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View Diary: ACLU files FOIA to discover what's behind DOJ's 'secret' surveillance law (70 comments)

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  •  When did America become a police state? (6+ / 0-)

    And why must we allow this bullshit in our country? The (UN)PATRIOT(ic) Act really should have been repealed! And until that happens, we the people deserve to know why the federal government claims it "necessary" to spy on our library and credit card records.

    •  2001 (6+ / 0-)

      a spaced oddity.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 01:00:27 PM PDT

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      •  sept 11, 2001 to be exact (4+ / 0-)

        That's when fascist mentality gripped this nation.  In regards to civil liberties nothing much has changed for the better.

        What bugs is not that they are using these powers to stop terrorists.  That's fine.  But there is no real oversight if those we are doing the oversight are silenced by a gag order.  That's for show oversight.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

        by noofsh on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 01:06:32 PM PDT

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    •  On or about July 26, 1947 . . . (10+ / 0-)

      when Harry S Truman mistakenly signed the National Security Act of 1947 -  an act co-written by Nazi Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, at the behest of the far right wing of the OSS (the Dulles branch, who represented both Standard Oil of New Jersey and the Walker/Bush family, when their assets were seized by FDR for doing business with the Nazis).  It's pretty much all been downhill since then.

      I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by bobdevo on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 01:01:48 PM PDT

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      •  Yeah, good point about that. I was going to say (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, bobdevo, Thomas Twinnings, neroden

        when Bill Clinton signed the 1996 Anti-Terrorism Act. But you are correct that it goes way back.  Now, however, it's getting to the point of virtual totalitarianism.

        1996 Anti-Terrorism Act provisions:
        Presumed guilty, secret evidence can be used
            Permanent resident aliens arrested under this law have to prove they should not be held in jail before trial. Secret evidence can used in the detention hearings and at trial that only the judge could see, not the defendant.

        First Amendment protections weakened.
            The law lifts a 1994 Crime law restriction prohibiting the FBI from investigations based on speech or beliefs, when restricting humanitarian aid. Foreigners can be barred from speaking in the U.S. using McCarthy era McCarran-Walter Act provisions. An overbroad definition of terrorism virtually requires the Justice Department to select crimes to prosecute based on political beliefs and associations.

        Presidential powers expanded.
            The President can label organizations -- without any appeal or review -- as "terrorist", and criminalize fundraising for humanitarian aid even remotely related to such groups.

        Punishment for lawful actions.
            Permanent resident aliens can be deported or indefinitely jailed for their affiliations or political activity, with no judicial review.

        Constitutional protections eroded.
            The law further restricts the Bill of Rights' habeas corpus protections for state prisoners. Although this is a terrorism law, and death-row inmates were used to justify this provision, this affects all state prisoners, and no one convicted of federal terrorism laws. Prisoners are required to prove the state acted "unreasonably," a tough legal standard that isn't met simply by having credible evidence of innocence or wrongful imprisonment. Prisoners will be limited to one federal appeal within a short time of exhausting state appeals. Federal courts are required to render decisions within six months, and can't overrule state courts' interpretations of constitutional law.

        More spending (meaning higher taxes and debt), and more police abuses.
            The law authorizes $1 billion in new federal spending over five years. The amount includes an additional $100 million for one of the most terroristic organizations in the United States, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

        Further restrictions on financial privacy.
            The law requires banks to identify any domestic "agents" (undefined) of groups labeled as terrorist, and freeze their funds with no right of appeal.

        The original bill contained a provision, supported by the Clinton administration, lifting the historical "Posse Comitatus" restriction on the U.S. military working with domestic police. The provision did not make it into the final version. (That would come years later.)

        Of course, many more and severe erosions were included in the USA PATRIOT Act, and now signed off on by a Democratic (cough) administration...  Very sad day.

        Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; ...the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. JK Galbraith

        by Vtdblue on Thu Jun 02, 2011 at 01:07:48 PM PDT

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    •  It's cyclical (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thomas Twinnings

      There was a big round of it under Nixon, and then many people kicked and screamed and Carter (and the still-Warren-dominated SCOTUS) rolled some of it back. Previous rounds: the McCarthy era, the 1917-1920 era, the Alien & Sedition Acts. Basically whenever there's a war, there's a domestic police state along with it, ostensibly to control the "fifth column" elements. Or you can say that whenever the pro-police state folks get the upper hand, they start a war in order to. . .  

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