Friday, September 21, 2007

Judge overturns portion of PATRIOT Act

Judge overturns portion of PATRIOT Act Published: 2007-09-07 - "A Manhattan federal court judge ruled on Thursday that an anti-terrorism tool, known as a National Security Letter, cannot require that recipients remain mum on the existence of such requests without posing significant constitutional problems.

In a 106-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero stated the despite recent changes to the USA PATRIOT Act to further restrict the use of National Security Letters (NSLs) with accompanying gag orders, the prior restraint on speech violates the First Amendment to the Constitution. The judge worried that the government had removed the burden from law-enforcement officers to justify to the courts the use of the gag provision of a National Security Letter and eliminated the checks-and-balances that judicial oversight would allow.

I had a scathing entry for this the day after it was published but the stupid blog software ate it. Oh well, them's the ways. I'll see if I can scathe again today.

The times we live in are scary. Not only do we have moronic insane idiots running around bombing things and crashing planes, we have to endure what can only be laughing called our political leaders. There's so many people "on the left" trying to "stop the war" while the same number of people "on the right" who are "making the world safe." Safe for whom? Is Al Qaeda a danger to the whole world? Yes. Is what we're doing in Iraq right or wrong? Who knows. Our "political leaders, along with the various groups backing them, are doing enough damage to our own country it would be a miracle if Iraq ever became a self sustaining nation.

Notice I'm not picking sides in this debate. That is because I really dislike the two political parties running our government. The Republicans are wrong in so many ways but the Democrats are stupid fools who haven't a clue what's happening in the real world.

So what does all this have to do with the PATRIOT Act? More than you can imagine. When this act was put into service I remember feeling very 1984'ish. Couple that with the establishment of the Division of Homeland Security... That only makes me think of the Ministry of Home Defense. Anyone remember the old Soviet Union? How about North Korea? Maybe take a small trip down history lane and check out the titles that the Nazi regime used. It might be enlightening.

Benjamin Franklin said it best... "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

The three branches of US government are all so screwed up it's a wonder any of us are still alive.

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