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Abe Lincoln was a self-made person: Why not YOU for public office?

By       Message Kathryn Smith       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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It would seem that Congress is deliberately trying to convert the USA to a dictatorship. If we want to take OUR America back, we need to unseat about 70% of Congress. Sound harsh? That may be, and I regret it. But it’s true.

Let’s look at the facts of the post-911 legislation which Congress passed into law, and who voted for each bill:

Patriot Act

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Large numbers of legal entities chime in their retributions to the Patriot Act, all across the political spectrum, from ultra-conservative to liberal and inbetween. The Gun Owners of America, ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, People for the American Way, Common Cause, and a cluster of conservative entities joining the ACLU‘s campaign against the Patriot Act: They ALL agree that the Patriot Act definition of “terrorist” is “overbroad,” that the warrantless FBI arrest powers under the Patriot Act require no probable cause or connection to terrorist activity, or even to criminal activity. The ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights and Electronic Frontier Foundation echo each other that the word “terrorist” in the Patriot Act is drafted to include religious and peace groups in its definition. Tragically, the ACLU’s and EFF’s websites are busting out the seams with examples of ordinary citizens being targeted as “terrorists” by the FBI, activists and commercial airline pilots on no-fly lists, Greenpeace and Food Not Bombs being dubbed “terrorist” organizations, etc. For an example of ordinary citizens such as bird watchers repeatedly queried by the FBI, look no further than here:

The Patriot Act also grants the FBI the unilateral powers to subpoena private medical, internet, phone and other personal records without judicial review. These subpoenas, called National Security Letters, carry a gag order to the recipient of the request for personal records: The punishment for telling a single soul that YOUR records were subpoena’d by the Feds is five years in jail. With these NSL’s wrapped up in utmost secrecy, it is no wonder that Americans believe we still have free speech. See the true story here of an NSL recipient:

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Former FBI agent Mike German, now counsel to the ACLU, e-mailed ACLU membership that between 2003-2005 alone, 143,000 NSL’s were issued----that’s 993 per week---of which 53% were for Americans, born and naturalized alike. He added that since 9-11-01, only one terrorist has been caught as a result of using NSL’s.

That statistic should be a lesson to any American who believes “But we’ve got to trust someone”. Where power exists, power will be abused. Period. Based on living experience of that fact, our founding fathers legislated a system of checks and balances for purposes of preventing such abuse of power.

The Patriot Act also grants the Executive Branch the power to wiretap without court warrant: No wonder Senator Russ Feingold’s call for censuring the President did not go through!

Who voted for the unconstitutional Patriot Act? The Congress at large. Only one lone Senator, Russ Feingold, “Just Said No” to the Patriot Act, and approximately 1/3 the House said “no,” among whom was presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich. The rest all said “aye”. The second vote resulted in maybe ten more Senators joining the “no” ranks and a few more members of the House. It is claimed by Congress that the Patriot Act was necessary in order to increase FBI, police and CIA communications, but the facts above bear no relevance to such increased communication. And the vulnerability to ordinary citizens renders such an “explanation” inexcusable. Retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson calls the Patriot Act “a giant step toward a police state” in an open letter to Bush and Ashcroft concerning 6 months of repeated pre-911 intelligence warnings, which belie this “need“ for “increased“ communication: (click on back-up file, the original has been removed from the web).

The ACLU states on its website that Congress voted for the Patriot Act (the first time around) weeks after the events of September 11, during a time when they were frightened. President Bush strong-armed them into voting for it, saying that he would publicly characterize any nay-sayers as “soft on terrorism”, at the moment that Anthrax was circulating around Congress (which even was stated on the ACLU’s website). Being thus bamboozled is no excuse, considering that Congress voted for the Act not once, but twice.

What’s the solution? Ask your County Supervisors and City Councils to pass resolutions against the Patriot Act, and to publicly detail their exact plans to implement that resolution. (IE will police accompany FBI agents in warrantless arrests, etc?) Tip your police department off to Patriot Act-related statistics, to prove that the "terrorists" they may be arresting could likely not be terrorists at all. Information:

Military Commissions Act (Torture Bill)

- Advertisement - This Act renders the President immune from prosecution as a war criminal while he unilaterally “interprets” the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, the latter of which provide a guide to what constitutes torture, under international law. Thus, the President of his own volition dictates what comprises torture, and is given a get-out-of-jail-free card in the process. The Act defines torture as what basically amounts to a form of violent crime invoking pain levels equivalent to “Severe organ failure and death”. It removes the right of Habeas Corpus from detainees, or the right to challenge the legal grounds for one’s detention. Detainees at Guantanamo are barred access to their attorneys and families.

The Red Cross estimates that 70% or more of Guantanamo detainees are innocent. The ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights echo each other with unremitting consistency that many of the detainees are held (and a few of them released) “without so much as being charged with a single crime”.

Based on those statistics and the lack of due process, it is very important for Americans to keep in mind that a mere newspaper photograph is not adequate proof of innocence or guilt.

The former Republican Congress voted this into law, with Democrats almost solidly voting against it except for a few who broke the party lines and voted for it. However, Congress was briefed in to torture details as of 2002 and was fully aware of its existence, even while covering it up by putting impeachment “off the table”.

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This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)

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