[eDebate] Wow.....wow........wow: ans West

Terry West West
Fri Sep 12 18:24:29 CDT 2003

Aw, c'mon, Terrence, lighten up.  Maybe a little hyperbole, but not much.  Consider these excerpts from the April 14, 2002, Toronto Star and from Kristin Lewis's speech (which is copyrighted by the Interstate Oratory Association in their annual book Winning Orations in 2002):

The April 14, 2002, Toronto Star relates that "journalists, business people, even retirees have been targeted for speaking out.  Some have been fired from their jobs, received hate mail, or been made social outcasts for exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech."   The Star relates several examples:  Barry Reingold, a retired telephone company worker in San Francisco, recently had two FBI agents question and file a report on him about criticism of the war on terrorism he voiced while working out at his local health club. 
Journalists in Utah; Oregon; have all been fired for writing columns questioning the war.  Some senior White House and Capitol Hill reporters have been "frozen out" by lawmakers for expressing similar sentiments. 
 A.J. Brown, a freshman at Durham Tech in North Carolina, says two Secret Service agents knocked on her door to question her about "a report that you have un-American material in your apartment." They asked about a poster on her wall opposing the state of Texas' death penalty.  In fact, the Star points out that the fastest growing activity of this support is happening right where we are today*college campuses.

These are all reported as direct results of the Patriot Act.  They alone are scary enough for me.  Merely selected abuses of a good act, you say?  We should trust our government?  No way.  Hey, I did catch a little interview with Britney Spears on MTV the other day.  After wiping Madonna's saliva from her mouth, she said she though we should just all put our trust in our President.  Hey, if that's the intellectual level you want, count me out.

Impeach the "Idiot Son of an Asshole."  (it's a NOFX song).


>>> Terrance Shuman <tshuman at magiccablepc.com> 9/12/2003 3:37:06 PM >>>
De-cloaking again, briefly...

At 07:47 PM 9/11/2003 -0700, Terry West wrote:

>You guys better watch out. The Patriot Act gives the government the
>right to inspect your little internet posts and anything else they want
>to look at. All they have to do is decide you have "something to do
>with" terrorism.

You're a little late to the party, sir.  Ever heard of 
Echelon?  Carnivore?  We were discussing them as part of the high school 
debate topic three years ago.  If anything, the Patriot Act has actually 
INCREASED privacy protection with regard to internet 
communications:  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=317501 

As for the claim that the Patriot Act "gives the government the right to 
do" these supposedly heinous things, that simply isn't so.  As Ramesh 
Ponnuru pointed out a couple of days ago:  "Neither the Fourth Amendment, 
the criminal surveillance laws, nor the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance 
Act has ever exempted personal records from surveillance just because the 
person in question was not going to be charged with a crime. In the Fourth 
Amendment and criminal-surveillance contexts, the question is always where 
the evidence might be. If evidence relevant to a criminal investigation is 
in your house, your house can be searched--even if you're not suspected of 

Section 215 does expand the government's power under the Foreign 
Intelligence Surveillance Act. Pre-Patriot, the government could use FISA 
to search the records only of suspected spies or terrorists. Patriot 
loosens the standard: Now the evidence sought need only be relevant to a 
FISA investigation. In other words, Patriot brings the FISA standard into 
line with the traditional Fourth Amendment/criminal law standard. It's not 
some dangerous break with existing law."

And, guess what?  You have to get a judge to agree that the search is 
"relevant to a FISA investigation."

>  Then you're locked away and that's it. Who'll know?

I would be very interested to know how Prof. West arrives at this 
conclusion.  Certainly there is nothing in the text of the Patriot Act 
itself to support his claim...

Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and...well, not so tall as I used to be,

Terrance Shuman
Bishop LeBlond Memorial High School
St. Joseph, Missouri 

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