THAT UN-AMERICAN PATRIOT ACT
By Derry Brownfield
By Derry Brownfield
We have published several articles in past issues of the Chronicle and I have spent considerable time on the air discussing the PATRIOT ACT and how our fourth, fifth and sixth Amendments to the Constitution have been victimized with the passing of this unconstitutional piece of legislation. The government can now search and seize without probable cause.
With the passage of this Act, our government may infringe upon our right to counsel, reasonable search and seizure, and the right to a speedy trial. Due process of law is now out of the question. Anyone being a terrorist "SUSPECT" can be held indefinitely, without legal counsel, in a secret facility. The past Attorney General, John Ashcroft, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee stated that anyone failing to embrace "HOMELAND SECURITY" as passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, is not only unpatriotic but enablers of terrorism. Does the fact that I don't want to see our Bill of Rights destroyed and our Constitution emasculated, make me an "enabler of terrorism?" Any citizen can now be considered an "enemy combatant"
Gene E. Franchini is a retired chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court. On September 12 he addressed an awards banquet in Albuquerque. He stated:
"A fearful people are the easiest to govern. Their freedom and liberty can be taken away and they can be convinced to believe that it was done for their own good - to give them security. They can be convinced to give up their liberty voluntarily. The passage of the USA Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act (& now military commision act) have resulted in the most direct attacks on the Bill of Rights that I have seen in my lifetime. These acts are passed without any meaningful opposition and still have considerable public support. Government may suspend or eliminate as much of our Constitution and it's Bill of Rights as it can, without court oversight or intervention, so that we will not be at a disadvantage in the war against terrorism. That's the idea. Why would we voluntarily do to ourselves that which our enemies over the last 200 plus tears have not been able to do to us by force? Why would we be so willing to give up our God-given rights that have been verbalized in our Constitution, when we have so hard to preserve them?"
Sergei Hoff writing an article titled POLICE-STATE-PATRIOTISM, OUR EMASCULATING YOKE OF NATIONAL FEAR, states that his "enthusiasm is lacking for this police-state-patriotism that John Ashcroft so eagerly prescribed for the masses. John Ashcroft's abuse of power is too obvious to be ignored." While I don't agree with the Patriot Act, I don't give John Ashcroft all the credit for it's existence. The law was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President of the United States. Congress passed the bill before those voting saw it.
What kind of lawmaker would vote to pass any legislation they were not totally familiar with? Apparently most Congressmen and Senators. Except for 66 individuals members of the House and Senate, the bodies of both houses are spineless puppets that operate on command like the animals in a dog and pony show. In fact, this destruction of our liberty and freedom is a dog and pony show.
Mr. Hoff closed his piece by stating that John Ashcroft (to bad he got away scott free) should be impeached and receive well-deserved prosecution. I contend that Ashcroft did not do this alone and that every lawmaker that voted this bill into existence should receive the same fate, and remember a certain President signed it into law.