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Hundreds of Cities Outlaw the Patriot Act

by Vince Page


Cities, counties and entire states all across the country are passing laws establishing "constitutionally safe zones" in which local authorities pledge not to comply with unconstitutional orders emanating from the U.S.A. Patriot Act. If your city isn't on the list, you need to take action.

If you haven't heard by now, the nicely titled U.S.A. Patriot Act is actually a revision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which was implemented to monitor foreign government spies without warrants. This legislation was revised to deal with the realities of 9/11, re-titled the "U.S.A. Patriot Act" and signed into law. Only later did we discover that it authorized the same warrent-less searches on American citizens that were once reserved exclusively for non-citizens. Thus the change in the first word of the title from "Foreign" to "U.S.A." is apropos, but the word "Patriot" is misleading in a very cynical sense.

Now, the houses of American citizens can be — and have been — searched without the citizen ever receiving a warrant, usually while the owners are at work.

Now, the home phones, work phones and cell phones of American citizens can be — and have been — tapped without anyone ever receiving a warrant.

Now, the e-mail and regular mail of American citizens can be — and has been — intercepted without anyone ever receiving a warrant.

Now, hidden microphones and hidden cameras can be — and have been — used against American citizens without anyone ever receiving a warrant.

Now, American citizens can be — and have been — arrested without being advised of the crime they are alleged to have committed and without being given access to a lawyer.

Now, American citizens can be — and have been — incarcerated indefinitely without recourse to a speedy trial, without being allowed to face their accusers and without being allowed to plead their case in front of a jury of their peers.

Those in favor of the U.S.A. Patriot Act will be quick to point out that warrants are issued for all of these things, but they will fail to tell you that they are secret warrants, and that all documents pertaining thereto — including the warrant — are sealed and unavailable, especially to the person being surveilled, citizen or not.

This is diametrically opposed to the language of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, which states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

So not only was the Constitution tossed out the window when the U.S.A. Patriot Act was passed, mistakes can now be — and have been — made without our knowledge.

You may have inherited a cell phone number that was previously being tapped. This has actually happened. Guess what? Chances are, it's still being tapped, but you'll never know.

Incorrect addresses on secret warrants can result in a nasty — and dangerous — surprise at 3:00 am. This has happened too. Guess what? There isn't a thing you can do about it. No one is ever going to show you the warrant so you can discover the mistake.

Since the public is not made aware of these secret warrants, and since they are not viewable in any case, government agents can at any time perform surveillance activities when they don't even have a secret warrant authorizing them to do so. Who's going to know? Many surveillance activities have occurred in just such circumstances. Agents have been caught checking into the reading habits of citizens and performing unnecessary checks on American citizens who are buying a house.

Cities, counties and entire states are now fighting back. With the help of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, communities are obtaining the necessary tools to just say "No" to the Orwellian aspects of the Patriot Act. This local legislation puts the federal government on notice that if they try to enforce the unconstitutional aspects of the Patriot Act, they can expect an immediate court challenge. And since the provisions of the Patriot Act which apply to citizens are clearly unconstitutional, the probability is high that the federal government would lose its case. Some provisions of the U.S.A. Patriot Act have already been ruled unconstitutional.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee started their efforts in 2001. Three years later, 329 cities and counties together with the entire States of Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont have passed legislation in opposition to the unconstitutional aspects of the U.S.A. Patriot Act. If your city isn't on the list, you need to take action. The Patriot Act must never apply to U.S. citizens.

In February of this Year, Congressional Quarterly reported that the FBI can't keep up with all of the information pouring in due to the additional surveillance on American citizens authorized by the Patriot Act. Clearly, The U.S.A. Patriot Act is being overused and abused. It is time to make it clear that — like Roman citizens in the time of Paul — the citizens of the United States enjoy certain rights, which in this case are guaranteed by a Constitution that defines the rules by which the federal government must live. The States created the federal government along with these rules, and the employee cannot now pass legislation which changes the employers' rules. That's how you get fired.


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Vince Page is the Communications Director for the Texas State Constitution Party and is a District Deputy for the Texas State Knights of Columbus. He can be e-mailed at vincepage@ifriendly.com

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When honest people who hold strong opinions come together, it is natural that they state their opinions, and that those opinions occasionally clash. The articles that you see on this website represent the opinion of the writers, and are not the official opinion of this party. To see the official party position on any question, the reader is referred to the Party Platform.


Permission to reprint/republish granted, as long as you include the name of our site, the author,and our URL. www.cptexas.org. All CP Texas reports, and all editorials are property of The Constitution Party of Texas 2002 (unless otherwise noted).



Previous Articles by Vince Page

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