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Crossposted at Daily Kos
Only three of the 763 “sneak-and-peek” requests in fiscal year 2008 involved terrorism cases, according to a July 2009 report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Sixty-five percent were drug cases.
Bold text added by the diarist
You must be frigging kidding me.
A partial transcript, commentary and more below the fold.
Sen. Feingold: “I’m going to say it’s quite extraordinary to grant government agents the statutory authority to secretly break into Americans homes,”
Actually, my title isn’t quite correct. The 763 warrantless wiretaps were a special sort called “Sneak and Peek”, so, really, without more proof it could actually be 3 out of 1,000,000,000. Who knows. You can read the Administrative Office of the US Courts file here.
So, in keeping with the 1% Doctrine, which is also known as “What?” by Sarah Palin, the smallest risk of bad things happening is a fine excuse to throw our civil liberties down the drain.
I guess they hate us know for when we used yo have freedom.
Hell, the simple fact that the Freshman Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) felt it was necessary to read the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution to a DoJ officer whose job is to protect that Constitution and enforce it’s laws speaks VOLUMES about what a blackhole for common sense the Justice Department has become.
Well, the same guy Franken read the 4th Amendment to is Assistant Attorney General David Kris, and when Senator Feingold got the cahnce to take a whack at him he didn’t hold back.
And what stuns me is that, what with all the screaming teabagging wingnuts hollering “I WANT MY RIGHTS BACK!!!!”, none of them, NONE of them seem to notice or care that they lost those rights when good Conservative Wingnuts were in charge of the Government. How could they even know what those rights ARE? I’d bet most, if not all of those nitwits couldn’t pass the citizenship test anyway.
Thank the Gods for Senator Russ Feingold (Big D-WI) for being such a stalwart on civil rights matters.
Because the best business in America behind starting wars and killing people for insurance money is putting people in jails.
Who said Marijuana Reform couldn’t help the economy?
And Marijuana reform is just the tip of the iceberg of Rx.
Let’s be honest, if Bush/Cheney was selling drugs instead of torturing people, lying about WMD’s, giving big no bid contracts to Haliburton and more, they’d be in jail.
Instead, all I got was this stupid FBI guy tapping into my phone line.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) quizzed Assistant Attorney General David Kris about the discrepancy at a hearing on the PATRIOT Act Wednesday. One might expect Kris to argue that there is a connection between drug trafficking and terrorism or that the administration is otherwise justified to use the authority by virtue of some other connection to terrorism.
He didn’t even try. “This authority here on the sneak-and-peek side, on the criminal side, is not meant for intelligence. It’s for criminal cases. So I guess it’s not surprising to me that it applies in drug cases,” Kris said.
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Not for Intelligence purposes you say?
Well, if we’re parsing the difference between so called “Sneak and Peek” warrantless wiretapping and the thousands and thousands of undocumented instances of warrantless wiretapping, than we go from a 3/873 ration of terrorist realted wiretappings to non terrorist related wiretapping, which works out to about less than 1%, to a really, really low percentage which, I think it is safe to say, is not Pi.
But we still have to deal with the fact that 65% of those instances of warrantless wiretapping allowed by the US PATRIOT Act that dealt with Drug related cases, and not terrorism, as specified under the Act itself.
I thought that was the whole point? Wasn’t it?
Well, than what is this all about?
US PATRIOT Act
Sec. 204. Clarification of intelligence exceptions from limitations on interception and disclosure of wire, oral, and electronic communications.
A little further proof of the role international terrorism, and not domestic law enforcement played in the reasoning to pass the US PATRIOT Act.
To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.(a) SHORT TITLE.-This Act may be cited as the ”Uniting and
Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required
to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act
You know, I’ve never really read the PATRIOT Act before, but last night I tried. Now, granted, it’s 402 pages long in the link I’ve put up for it, so I didn’t get through the whole thing, and since it’s been renewed and presumably tweaked from the original Ex-President and war criminal George W. Bush signed I probably won’t ever become an expert on it, but a few things did catch my eye.
For one thing, the TITLE.
”Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act
TERRORISM being the key phrase. Terrorism being used in the documents title.
Number of times Terror or Terrorism used in the titles of the 156 Sections of the US PATRIOT Act – 36
Number of times the word Drugs used in the titles of the 156 Sections of the US PATRIOT Act – ZERO
Now, I have this strange feeling for some reason that the US PATRIOT Act was sold to me as something we’d ONLY be using on TERRORISTS or suspected Terrorists.
I wonder how I got that idea?
Nevertheless, we all have the fine and principled Senator from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold to thank for standing up for our civil liberties.
Sen. Feingold: “As I recall it was in something called the USA PATRIOT Act, which was passed in a rush after an attack on 9/11 that had to do with terrorism it didn’t have to do with regular, run-of-the-mill criminal cases. Let me tell you why I’m concerned about these numbers, That’s not how this was sold to the American people. It was sold as stated on DoJ’s website in 2005 as being necessary, quote, ‘to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists.’”
And, just in case anybody needed any reminding.
The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution
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.
Signed by: 1.Washington, George, VA
2.Franklin, Benjamin, PA
3.Madison, James, VA
4.Hamilton, Alexander, NY
5.Morris, Gouverneur, PA
6.Morris, Robert, PA
7.Wilson, James, PA
8.Pinckney, Chas. Cotesworth, SC
9.Pinckney, Chas, SC
10.Rutledge, John, SC
11.Butler, Pierce, SC
12.Sherman, Roger, CT
13.Johnson, William Samuel, CT
14.McHenry, James, MD
15.Read, George, DE
16.Bassett, Richard, DE
17.Spaight, Richard Dobbs, NC
18.Blount, William, NC
19.Williamson, Hugh, NC
20.Jenifer, Daniel of St. Thomas, MD
21.King, Rufus, MA
22.Gorham, Nathaniel, MA
23.Dayton, Jonathan, NJ
24.Carroll, Daniel, MD
25.Few, William, GA
26.Baldwin, Abraham, GA
27.Langdon, John, NH
28.Gilman, Nicholas, NH
29.Livingston, William, NJ
30.Paterson, William, NJ
31.Mifflin, Thomas, PA
32.Clymer, George, PA
33.FitzSimons, Thomas, PA
34.Ingersoll, Jared, PA
35.Bedford, Gunning, Jr., DE
36.Brearley, David, NJ
37.Dickinson, John, DE
38.Blair, John, VA
39.Broom, Jacob, DE
40.Jackson, William, Secretary
Founding fathers. Put that into your crack pipe and smoke it, Glenn Beck and the rest of the troglodite wingnuts!
Also crossposted at The Progressive Electorate.com