DownsizeDC.org
October 26, 2011
4 Reasons to Repeal the Patriot Act
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "In seeking the needle of terrorism, we have built the biggest haystack in history." - Zachary Katznelson

Ten years ago this month, Congress passed the so-called Patriot Act without taking the time to read or debate it. It was signed into law on October 26, 2001. This tenth anniversary is the perfect time to call for its repeal.

That's why I wrote the following letter. We encourage you to write a letter of your own, or copy or borrow from this...

The Patriot Act should never have been passed. Ten years later, it should be repealed for at least four reasons...

First, the Patriot Act attacks the First Amendment...

* Americans can be investigated for what they read and write, and what websites they've visited
* The Feds can "gag" my bank, my librarian, and my Internet Service Provider, preventing them from telling me if I'm under investigation

Second, it undermines the Fourth Amendment... (http://tinyurl.com/yehnak2)

* The Feds do not even have to show "reasonable suspicion," let alone "probable cause," to gain access to my records
* Because I can be investigated without my knowledge, I have no means to challenge illegitimate searches

Third, there is little reason to believe terror acts have been prevented by the Patriot Act...

* If the law was used to foil terrorist plots, the Administration would boast about such instances
* Instead, foiled terrorist plots are frequently sting operations using undercover operatives and informants

Fourth, there is reason to doubt whether protecting the people from terrorism was ever the Patriot Act's real purpose...

* Expanded wiretap and search authority are used in ordinary domestic criminal investigations, not just in terror cases
* The Executive branch has a "secret" interpretation of the Patriot Act that is inconsistent with a plain reading of it (http://tinyurl.com/3nn47kn)
* Meanwhile, the FBI continues to collect data collection through National Security Letters -- some 40-50 thousand are issued per year (http://tinyurl.com/3varjc9)

How is it permissible for the Executive to have "secret" interpretations of the law? What is the Executive doing with the information it secretly collects about us, without our knowledge? Shouldn't citizens of a Republic be ASHAMED of this behavior by their "government?"

The Patriot Act attacks our freedom, our values, and our way of life -- the very things its supporters claim it protects. It promotes secrecy and prevents accountability in our federal government. It has fostered a Big Brother culture throughout Washington DC that led to similarly egregious legislation like REAL ID and the FISA Amendments Act.

Put an end to this dangerous trend. Stand up and speak out on behalf of the Bill of Rights and against the Surveillance State. Introduce legislation to repeal the Patriot Act.

END LETTER

You can send your letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

If you want to increase the pressure on Congress, there's one other thing you can do. Help grow the Downsize DC Army. And the best way to do that is to start a monthly credit card pledge. You can do so for as little as a dollar. Our top monthly pledger gives $250. Any amount you can do will help.

In fact, this is a great time to pledge, thanks to Bill Haynes, of CMI Gold & Silver.

Bill has agreed to match $2,500 worth of new monthly pledges with $5,000 of his own, by December 31. Think of it this way: Start a new pledge of $1, Bill contributes $2, tripling your first month's investment. Remember, any amount will help us reach the goal.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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