Saturday, May 28, 2011

Police State Poster Boy Passes Us Patriot Act Talking Points

Proud Proponent of Patriot Act Peepshow.
I still don't understand what Republican Primary voters saw in Tim Griffin. The more I read the talking points he is handed and passes along as if they were his own thoughts, the more baffled I am. I am willing to cut general election voters a little more slack, as their alternative (Joyce Elliot) was someone who deliberately cultivated an appearance of freakishness (think Grace Jones crossed with Space Alien) and succeeded remarkably well. Especially I can't blame them since she looked like the girl next door compared to her legislative record.

But I am not here to talk about what an abysmal failure our corrupt two-party system is in giving voters good choices- this time. Rather, I want to talk about Rep. Griffin's attempt to rationalize the violation of his oath of office by voting to uphold anti-constitutional provisions of the dishonestly-named "Patriot Act."

First, let's remember what the Constitution, which Rep. Griffin swore to uphold, says about the limits of government searches.....

"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."

Let's hold that up against Griffin's claims on the Patriot Act...


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Griffin notes that in the provisions of the Patriot Act he voted to renew, search warrants are required by FISA courts. Unfortunately, these courts are secret courts who work for the executive branch, in an executive branch facility, and have turned down (to our knowledge) only one warrant in the last ten years.

This is worse than it sounds because FISA warrants do not have to meet the requirements for warrants in the constitution.

The Chief Justice alone appoints all FISA judges. That answers some questions for those of us who were wondering why Bush wanted so badly to appoint John Roberts as Chief Justice from his first day on the court instead of appointing him as a Justice and naming one of the experienced Justices as Chief Justice. He wanted a Chief Justice in there who would appoint FISA Judges whose views of the constitution were more in line with his own (hint "just a G*!!am#e! piece of paper").

11:38 AM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Griffin "The Business Records Provision (Section 215). One of the expiring sections of the PATRIOT Act relates to business records and has stricter requirements than grand jury subpoenas used in criminal investigations."

Then why not use grand jury subpoenas? Why "tie your hands" with the "stricter" requirements of the Patriot Act? The obvious truth is because in the ways that matter, the Patriot Act is not more restrictive at all.

But he goes on.... "Under this provision, business records can only be obtained through an order granted by a federal judge of a court created under FISA. "

Of course, the FISA courts never say "no", nor do they insist on probable cause, nor the specific naming of the person, place or thing to be searched or seized. Given that, appealing to the "protection" of FISA court review is a sham. It is an elaborate and shameful farce designed to preserve the illusion that our protections are still intact, even when in truth they have been taken.

11:44 AM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

But here is my favorite claim. I am drawn by the sheer audacity of its falsehood. It was composed no doubt by an avid proponent of the Joseph Gobbels school of propaganda. Make a claim so outrageously false that the hearer accepts it as true because they automatically assume that a "respectable person" would not dare to make such a claim if it were patently false.....

"Business records obtained under Section 215 are records generated and stored by 3rd party businesses and are not personal documents of the target."

So your banking records are open season. No need to get a warrant for those. The same for your credit card records, and of course for those forms you filled out and left with the gunshop when you purchased a firearm. Those records belong to a "3rd party business" you see, even though they are records of that 3rd party's business with YOU.

But the 4th amendment does not say that you should not be subject to unreasonable searches of only your papers and effects that are in your possession. Rather it says that your effects and papers should be free from unreasonable search and seizure without limitation. Even if you left them with your lawyer, your banker, or your accountant.

Oh, but they say you don't have "an expectation of privacy" at your bank. The heck I don't. I expect my bank to keep my records confidential, except for account total balances. If my bank was releasing my date to anyone other than government bullies without my knowledge or consent, I'd find another bank. I know they all have to bend to government bullies, but that does not mean that this isn't illegal, they just do it anyway.

12:03 PM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

And if your records stored at "3rd party businesses are not yours, then they can only be that of the business. In which case the feds should be required to get a warrant on the BUSINESS, including probable cause of what crime the BUSINESS is committing.

Records of your account are either your records, or that of the business, or both. In any of these cases, under the 4th amendment a warrant with probable cause should be required.

12:07 PM, May 28, 2011  
Anonymous Rick said...

I agree with everything you said. The the reason people in this country allow government to continue the police state is because of safety. Most fall for the lies of the government and media that laws like the Patriot Act must be put into place to prevent another 9-11. Once this is allowed to happen its very hard to go back to pre 9-11 laws.

4:48 AM, May 29, 2011  

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