Here we go again

I truly love when people from around the world discuss US law. Here we have a BBC article, albeit written by a Seattle resident, discussing the Patriot Act. Not one person or organization seems to be able to answer the question “has anyone been negatively affected improperly by the Patriot Act?”

The author discusses the cities that have fallen for the ACLU’s act that the PA is evil.

At last count, more than 330 communities in 41 American states had passed resolutions condemning the Patriot Act.

How many of them are like Chapel Hill, NC, which is one of the most liberal towns in NC? How many just said fine, we’ll pass a resolution, now please leave, ACLU? The city of Raleigh said “if parts of the PA are deemed un-Constitutional, we won’t follow them. Now, can we take care of City business? You have wasted most of our day.” Furthermore, the ACLU is included cities, like Raleigh, who did not actually condemn the Patriot Act. The ACLU’s list has Raleigh on it. But that is not truthfull.

ACLU officials hoped for an outright condemnation of the act.

In the end, the council agreed to say if, and the key word is “if”, the Patriot Act ever violates the Bill of Rights, they are against that. Both sides called this a victory

If it is in violation. Not that it is.

It is a law that was passed virtually without dissent, just 45 days after the 11 September attacks.

And it is thick: 342 pages that nobody in Congress professed to read.

Then there needs to be some firing going on, if the very Congress Critters who voted for it did not read it. No one in the media has even asked if it was summarized by their staff’s.

It is hard to measure if the Patriot Act has been effective.

It was used, in part, to round up cells of alleged al-Qaeda sympathisers in Buffalo, New York and Portland, Oregon.

Sounds effective to me.

The author then discuss’ how it was used it was also used to prosecute a strip club owner who tried to bribe politicians in Las Vegas. Here the government was employing its latest statute, I guess, to keep lap dancers at bay. Bribery violates laws prior to the PA. Need I say more?

Of course, any discussion of the PA has to take into account what anti-PA folks call “sneak and peek,” and ends with:

And if the FBI tries to search somebody’s home without a warrant, the poor homeowner can cite the same resolution, provided, of course, that the secret warrant became something less than secret.

Let’s get real. The real term is “Delayed Notification.” Delayed Notification has been around for longer then the PA. DN has been around for quite a long time, but it was first codified in the PA. Let’s FactCheck it:

Delayed notification is only allowed under certain conditions. And federal authorities must still obtain a warrant from a judge under the same “probable-cause” requirements as before.

For instance, the law allows delayed notification if providing immediate notification would have an “adverse result,” which is defined five ways:

(A) endangering the life or physical safety of an individual;

(B) flight from prosecution;

(C) destruction of or tampering with evidence;

(D) intimidation of potential witnesses; or

(E) otherwise seriously jeopardizing an investigation or unduly delaying a trial.

Delayed Notification requires a warranty, just like other searches. The law enforcement official asking for the DN warrant must not only prove that a warrant is necessary, but that it it fits criteria to be a DN warrant. What does it mean? It means that law enforcement can serve a warrant without the property owner present. Period. The property owner must be notified after the fact.

If it allows law enforcement to take care of terrorists, pedophiles, child pornographers, gun runners, druggies, etc., that is just fine with me. If I have put myself in a position where a Federal Judge is willing to issue a Delayed Notification warrant, I must be a bad person, eh? Should we, as US Citizens, still be diligent? Damm Right! The same as we should be diligent against any governmental activity. But, iin the absence of evidence, we should also be real.

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2 Responses to “Here we go again”

  1. Ogre says:

    “has anyone been negatively affected improperly by the Patriot Act?”

    I don’t know for sure. However, I am very worried about the potential for abuse in the Act. The number of people who have read the who thing can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. And that does worry me.

    I sincerely believe that he who gives up essential liberty for temporary safety truly deserves neither liberty or safety.

  2. Well, I cannot fully disagree about the danger that the Patriot Act could pose. We the People do need to vigilant about any law. A Federal District Attorney said the same thing a few months ago on the day that the ACLU was discussing it with the City Council. I just do not believe that the ACLU should be making a big deal out of it without any proof.

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