Tag Archives | PATRIOT Act

Obama Signs Extension of PATRIOT Act

Obama In YouthOh Obama, what happened to you?

Did you lose yourself?  Did they get to you? If so, then how? You represented some good principles when you ran for president, and you said a lot of good things.

It’s not that you lied, but it’s like you made promises that you couldn’t keep. I don’t blame you, it’s a structural and systemic problem, it’s not your fault.  But, will you be coming back to the side of the citizenry anytime soon? Will you leave the side of multinational corporations and the big bankers and the military industrial complex? Or is is possible that you were never with us in the first place? Sometimes you make me more sad and angry than George W. Bush did when he was president (at least you didn’t steal the elections!).

Regardless, enjoy the G-8. If you get a chance, please tell those protesters I say hi.… Read the rest

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The Secret Patriot Act

Senator Ron Wyden

Senator Ron Wyden

Spencer Ackerman reports on Senator Ron Wyden’s claim that there’s a secret Patriot Act, for Wired:

You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know.

Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office.

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Comparing Osama Bin Laden With Orwell’s ‘Emmanuel Goldstein’

disinformation editor’s note: The intent of this article is NOT to imply Osama Bin Laden is a fictional character. Please read the article in full and note it was written nearly ten years ago.

Goldstein Vs. Bin Laden

On September 19th, 2001, just one week after the 9/11 tragedies, Frothsburg State University economics professor William L. Anderson wrote a piece entitled, “Osama and Goldstein”. He spoke of a parallel between Osama Bin Laden and Emmanuel Goldstein, the contrived enemy of the state in George Orwell’s 1984. Over the past decade Bin Laden has become the face of terror throughout the western world and the focus of its people’s fear, anger, and hatred. Now that he is dead (read “dead” if you prefer), I believe it would be appropriate to revisit this article from William L. Anderson on LewRockwell.com:

In George Orwell’s classic 1984, the government of Oceania — Big Brother — tells the people that they have a common enemy — Goldstein.

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President Obama Signs Extension of PATRIOT Act: The Same Act He Railed Against During His Campaign

Obama / Patriot Act

Image Courtesy of TheDissenter.

“Lawmakers will soon start debating” … yeah right, it seems like the PATRIOT Act is a permanent reality. I’d like to know more about the scope of this “lone wolf” provision. Via the Washington Post:

President Barack Obama has signed a three-month extension of key surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act.

The law extends two areas of the 2001 act. One provision allows law enforcement officials to set roving wiretaps to monitor multiple communication devices. The other allows them to ask a special court for access to business and library records that could be relevant to a terrorist threat.

A third provision gives the FBI court-approved rights for surveillance of non-American “lone wolf” suspects — those not known to be tied to specific terrorist groups.

Obama signed the three-month extension of the provisions Friday. They were to expire Monday.

Lawmakers will soon start debating a multiple-year extension of the provisions, which have drawn fire from defenders of privacy rights.

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Democrats Vote Against Patriot Act Extentions, Then Bash Republicans Over Their Defeat

U.S. Great Seal Obverse

Check out these two news reports. Hypocrisy, politics, or both?

Simmi Aujla reports in the Politico:

Top House Democrats pounced on Republicans’ mishandling of a routine vote Tuesday evening, which caused a bill to extend provisions of the Patriot Act go down in defeat.

The Democrats said Wednesday morning that the failed vote is a sign that Republican leaders aren’t prepared to handle the practical difficulties of governing.

“I don’t think they’ve found their center yet,” Democratic Caucus conference chair Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) said. “It seems they’re coming apart at the seams.”

Rank-and-file Republicans threw off Republican leaders’ plans for the measure, which was expected to pass easily, when a large enough number bucked their party and voted no. The measure fell short of the two-thirds vote it needed by 13 votes.

But Greg Sargent reports in the Washington Post:

Yesterday, a vote on reauthorizing three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act failed after most Democrats and a few Republicans voted against it.

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The Impending Police State

policestateabbyVia Media Roots:

In George Orwell’s 1984, Britain is depicted as a totalitarian police state that is ruled by the Party, or Big Brother — an enigmatic, ubiquitous elite that controls society through heavy surveillance, nationalist propaganda and historical revisionism.

The concept seems like a far-fetched portrayal of a Democratic nation’s demise into totalitarianism, but in America’s “post 9/11” climate of fear, the United States government has been building a comprehensive grid of surveillance and control that bears frightening similarities to Orwell’s fictional narrative.

The glaring difference between the two is that Orwell’s dystopian society is overtly totalitarian. America, conversely, operates under a “soft fascism” – an insidious, systematic method of preventative action and corporate top-down control over society’s media, economy and politics – while maintaining the necessary illusion of personal choice and freedom. A populous with little to no concept of their subjugation makes them the perfect subjects to rule.… Read the rest

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Did 9/11 Really “Change Everything”?

From WASHINGTON’S BLOG:

We’ve been told that 9/11 changed everything.

Is it true?

Let’s look:

  • The Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11 (see this and this)
  • Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11
  • Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
  • Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11.
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Our Fear of Vulnerability

Liberty

Photo: Nevit Dilmen (CC)

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

For a country that prides itself on its freedoms, we’ve systematically begun to dismantle them in favor of a perceived sense of safety. We have the largest, most powerful military in the world. Our surveillance systems and police technologies are state of the art. We have more law enforcement agencies than acronyms available.

Yet, for all the measures in place to make us feel safe, we live our lives in fear of the next thwarted terrorist attack. To live and believe that we are the most powerful country in the world and simultaneously feel so vulnerable is a mental gymnastics performance that would make Orwell blush.

With all of the shouting in the public square about the constitution and the paranoia some Americans fear over “big government,” how can our elected leaders even begin to fathom, let alone propose and support such draconian and downright dictatorial powers?… Read the rest

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Obama Signs One-Year Extension of Patriot Act

HOAXFrom the AP:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed a one-year extension of several provisions in the nation’s main counterterrorism law, the Patriot Act.

Provisions in the measure would have expired on Sunday without Obama’s signature Saturday.

The act, which was adopted in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, expands the government’s ability to monitor Americans in the name of national security.

Three sections of the Patriot Act that stay in force will:

Authorize court-approved roving wiretaps that permit surveillance on multiple phones.

Allow court-approved seizure of records and property in anti-terrorism operations.

Permit surveillance against a so-called lone wolf, a non-U.S. citizen engaged in terrorism who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group…

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