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Posted: 11/12/2001 9:51:02 PM EDT
[url]www.sfgate.com/columnists/sorensen/[/url] As You Wave The Flag, Wave Goodbye To Our Freedoms Harley Sorensen, Special to SF Gate If you throw a frog into a pot of hot water, they say, he will jump out immediately. If you put that same frog into a pot of cold water and then turn on the heat, he'll stay there until he boils to death. I have no idea whether that story is true, but it does make a point. While we have little difficulty recognizing immediate threats, more subtle dangers often escape our attention. A few weeks ago, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the grossly misnamed "USA Patriot Act of 2001." Some congressmen -- but not all -- read the act before they voted on it, according to published reports. The "Patriot Act" is a direct result of the national panic and suspension of good judgment that has followed the events of Sept. 11. It is one of those subtle dangers that often escape our attention. What is in it? Here are a few of the things Rep. Patsy T. Mink of Hawaii said about it in the House last month: "[It] allows law enforcement agencies to wiretap and monitor Internet use whenever intelligence gathering constitutes a 'significant purpose' of the surveillance ... "[It] does not include adequate safeguards to prevent the government from monitoring the communications of innocent people. Citizens may be monitored simply by using a pay phone frequented by terrorists. People may have the shadow of suspicion cast over them by calling a suspected terrorist. Guilt by association will take us back to the dark days of the baseless inflammatory accusations made by the House Un-American Activities Committee. "[It] gives the Immigration and Naturalization Service unchecked ability to detain aliens for up to seven days without charges. If the Attorney General continues to detain an individual after seven days, the bill limits the suspect's ability to appeal the detention ... "[It] allows grand jury and other sensitive information to be shared by other agencies ... "Under [the Patriot Act], the government will define 'federal terrorism offense' as the intent to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct. This unclear definition may include groups such as Greenpeace along with the terrorists." Mink's warnings fell on deaf ears. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 is now the law of the land.
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 9:51:50 PM EDT
(continued) It didn't take the federal Bureau of Prisons long to get into the spirit of the Patriot Act. On Oct. 31 it published a new rule that allows it to eavesdrop on conversations between federal prisoners and their attorneys. All that is necessary for the feds to listen in on an attorney-client conversation is a "reasonable suspicion" that the conversation has a connection to "terrorist activity." Osama bin Laden, the alleged culprit behind the events of Sept. 11, must be chuckling in his beard. Three bombs and the feckless Americans are willing to chuck 225 years of freedom. How long before we decide the way to protect ourselves is to put hidden microphones in the confessional booth? Since Sept. 11, in our search for as-yet-undiscovered terrorists, we have arrested more than 1,000 suspects. There is no reason to fault the police for their efforts; they seem to be doing a great job -- even though one wonders how they can find more than 1,000 suspicious people now after finding so few before Sept. 11. From the scant information available about these 1,000-plus suspects, it appears they are being held on a variety of pretexts while effectively being denied bail or assistance of counsel. The authorities are having trouble getting their suspects to talk, so now they're considering using truth serums, including sodium Pentothal, according to the Los Angeles Times. And even Alan Dershowitz, as cranky a civil libertarian as you'll ever meet, has written (in the Los Angeles Times last Thursday) an essay outlining the procedures that might be taken to use torture to get unwilling suspects to talk. Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, uses the examples of a ticking bomb or a kidnap victim running out of oxygen to justify torture to get reluctant suspects to talk. Are these common occurrences? When is the last time you heard of a bomb about to explode and the suspect in police custody refusing to say where it is? When is the last time you heard of a child imprisoned in a box with two hours of oxygen remaining ... and a suspect unwilling to talk? Dershowitz does allow that, legal or not, the cops would torture to get the needed information in either case. Of course they would! But Dershowitz wants torture legalized. "If we are to have torture," he writes, "it should be authorized by law." "Judges should have to issue a 'torture warrant' in each case," he adds. And CNN reported Nov. 2 that the Justice Department is already intercepting mail and monitoring telephone conversations between suspected terrorists and their lawyers. We've traveled a long way in the past two months. In what direction? If you throw a frog into a pot of hot water, they say, he will jump out immediately. If you put that same frog into a pot of cold water and then turn on the heat, he'll stay there until he boils to death.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 5:01:33 AM EDT
Ah, this is the Imbroglio we all remember, constantly posting America-bashing bullshit with little connection to reality.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 5:29:22 AM EDT
Ah, The price of freedom is constant vigilance. Imbroglio, IMHO, is just trying to ask you to think, reflect on has happened after 9/11 and not go "lockstep" with the crowd of sheeples. I heard one time, be careful of stupid people in large numbers. IMHO, if we do not question, dissect, what is being done, then we are not much better off that the people we are fighting.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 5:34:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Royal_Lancer: Imbroglio, IMHO, is just trying to ask you to think
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I guess SOMEONE has to be able to think...he doesn't seem capable of it. (Here's a hint...posting articles isn't the same as "thinking.")
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 5:43:21 AM EDT
Com'on some people find an article that says something and now it has to be original. Tell that to the people who spout verses from the Bible, why not tell them to be original... [:D]
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 5:46:51 AM EDT
Well, I think he's onto something. On the other hand some of the measures make sense. The "wiretap" stuff for instance, was set up back in the '30's and has not kept pace with cell phones. Getting wiretaps that a suspect just couldn't walk otu of the "wiretap" area was a nightmare. Some places made it so the wiretap had to be specific to which phone, (so if a house has 3 phone lines it required 3 seperate orders) and some wiretap orders for cellphones also had to specify which cell-phone tower they wanted to use to listen to the suspects cell phone. I can see monitoring of atty-clinet conversations as being very troubling, or not. Remember these are convicted federal prisoners, not pre-trial detainees. How many times have you heard stories of crime figures continuging to run the "business" fron prison. The easiest way to get confidential communications is to say you need to call a lawyer and get to a "secure phone" then you call "business partner" instead, even if he is at the atty's office. On the other hand there must be confidentiality for preparing for legal proceedings. Detaining aliens? So we can check them out before letting them in the country? Or investigate their immigration status or claims they will be persecuted if returned to their hoem country. Not really seeing a problem. Remember the INS used to be able to hold people for extended periods w/o charges up until the mid 80's. If you let someone into the country and find out the shouldn't have been let in, it is like trying to find a particualr grain of sand on a beach. The policy needs to be reasonable and fair, not merely convinient.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 5:57:14 AM EDT
...of course it IS easy to make a reasonable connection between Greenpeace & terrorists. After all, the animal freaks have a long history of terror-like activity. Unfortunately, the use of Greenpeace as an example was very poorly thought out. There are much better examples such as groups to which many of us belong, like the NRA, etc. That is the greater concern.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 6:17:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 6:55:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/13/2001 7:15:25 AM EDT by Hoople]
The San Francisco Chronicle??!!! What happened Imbroglio, no good articles in the Berkeley papers today? [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 9:49:10 AM EDT
Nice to see the kappos are still around to fling ad hominems.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 9:54:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 10:03:54 AM EDT
pull the string, note the arms and legs flailing about? What a great toy we are!
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 10:55:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 11:08:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 11:22:50 AM EDT
Subsequent administration expansion ...Oh mY!!.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 11:37:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: Ah, this is the Imbroglio we all remember, constantly posting America-bashing bullshit with little connection to reality.
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[?][?] And how is this "america-bashing bs"? Talk about little connection to reality. raf- the implied counter-proposal is usually to either leave things as they are. When somebody is proposing changes, the opposition is usually arguing to keep things the same, at the very least.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 11:40:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/13/2001 11:33:49 AM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 11:49:40 AM EDT
Proposed solutions? How about a return to Constitutionally limited Republican government? Give each and every reppresentative or elected official the chance to familiarize themselves with the documents and writings of the founders of this once great nation. Once each and every one of them have become acquainted with the foundation upon which this country was founded, further give each the chance to operate withing those Consitutionally limited bounds, get out of politics, or lose their life? Clear enough a solution for you "politics is a tricky business" folks? This is VERY simple. Either operate under the principles upon which this country was founded or do not put yourself in the political arena. An active participation in undermining those principles costs you your life. I know there are far too many of you pussies out there who will claim this is too drastic a statement to make. It IS NOT. We are standing on the precipice of hell, and our decisions will affect the fate of all humankind after us. What will our decision be?
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 11:58:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/13/2001 11:52:48 AM EDT by libertyof76]
Originally Posted By raf: But a few months ago, many of the same people were saying that the situation was THEN intolerable. And STILL offering no effective alternatives. Imply nothing; state yer case.
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I said at the very least. Most wanted to go back to the Republic as originally intended. That is implied. The case is that this law is worse than we have. That is what is stated. They would rather be at what we have then what we will get. Just because they haven't offered any alternatives, doesn't mean that they don't have any. It is easy to determine what they want. Maybe they already covered it in another article. I really don't see the problem here. And for you, I'll state my case: repeal of this law and about 95% of the others. How is that? Is it that hard to figure out?
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 12:03:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 12:06:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 12:19:30 PM EDT
Interesting related read . [url]http://www.insightmag.com/main.cfm?include=detail&storyid=143236[/url]
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 12:26:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 12:34:38 PM EDT
Posted by raf-- All I've heard so far are criminal proposals to kill those who disagree with us ................... And herein lies the problem. Why is it hard for allegedly intelligent folks to realize that people who will actively undermine the Constitution and BOR aim to kill you if you believe in defending these ideals? This is one of the many reasons we are in the mess in which we find ourselves. Intelligent folks continue to succeed in convincing themselves that this is not a life and death matter when in fact it is. The Constitution and BOR are freedom and life for human beings on this planet. The abolishment of them is life/liberty's complete opposites--DEATH AND ENSLAVEMENT.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 12:37:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 12:55:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By libertyof76: I said at the very least. Most wanted to go back to the Republic as originally intended.
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Ever read any Hamilton? Given your beliefs, you might not LIKE the Republic as it was originally intended.
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 9:44:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: Sardonic I get. Sarcastic I get. I even get caustic. What I don't get is why there are so seldom any practical, concrete counter-proposals. It's relatively easy to criticize. Anyone can do that, although some, like Imbroglio, do it more entertainingly than most. I much prefer it when a person, in addition to pointing out a problem, goes the extra mile and proposes some positive alternatives, and then defends them in open debate.
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i agree and look forward to your proposals in the near future [:D] it would be interesting to see what great advice raf the sage has to give on any givin' issue. what sort of proposal would you have against govt torture, or are you for it? why? i disagree with torture because i consider it "cruel and unusual" punishment. sodium pentathol or truth serum is ok though. there are no harmfull side effects that i know of. lib the warped wiseman say
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 9:49:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: All I've heard so far are criminal proposals to kill those who disagree with us, or pie-in-the-sky ideas about getting the people who voted us into this current situation to do a 180-degree turn and reverse decades of legislation. People, I said PRACTICAL ideas, not fantasies!
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you are correct, there is nothing we can do. lets just give in. threats, writing to congressman, voting for the lesser of two evils, dreaming of freedom and sharing it with others. this crap does not work. we are so silly for ever trying it. (lets lay of the threats though guys[:)]) Go Hillary in 2004!! woohoo!
Link Posted: 11/13/2001 11:59:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 12:03:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 4:28:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: Ever read any Hamilton? Given your beliefs, you might not LIKE the Republic as it was originally intended.
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Yeah, I read Hamilton. He wasn't the best FF. I prefer Patrick Henry, and then Madison, Jefferson, Washington, etc.
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 1:53:58 PM EDT
Danger...FBI may consider YOU (and me) Terrorists http://thenewamerican.com/tna/1998/vo14no21/vo14no21_terrorists.htm I called the FBI today and left a message...told them the flyer had appeared on the Internet...and inquired if it was a hoax? Gwen PossumKiller
Link Posted: 11/14/2001 7:50:53 PM EDT
Another look at the FBI Flyer http://www.keepandbeararms.com/images/FBI-MCSOTerroristFlyer-back.jpg http://www.keepandbeararms.com/images/FBI-MCSOTerroristFlyer-front.jpg
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