'Enabling' the Patriot Act

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At
the end of the school year of June, 1938, my parents received a polite, but firm
letter from Dr. Gregor Ziemer, headmaster of "The American School of Berlin,"
stating that Jewish children were no longer permitted to attend. It was the only
school I'd ever known, from kindergarten up through fifth grade, and I loved it.
My older sisters liked it, too, because — amongst other things – there were
a lot of cute American boys in attendance and everybody spoke English. It wasn't
just American School, though: Jewish kids were no longer allowed into any schools
whatsoever.

This
rejection was based on an edict formulated by the German "Enabling Act"
of 1933, which gave the Nazi government incalculable powers over individuals,
groups, and targeted population components. As a matter of fact, the German "Enabling
Act" of 1933 is remarkably similar to our current Patriot Act, which — according
to an Associated Press release to the Portland Oregonian of June 4, 2005 –
is currently up for revisions not only giving it expanded powers well beyond those
it already has, but making it permanent, just like the German Enabling Act was
made permanent. (The more one compares the Nazi Germany "Enabling Act"
with the U.S.A. "Patriot Act," the more they appear to be Siamese twins.)

In
Germany, anyone anywhere would simply disappear. Jews were the primary target,
but other ethnicities such as Gypsies as well as randomly chosen persons perceived
to have a "Non-Aryan" cast to their features also got hauled off. Unfortunately,
the USA, currently, seems to be targeting persons of a particular ethnic background
just as happily as the Nazis did. The FBI is a more-than-willing propagator of
entrapment and other "stings" targeting Muslim citizens of our country.

First,
it was David Mayhew, the lawyer whose only sin was being a Caucasian Muslim-American
who belonged to a mosque. He was framed for allegedly having had his fingerprints
on one of the bombs that blew up the Madrid railroad and it was only because of
the Spanish government's insistence that this man was being wrongly detained,
that he was freed.

Now,
just recently, two more Muslim-American citizens have been entrapped. Dr. Paul
Craig Roberts, author of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions
and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S.
Treasury, has exposed a recent FBI attempt to do away with Dr. R.A. Sabir (an
Ivy League educated physician) and Tarik Shah (a well-known jazz musician). In
the past, judges routinely threw out entrapment cases, because — more often than
not – there had been no intent to commit a crime. But now, with the Patriot
Act giving police "more effective measures to clear criminals off our streets,"
this has changed.

Dr.
Sabir is charged with agreeing to provide medical care to wounded "holy warriors"
in Saudi Arabia. Tarik Shah is charged with agreeing to train jihadists in martial
arts.

According
to the Washington Times (June 1, 2005) the FBI began this sting in 2003
apparently needing "two
years of work and cajoling
" to manufacture its case.

It
should be noted, that these two latest victims could not possible have offered
their services to jihadists, because no jihadists were ever present. Neither Sabir
nor Shah had any contacts with any jihadists, and they committed no acts of service
to them. And, most important of all, the FBI is not even accusing these two persons
of actually performing the acts of service of which they are accused. Nevertheless,
each one faces $250,000 in fines as well as fifteen years in prison. This, my
friends, is a test case. If Sabir and Shah are put away, then the FBI, in conjunction
with power given them by the Patriot Act can go on to bigger and better things.

Enabling
Act Sections similar to Patriot Act edicts
:

  • Enabling
    Act, Section 114: Restrictions on personal liberty: Patriot Act: Incipient National
    ID card (Portland Oregonian, June 12, 2005) may soon be using actual DNA samples
    as part of its data base. (If the Nazis had only had access to this kind of technology,
    my family would never have made it across that first border.)

  • Enabling
    Act, Section 118: Removal of free expression, of opinion. Patriot Act: Just recently,
    at a Bush rally, a youth was roundly and soundly ejected for the crime of "wrong
    T-Shirt wearing."

  • Enabling
    Act, Sections 117, 115 and 153: Removal of the privacy of postal, telegraphic
    and telephonic communications. Patriot Act supports this implicitly: Not only
    via National ID card but also via broad and complete access to sensitive health,
    business, financial and educational records of everyone, anywhere, any time. As
    a matter of fact, incursions into library records will allow the FBI to determine
    who checked out what books, and take action against individuals who may be reading
    the "wrong" material.

  • Enabling
    Act, Section 115: House-Searches. No more warrants were needed for house searches.
    Just bust in and grab whatever evidence, and whoever seems to be acting suspiciously,
    and cart 'em off. Patriot Act: Secret searches, surveillance, seizure of property
    and arrests of individuals without "proper cause" are now a staple of
    the Patriot Act, and have already been successfully implemented.

But,
the major beast hiding in the political "bushes" right now, is more
dangerous and more devastating to any and all of us here in America than anything
coming before it, and that is the parallel between what the Nazis did to their
constitution coupled with what we are about to do to ours:

The
Nazis, in their infamous February 28 decree, successfully attacked the German
constitution. The government
then in place
, was informed that the state was in danger, and that emergency
procedures were necessary. Thus, all the constitution's sections mentioned above,
i.e. 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 were suspended indefinitely; Period.

At
this moment, in our own government, the supplemental budget bill, passed unanimously
(100-0) on May 11, 2005, which assigns 82 billion dollars more to the war in Iraq,
contains a provision establishing "The Sunset Commission": A committee
composed of legislators whose job it will be to revise all branches of the federal
government including the Constitution. Yes, this is really happening. Unless all
citizens realize this, and rise up in protest, our government, as we know it —
our wonderful constitution as we know it — will cease to exist as we know it!

And,
twenty senators right here in the USA not only refused
to co-sponsor the anti-lynching resolution
passed on June 14, 2005, but refused
a roll-call vote so they wouldn't have to put their names on this legislation.

Guantanamo
Bay is being kept open. Comments by Dick Cheney are: "This is where the bad
people are." Donald Rumsfeld, on July 15 (via Chicago Tribune News
Service) states "The real problem is not Guantanamo Bay. Traditional doctrines
covering criminals and military prisoners do not apply well enough." With
this statement, he casts aside the Geneva Conventions, which, after all, Alberto
Gonzales, our current Attorney General, has described as "quaint."

Is
anyone at all aware that there are children under the age of fifteen in custody
at Guantanamo Bay (as there were in Abu Ghraib) and that these children are as
routinely, coldly and casually abused as their adult fellow inmates?

Yesterday,
in Germany, farmers stood in their fields beside the rail-road tracks where they
smiled, waved, and drew their fingers across their throats in the traditional
"death" gesture when the cattle-cars went past.

Yesterday,
in Germany, no one tore down the loudspeakers booming propaganda speeches at every
bus stop in Berlin. No one tore down the propaganda posters which not only depicted
hideous cartoons of "devil Jews" but also showed scary images of people
who did not vote "correctly" at elections being hauled away because
voting "No" was a crime.

Today,
we accept quite nonchalantly that — according to verified and actual memos (which
no one has even denied exist) – that the invasion of Iraq was planned two
years in advance by Dubbya in concert with Tony Blair. No one has raised even
the slightest protest against persons being held indefinitely, without cause,
and without access to any kind of legal or other resources at Guantanamo Bay.
No one seems to care that the Patriot Act in all its Nazi-inspired glory is being
reviewed in order to make it a permanent fixture of government.

Tomorrow,
then, when we watch
folks being carted off
— adults and children both — to detention centers,
both in the USA and overseas, will we smile, and wave, and draw our fingers across
out throats in the traditional gesture of death?

My
biggest fear is the prevalent shrug, with its attitude of, "Well as long
as it isn't in my back yard, or involving my family, what the heck do I care."
That is the ultimate enabling; giving fascism everything it needs to become all-powerful.
And, when it's too late, then what? World War III? Who's gonna be around to fight
it? Please advise…

June
22, 2005

Doris
Colmes is an independent writer in Portland, Or. The
Iron Butterfly
is the title of her book and her web site is: www.doriscolmes.com.
Her email address is: dhcolmes@msn.com.

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