How Will (Tea Party) Patriots Act?
by John Tyner
by John Tyner: What
Will I Say?
story that isn't getting a lot of attention. Sections of the PATRIOT
Act are up for renewal this month. A renewal was introduced
in the Senate at the end of January by Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
to extend this unconstitutional legislation. Last week, James Sensenbrenner
a renewal to much the same effect, proving once again that statism
is endemic to both parties.
summary of the provisions at issue from the ACLU:
215: of the Patriot Act authorizes the government to obtain "any
tangible thing" relevant to a terrorism investigation, even
if there is no showing that the "thing" pertains to
suspected terrorists or terrorist activities.
206: of the Patriot Act, also known as "roving John Doe wiretap"
provision, permits the government to obtain intelligence surveillance
orders that identify neither the person nor the facility to be
6001: of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act
of 2004, or the so-called "Lone Wolf" provision, permits
secret intelligence surveillance of non-US persons who are not
affiliated with a foreign organization.
Where is the
outrage at this sweeping government power? Where are the news stories
warning us that the 4th amendment, among others, no longer has any
are the Tea Party activists who screamed so loudly for a smaller
federal government, the abolition of Big Brother, and the restoration
of our rights, not to mention our dignities? There are some who
are fighting the good fight, even if in words only:
Boatright, a tea-party organizer in Ontario, Calif., says the
act is "unconstitutional," adding, "We can have
national security in other ways, without making all the American
people relinquish their liberty."
of Ms. Boatright's "other ways," but acknowledgment of
the PATRIOT Act as unconstitutional is a plus in my book. The Tea
Party doesn't appear to be immune to statism and the lure of big
a Houston lawyer and tea-party organizer, says he believes the
act has helped curb terrorism and "the movement should remain
Nothing to see here; things are fine just the way they are. How
did this guy get involved with a group of people that supposedly
adores the constitution and limited government? Oh, that's right.
They all simply want power and control, and trotting out the idea
of the big, bad terrorists will keep the people in fear and, more
importantly, maintain their acquiescence. The Republicans have certainly
wasted no time in peddling that fear:
intelligence and law enforcement communities that are responsible
for preventing terrorist attacks need to know that the tools they
rely on to keep the American people safe will not be weakened
or allowed to expire," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman
Lamar Smith (R., Texas).
And with that,
we should all be prepared for the Tea Party to betray its constituents
and all citizens after going the way of every other politician:
seduced by power, greed, and the desire for re-election to perpetuate
bill would extend the law without change through Dec. 8. Republican
aides say such a move is the most likely outcome to give lawmakers
more time to debate the issue.
though, the executive branch is prepared to carry on even without
General Eric Holder has said the Obama administration [...] plans
to put many of the safeguards in place even without passage of
with permission from Johnnyedge.
[send him mail] is a software
engineer in Southern California. He occasionally writes about economics,
politics, and constitutional issues from a layman/amateur perspective.
© 2011 Johnnyedge