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American Flag
2.07.03
Politics and Economy:
Patriot Act II
More on This Story:
There's an important story developing tonight at the Justice Department. The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity obtained a closely-guarded document that shows plans for a sweeping expansion of the government's police powers.

Until now, few people outside of the department, not even members of key congressional committees have seen this draft legislation. It could lead to increased surveillance and greater secrecy - all in the name of the war on terror. It raises questions about how we balance liberty and security - the rights of individuals versus the rule of law.

Bill Moyers talks to Chuck Lewis about the significance of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 and how it would affect civil liberties.

  • Read the Department of Justice Response (PDF)

  • See Office of Legislative Affairs cover sheet for the draft legislation (PDF)

    Read the complete interview


    READ THE DOCUMENT

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    Civil Liberties and the Patriot Act:


    The Center for Public Integrity
    The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization, was founded by Charles Lewis. The mission of the Center for Public Integrity is to provide the American people with the findings of our investigations and analyses of public service, government accountability and ethics related issues. The Web site has many frequently updated features on Issue Ads, Campaign Finance and Citizen Muckraking, among others. The site is also home to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which posts stories from all over the globe.

    The Department of Homeland Security
    The Department of Homeland Security offers information about Homeland Security legislation, the President's Homeland Security proposal, and analysis of the department. Other features include transcripts of speeches given by Governor Tom Ridge at the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation 2002 Service to America Summit and President Bush's Address to the Nation concerning homeland security. Online chat transcripts with Governor Ridge are also included.

    Homeland Security, Homeland Profits
    On the Corpwatch Web site (a corporate watchdog group), Wayne Madsen argues that corporations are standing to make billions from selling "surveillance and information-gathering systems to government agencies and the private sector." Madsen cautions that this technology will be utilized to intimidate and squelch dissent.

    How the USA Patriot Act Puts the CIA Back in the Business of Spying On Americans
    In this issue brief, the American Civil Liberties Union argues that the USA Patriot Act includes domestic espionage against American citizens. According to the ACLU, the USA Patriot Act "permits a vast array of information gathering on U.S. citizens from school records, financial transactions, Internet activity, telephone conversations, information gleaned from grand jury proceedings and criminal investigations to be shared with the CIA (and other non-law enforcement officials) even if it pertains to Americans."

    Preparing the U.S. Army for Homeland Security
    In this Rand Corporation publication, the organization analyzes the security threats facing the U.S. and helps to clarify the U.S. Army's core responsibilities in preventing and responding to attacks on the U.S. homeland.

    Seizing Dictatorial Power - William Safire
    In this New York Times op-ed, journalist William Safire admonishes the Bush Administration for usurping "dictatorial powers" in the prosecution and sentencing of suspected terrorists. Safire trumpets a clarion call for all "conservative iconoclasts and card-carrying hard-liners to stand up for American values."

    The Sons and Daughters of Liberty
    Village Voice correspondent Nat Hentoff reports on 300 citizens of Northhampton, Massachusetts that organized a community meeting to resist the USA Patriot Act. Under the banner of Northhampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Hentoff describes the town's activism as a "new American Revolution."

    The Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee
    The Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee (NBORDC) is a grassroots initiative that organized to resist the U.S.A Patriot Act. The NBORDC Web site provides helpful tips to individuals and groups interested in creating their own Bill of Rights Defense Committees in their communities. The Web site also includes an issues page which analyzes provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and Federal Executive Orders in the context of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.

    USA Patriot Act
    Thomas is the legislative search engine provided by the Library of Congress. Thomas allows users to read the complete text of the USA Patriot Act, follow its path through Congress and its many committees, review its co-sponsors in Congress, and much more.

    USA Patriot Act Includes Provisions on Student Records
    The American Council on Education(ACE) highlights provisions in the USA Patriot Act that authorizes the ability of the U.S. government to collect detailed information on foreign students. According to ACE, the USA Patriot Act also directs the U.S. Attorney General to implement an electronic database to store and track foreign students from selected countries. Those educational institutions that fail to authorize the intelligence network can be denied the ability to accept foreign students.

    Watching You: Systematic Federal Surveillance of Ordinary Americans
    A Cato Institute issue brief, "Watching You," documents the push to enact a federal tracking system to monitor U.S. citizens in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. If this federal tracking program is instituted, the Cato Institute warns that the government "will have perverted its most fundamental mission and destroyed the privacy and liberty that it was supposed to protect."

    Task of a Terror Czar
    Robert Maginnis of the Family Research Council makes recommendations to ensure the effectiveness of the Gov. Tom Ridges' Department of Homeland Security.

    The Posse Comitatus Act: Can We Maintain American Freedom Without It?
    In this essay, C. T. Rossi responds to Homeland Security head Tom Ridges' attempt to repeal the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. The Posse Comitatus Act barred the U.S. military from serving as a civilian police force, effectively protecting the right of states and local communities to police themselves. Its repeal, argues Rossi, "would open the door to old abuses" and concentrate undue power in the federal government.


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