, the drafters say, would establish that an American citizen could be expatriated “if, with the intent to relinquish his nationality, he becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United Stated has designated as a ‘terrorist organization’.” But whereas a citizen formerly had to state his intent to relinquish his citizenship, the new law affirms that his intent can be “inferred from conduct.” Thus, engaging in the lawful activities of a group designated as a “terrorist organization” by the Attorney General could be presumptive grounds for expatriation.

So basically, with this they could expatriate anyone they really wanted, and hold them indefinitely. No rights, not an American anymore.
posted by benjh at 3:44 PM on February 7, 2003


benjh, your questioning of our authoritah leads me to suspect you are a terrorist. Come with me.
posted by owillis at 3:49 PM on February 7, 2003


The full text seems to be bogged down, 'cause it's not loading. But my question is, has there been a problem since the signing of the Patriot Act with law enforcement not having enough power to apprehend terrorists? Do they consider their hands tied?
posted by Hildago at 4:05 PM on February 7, 2003


Red Scare II, the sequel

Emma Goldman comes back from the dead, only to be booted out of the country again. Starring Minnie Driver as Emma Goldman.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:07 PM on February 7, 2003


DNA database and suspected terrorists being held without bail? Sounds good to me.
Think about it. Why would you give bail to someone accused of terrorism? If they really are a terrorist you think they're going to sit at home with their thumb up their butt until their trial date? Hell no. They're getting the hell out of here.
Granted, it really sucks if you're innocent, but it wouldn't be the first time bad things happened to a good person.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 4:12 PM on February 7, 2003


Granted, it really sucks if you're innocent, but it wouldn't be the first time bad things happened to a good person.

Jesus Fucking Christ.
posted by mathis23 at 4:20 PM on February 7, 2003


I nominate Nyarlathotep to be arrested and detained without bail for terrorist acts he/she didn't commit, as I would be interested to see just how that blithe -- nay, jaunty! -- disregard for civil liberties and due process would hold up under those circumstances.
posted by scody at 4:22 PM on February 7, 2003


This is going to be a discussed on this week's episode of NOW.
posted by homunculus at 4:22 PM on February 7, 2003


it wouldn't be the first time bad things happened to a good person.

Jesus Fucking Christ.


Good example!
posted by homunculus at 4:23 PM on February 7, 2003


I guess we'll round people up and put them in concentration camps again.
posted by Ayn Marx at 4:26 PM on February 7, 2003


suspected terrorists being held without bail? ... Think about it. Why would you give bail to someone accused of terrorism?

There's a difference between "accused" and "suspected."
posted by tolkhan at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2003


Land of the... what was it again?
posted by Foosnark at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2003


When I was growing up, I always pictured and looked forward to the 21st century being like science fiction. I never expected, y'know, the dystopian kind.
posted by GriffX at 4:56 PM on February 7, 2003


homunculus.... that was so funny there's chicken soup all over my monitor. Nearly choked.

When I was growing up, I always pictured and looked forward to the 21st century being like science fiction. I never expected, y'know, the dystopian kind.

A large portion of dystopian SF has its roots in coupling technological advances with an overbearing (yea, fascist/totalitarian) state -- and examples from which to draw weren't rare enough during the 20th century. Human nature hasn't changed, but the technology has advanced. It will likely happen again.

What I don't get is why so many of my neighbors seem to believe it could never happen here, and so vigilance isn't necessary.
posted by namespan at 6:54 PM on February 7, 2003


it wouldn't be the first time bad things happened to a good person.

Jesus Fucking Christ.

Good example!


homunculus, surely you are my favorite individual on MetaFilter.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:54 PM on February 7, 2003


O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee
posted by damnitkage at 8:35 PM on February 7, 2003


"It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one." -- Voltaire
posted by Cerebus at 8:37 PM on February 7, 2003


homunculus *!*
posted by y2karl at 8:44 PM on February 7, 2003


No rights, not an American anymore.

That's kind of how I'm feeling for all of us, not just the terrorists. Those who don't understand what America stands for at the core of our founding documents say things like "Why would you give bail to someone accused of terrorism?"

On the other hand, those who have actually read the damn things, Republican, Democrat, Independent, or indifferent all agree on this one: this is bad. This is not American. This must be stopped.
posted by jragon at 9:36 PM on February 7, 2003


What amazes me is that people were saying things like "if we stop going to the mall because of 9/11, the terrorists have won." Those people have a disgraceful idea of what it really is to be American.

The fact is, if we allow the substantial repeal of the Constitution; if we reject everything we believe in; if we cease, in fact, to be Americans by throwing away everything our forebears fought for with shameful, Stalinist legislation like this and like the so-called "USA-PATRIOT" Act...

Then the terrorists really have won.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:05 PM on February 7, 2003


I guess we'll round people up and put them in concentration camps again.

Not to pick a point or anything, but weren't those internment camps?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:30 PM on February 7, 2003


"It's their intention to do what they can to disrupt free people and destroy the values for which America stands and which it represents so prominently to the world," Ashcroft said.

I might find this humorous if it weren't so damn sad.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:35 PM on February 7, 2003


Not to pick a point or anything, but weren't those internment camps?

You say tomato...
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:38 PM on February 7, 2003


You say tomato...

Although internment camps were horrible part of United States history, they were designed for the systematic containment of people based on their race, not the systematic slaughter and removal of people based upon their race. They were not the same thing.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:46 PM on February 7, 2003


Good, you know the difference between "internment camp" and "death camp". But you apparently don't know which one corresponds to the term "concentration camp", the one you were objecting to. Here, I'll give you a hint: Boer War.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:58 PM on February 7, 2003


homunculus, surely you are my favorite individual on MetaFilter.

*Blush*
posted by homunculus at 11:18 PM on February 7, 2003


I just hope more of our representatives follow Russ Feingold's example this time.

Here's an interesting theory: "The Justice Department leaked the maximalist version on purpose. That way, after all the outrage and compromise, they'll get a 'moderate' version that will still be plenty bad."
posted by homunculus at 11:36 PM on February 7, 2003


I saw that theory, and I think its time we told our represenatives: no compromise - no passage, period.
posted by owillis at 12:15 AM on February 8, 2003


This just makes me so angry. Bush is a fascist!! This is an outrage. If this law passes I on my way out of this country!
posted by tljenson at 12:15 AM on February 8, 2003


What is particularly treasonous about this document is that senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee minority staff have inquired about Patriot II for months and have been told as recently as this week that this document *didn't exist* and there was no such legislation being planned. Meanwhile, advanced copies of the bill seem to have been presented to Vice President Dick Cheney and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

This, my friends, is purjury and grounds for impeachment.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:34 AM on February 8, 2003


"Granted, it really sucks if you're innocent, but it wouldn't be the first time bad things happened to a good person."

Nyarlathotep got pounced on here for saying it, but (s)he speaks for many, if not most, Americans.

Most Americans have never faced the justice system as a subject. Most have steadfastly ignored the stories about just how Kafkaesque your life can get if the authorities mistakenly or carelessly suspect you're a criminal. Most simply trust that the men and women of the justice system try as hard as they would to make sure no one is accused without good evidence.

But especially after 9-11, few will speak up for those wrongly locked up. How many thousands were arrested? How many hundreds are still incarcerated, denied even the bittersweet remedy of expulsion from the country? While the government has found what, 20 individuals (by my admittedly unresearched tally) with any identifiable connection to members of terror groups?

All within the placid acceptance of most Americans.

The bedrock Constitutional insistence on fairness and rights for those accused by authority is easy to dismiss for those who never wrongly wore handcuffs. In this United States of America, the Patriot Act II has a good chance to become law.

From the Newsday story about the "draft" legislation, the Dept. of Justice spokeswoman: "The department's deliberations are always undertaken with the strongest commitment to our Constitution and civil liberties.”

posted by sacre_bleu at 1:13 AM on February 8, 2003


OK, I have a question for MeFi-ites: What organizations are out there fighting against this? My first inclinations are to join the ACLU, but I am strongly opposed to their position on the death penalty (i.e. I don't have much of a problem with it).
Any guidance would be appreciated.
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 6:13 AM on February 8, 2003


My first inclinations are to join the ACLU, but I am strongly opposed to their position on the death penalty

If you wait to find an organization that agrees with you on every single issue, you're going to be waiting a long time. (Or you could start such an organization, and rejoice in its membership of one.) I humbly suggest that this threat is a lot more immediate than whatever threat you perceive in the ACLU's position on the death penalty, and after all if you're a member you can try to get them to change it. It's a good group, and it has at least some clout.
posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM on February 8, 2003


Okay, you're right, I concede.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:27 AM on February 8, 2003


This is the NOW transcript from last night. This conversation contains some of the scariest stuff I've read in over a decade. Bill Moyers is one of the few journalists right now who even cares to bring this into the light. All I can do shudder.
posted by IndigoSkye at 8:16 AM on February 8, 2003


Yeah, I'm pro-death penalty and simultaneously a "card-carrying member of the ACLU". Here's their resource page on the creeping stupidity of the Ashcroft empire.
posted by owillis at 8:57 AM on February 8, 2003


There's been no public outcry because nothing's really happened yet. The Justice Department is putting to gether their "wish list." But that's all it is. The Justice Department can't introduce legislation. Neither can the President. Only a Member of Congress can do that.

I can write a bill delaring that Metafilter r00lz, and I can send it to my Congressman, but that doesn't mean he'll introduce it for me. Even if he does introduce it, there's no guarantee that it'll be seriously considered. Only about 5% of introduced legislation ever makes it into law. This proposal is no more outlandish than many of the other bills that are introduced every day. So far this Congress, there have been bills introduced to abolish the IRS, abolish all Federal taxation, examine the need for slavery reparations, and to "require Congress and the President to fulfill their constitutional duty to take personal responsibility for Federal laws," whatever that means.

I say save the outrage until something actually gets introduced.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:04 AM on February 8, 2003


I say save the outrage until something actually gets introduced.

I doubt that the bill would get introduced unless it had the votes to pass. By then its too late to protest.
posted by mrhappy at 10:12 AM on February 8, 2003


Does anyone know of another place to download the full text? I'm getting 20 bytes per second on the above link. Can anyone host it temporarily?
posted by mblandi at 11:19 AM on February 8, 2003


 
"They Thought They Were Free" - by  Milton  Mayer

"But Then It Was Too Late... 'What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know it doesn't make people close to their government to be told that this is a people's government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote.  All this has little, really nothing to do with knowing one is governing....What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security.  And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.....This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter."
posted by troutfishing at 7:25 PM on February 8, 2003


Vote to Impeach

This is probably going to pop up on the front page soon, but I'm showing restraint
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:07 AM on February 9, 2003


Outrage overload.
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on February 9, 2003


OK, I have a question for MeFi-ites: What organizations are out there fighting against this?

The Supreme Court? Remember, the Legislature isn't the only branch of the government. If this law gets passed and its terms violate the Constitution, then the Supreme Court gets to weigh in.
posted by jsonic at 2:14 PM on February 10, 2003


House Dems demand explanation on anti-terror law
posted by homunculus at 7:58 PM on February 10, 2003


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