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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/2/15

Here come the terrorists!: Help! The USA PATRIOT ACT has expired!

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By Dave Lindorff


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Omigod! We're all gonna die!

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Three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act were allowed to expire (at least briefly) on June 1 thanks to a Senate disagreement over how to "fix" them (and thanks to Sen. Rand Paul's outspoken opposition to renewal), and now we're vulnerable to terrorism!

That at least is what President Obama and other fear-mongering advocates of ever-increased surveillance and draconian laws in Washington are saying.

As the president (who in one of his first televised debate with Mitt Romney, famously declared that his "number one" responsibility as President of the United States was "keeping Americans safe," rather than upholding and defending the Constitution), said of the USA PATRIOT Act expiration: "Heaven forbid we've got a problem where we could've prevented a terrorist attack or could've apprehended someone who was engaged in dangerous activity but we didn't do so."

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Is your pulse racing? Are you stocking up on gas masks, canned food, bottled water and guns?

You're not?

Maybe that's because you realize now that this terrorism schtick is all a crock.

Not one alleged terrorism plot has been detected, disrupted, or foiled in the US since 2001 as a result of the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act -- that fascistic law passed by Congress in a deliberately induced panic back on October 26, 2001. In fact, all the known so-called terror plots that have been busted by federal authorities turn out to have been instigated by those same federal authorities, though the creative use of paid informants and under-cover officers posing as terrorists -- informants who often themselves came up with the plots and provided the equipment, too, usually to unsophisticated and mentally challenged suckers.

The USA PATRIOT Act, actually called, in a particularly ridiculous example of the Republican penchant for creating acronyms for their bills, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, was simply a collection of many civil-liberties violating measures long sought by authoritarian Washington officials, but never before successfully passed through Congress. This huge wish list of police-state laws were quickly dusted off by the Bush/Cheney White House and piled into one bill, and then rammed through Congress in a night session with no discussion in the wake of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Let's be clear: the whole wretched act isn't expiring...

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For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new, independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2775

(Article changed on June 2, 2015 at 13:25)

 

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 
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