Monday, May 23, 2011
Oppose Imminent Patriot Act Extension
With more and more Americans newly awakened to the dangers of the Patriot Act, particularly the loss of civil liberties once secured by the Fourth Amendment, a vote on extending the measures of the Act for another four years is predicted to be the closest ever in Congress. The Senate is set to take action on S. 1038 this very afternoon at 5 PM ET. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is calling for a cloture vote to end debate. A 60 vote majority is needed to do so, but then only a simple majority of 51 is needed to pass the bill, which could come either today, or within a day or two, before the May 27 provisions' sunset deadline. If passed in the Senate, this deadline date would force action in the House before May 27 as well.
All three of the most objectionable measures to patriots and constitutionalists are included in S. 1038; the “lone wolf’ provision that permits government surveillance of individuals for no reason; the “library records” provision which allows national security investigators to issue seizure orders for “any tangible thing”; and the “John Doe roving wiretap” provision that ignores the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of probable cause and proper court order in favor of indiscriminate searching of citizens’ private information.
Even though passage in the Senate is expected, Senators can force votes on various amendments. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will attempt to somewhat temper the effects of the worst provisions in the Patriot Act by introducing amendments that would limit the government’s surveillance powers by restricting the collection of “suspicious activity” reports by financial institutions and also require judges to sign off on national security letters which federal law enforcement officials issue to obtain records and other personal information.
Many of the popular Tea Party candidates elected last November failed to demonstrate a complete understanding of the principles of the Fourth Amendment when they voted to extend the Patriot Act in early 2011 using the safety-from-terrorists canard. Help educate your elected officials on these principles and protections and demand that they honor their oath to support and defend the Constitution by not extending the provisions set to expire, and to repeal the permanent provisions of the Patriot Act through amendments that will be introduced by Sen. Rand Paul.
This is the most opportune moment Americans have ever had to stop the Patriot Act in its deadly tracks. Please add your voice to a growing chorus of outraged freedom lovers by contacting your Senators and Representative immediately. Only intense pressure from American citizens can stop the Patriot Act described by Judge Andrew Napolitano as “the most abominable, unconstitutional assault on personal liberty since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.”
Your friends at The John Birch Society