The USA Patriot Act was passed by Congress
only 45 days after September 11th. Under this legislation, the government
· Label you a "terrorist" if you
belong to an activist group.
· Search your home and not notify you.
· Collect information about what books you
read, what you study, your purchases, your medical history, and personal
· Take away your property without a hearing,
if the government declares that you or your group is planning an act
· Monitor your e-mails and watch what Internet
sites you visit.
· Put legal as well as illegal immigrants
in jail indefinitely without due process.
· Wiretap you under a warrant that doesn't
even have your name on it.
Much of the thrust of the Patriot Act
was formulated two years before September 11, 2002 in the Hart-Rudman
report, a broadly bipartisan report on the major issues of national interest
and national security. The Report: (1) declared that control of Mid-East
oil resources would become more necessary in the future, (2) anticipated
that severe resistance would challenge US control of the Mid-East both
at home and abroad, (3) called for many of the Homeland Security/Patriot
Act measures implemented since Sept 11 and (4) warned that domestic cynicism,
apathy, and lack of support would have to be overcome by whatever means
nec-essary, because maintaining the US world position will require sacrifice
and risk on the part of all citizens.
Originally, the government planned to introduce another act, the Domestic
Security Enhancement Act (Patriot Act II), which would greatly enlarge
its surveillance and seizure powers. After news of this was leaked to
Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity and publicized on the
Bill Moyers show, a storm of protest forced its withdrawal. However, bits
and pieces of Patriot Act II are being attached as riders to unrelated
bills and slipping through Congress with little public notice.
Read a short history of the Patriot Act.
More on the Hart-Rudman Report.
More on Patriot Act II.
Bill Moyer's PBS
NOW page on Patriot Act II
Chronicle Editorial against secretly expanding the Patriot Act
Center for Public
article on Ashcroft's campaign to renew and expand the Patriot Act