Insight on the News -- National Issue
Police State
  by Kelly Patricia O'Meara


Pay no attention to what is going on behind the curtain, folks. While
everyone's attention was focused on the Attack on America, the
politicians were getting down to some serious skullduggery. The
so-called USA PATRIOT Act (the very name reeks of mendacity) gives the
FBI and other secret police what they have always wanted, but hardly
dreamed they would ever live to see:

> What is so bad about the new law? "Generally," says (Congressman Ron) 
> Paul, "the worst part of this so-called antiterrorism bill is the 
> increased ability of the federal government to commit surveillance on 
> all of us without proper search warrants." He is referring to Section 
> 213 (Authority for Delaying Notice of the Execution of a Warrant), 
> also known as the "sneak-and-peek" provision, which effectively allows 
> police to avoid giving prior warning when searches of personal property 
> are conducted. Before the USA PATRIOT Act, the government had to obtain 
> a warrant and give notice to the person whose property was to be 
> searched. With one vote by Congress and the sweep of the president's 
> pen, say critics, the right of every American fully to be protected 
> under the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures 
> was abrogated.

Not only that, but you can't even tell anyone about it if they come
after you:

> Even before the ink on the president's signature had dried, the FBI began 
> to take advantage of the new search-and-seizure provisions. A handful of
> companies have reported visits from federal agents demanding private 
> business records. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-Idaho), another of the three GOP
> lawmakers who found the legislation unconstitutional, says he knew this
> provision would be a problem. "Section 215 authorizes the FBI to acquire 
> any business records whatsoever by order of a secret U.S. court. The
> recipient of such a search order is forbidden from telling any person that 
> he has received such a request.

This gives a whole new meeting to the polite expression, "I can't

Secret orders handed down by secret courts: In civics class 35 years ago
I was told that not having such horrors was what made America great. The
FBI doesn't even have to show evidence of a crime to grab your business

According to Ron Paul, it wasn't even possible to get a copy of the bill
before it was voted on. If ever we needed proof that the political system 
in this country is as rotten as a six-day-old fish, there it is.

The frosting on the cake was announced Tuesday, November 13: Emperor
Bush II signed an order allowing for trials of people accused of
terrorism by a military commission. White House Council Albert Gonzales
said that this would make it easier to protect the sources and methods
of investigators. In other words, it would allow prosecuters to keep the
evidence secret, as well as the illegal means used to obtain it,
presumably by keeping the trial secret, as well: Gonzales said a 
military trial could be held overseas.

Secret orders, secret searches, secret courts, secret trials. This is a 
prime example of why -- according to that great opponent of Woodrow 
Wilson's war, Randolph Bourne* -- war is the health of the State. The 
probable cause requirement, the cornerstone of the Fourth Amendment's 
guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure, has been crumbling 
away for years under multiple assaults by the keepers of Order in the 
United State. Now the politicians, especially the so-called 
conservatives, have secretly conspired to throw it out the window, and
its only a matter of time before search warrants are a thing of the 
past. Any intelligent person who believes these measures will be
confined to the "war on terrorism" needs to get back on whatever
medication he's been secretly flushing down the toilet.

Keep your heads down, friends; soon theyll be requiring loyalty oaths.

*Learn more about Randolph Bourne, a real patriot, at:

• Return to David T. Wright’s archive.

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