Attorney General John Ashcroft says.

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by Zigzag2, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Zigzag2

    Zigzag2 Guest

    No Book Lists Requested, Ashcroft Says
    By CURT ANDERSON, The Associated Press


    WASHINGTON (Sept. 18) -- The anti-terror Patriot Act's highly contentious authority for the FBI to obtain records from libraries, bookstores and other businesses has never been used, Attorney General John Ashcroft says.
    AP file

    Critics say the FBI's authority to obtain book records under the Patriot Act threatens the rights of library and bookstore patrons.

    In a memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, Ashcroft said he decided to disclose the previously classified information to ''counter the troubling amount of public distortion and misinformation'' surrounding section 215 of the anti-terrorism law.

    ''Public confidence in law enforcement is of paramount importance,'' Ashcroft wrote to Mueller.

    ''The number of times section 215 has been used to date is zero,'' the memo says.

    Ashcroft's decision to declassify the information lifts a veil of secrecy surrounding one of the most controversial parts of the law passed a few weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The attorney general disclosed his intentions to disclose the information in a telephone call earlier Wednesday to Carla Hayden, president of the American Library Association.

    ''We're very gratified that the American public is now going to know what is happening in public libraries,'' said Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the library association's Washington office. ''This has given people pause, a sense of concern.''

    Critics have said the FBI's authority to obtain the records threatens the privacy and First Amendment rights of library and bookstore patrons, as well as other businesses. Law enforcement officials say the power is rarely used, properly supervised by judges and essential to combat terror.

    In his memo to Mueller, Ashcroft noted that all members of Congress have had access to the formerly secret information about use of the section 215 authority in the Patriot Act. Yet many continued to criticize the law, with some libraries even posting signs warning patrons that the FBI might check into their reading habits and others destroying records more frequently.

    The American Civil Liberties Union and critical members of Congress said Ashcroft is taking a positive step by declassifying the FBI records. But they said the potential remains for the law to be abused.

    ''I hope that this decision indicates a new willingness to address public concerns about the Patriot Act in a forthright and honest manner, rather than ridiculing those who believe the law may not adequately protect our citizens' constitutional freedoms,'' said Sen. Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who cast the only Senate vote against the Patriot Act.

    Ashcroft's move follows a pair of speeches he delivered this week in which he denounced as ''baseless hysteria'' claims by the ACLU, the library association and others that the Patriot Act allows the FBI to snoop unchecked into Americans' reading habits.

    ''The hysteria is ridiculous. Our job is not,'' Ashcroft said in those speeches.

    Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington office, said Ashcroft's declassification decision appeared to be mostly public relations aimed at tackling the fallout from those speeches.

    ''Is this the beginning of the Justice Department being more accountable, or is this just a bone to throw to the librarians?'' Murphy said. ''I think the American people can see through that.''

    Ashcroft recently completed a 16-city tour to defend the Patriot Act as an essential part of the fight against terrorism. Just last week, President Bush asked Congress to approve new legal tools to combat terror, including expansion of a type of subpoena that does not require approval by a judge or grand jury.

    Rep. Bernie Sanders, who is sponsoring legislation to exempt libraries and bookstores from the Patriot Act, said there is momentum in Congress to scale back the law. The Republican-controlled House recently voted against ''sneak and peek'' searches that allow for delay of notification of the target.

    ''The bottom line is not so much what may or may not have been done in the past, but what might be done in the future,'' said Sanders, I-Vt.

    Section 215 of the Patriot Act does not specifically mention libraries or bookstores. But it permits the FBI to obtain secret warrants in foreign terrorism or intelligence investigations for ''books, records, papers, documents and other items'' from all types of businesses or other organizations.

    Such warrants must be approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees investigations of individuals or groups in the United States believed to be foreign terrorists or spies. The individual who receives the subpoena is barred from disclosing that fact.
  2. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    This all scares the poop out of me.

    If we allow them to get away with this, it is a strong step towards a police state. I cannot see ANY reason why the government should be allowed to track what I read.

    I would rather live in a world where the risk of terror attacks is high, than live in a world where the government knows everything I do, read, say, or think.

    The Patriot Act clearly takes away essential liberties in exchange for temporary security (and I really don't think it even gives us any more security).
  3. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    I really believe that this is the crux of the whole Patriot Act. It does nothing but enchroach upon our liberties, contributing further to the destruction of our Constitution and the vision of the Founding Fathers, while, at the same time, contributing NOTHING towards any security, real or perceived, from terrorist attacks.
  4. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

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    Is that like saying:

    I bought a new set of tires for my car, i just haven't
    mounted them yet.
    The intention is that i will mount and use them some day.
  5. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    If we haven't used it yet, then why have it? Let's get rid of it. Hell, let's get rid of the Patriot Act in its entirety.
  6. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

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    I agree, but once it has been shoved down your throat
    it is there to stay and choke you, we all know that.
    We did not ask for any of these provisions. Maybe
    'We the People' where asleep at the wheel on these things.
    After all weren't we all in shock and sorrow for the
    9/11 incident and very emotional ? What a diversion it was.
    No laws are enacted without intent.
    I personally experienced a dorment law that eventually
    came and reared its ugly head and bit me.
    We need to stop things like this before they become law.
  7. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    "We the people" did not even know about the Patriot Act until it was law. Hell, even most of the Congresscritters didn't have time to read it.

    This is a blatant usurpation of power. It subverts the Constitution, and we should vote out everyone in Congress who voted for it.
  8. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

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    I agree again with you.
    I was merely using it as an example.
    Unconstitutional lawmakers should be held accountable
    for every single unconstitutional law that they shove down our throat. All laws are forced upon us in a democratic way.
    Democracy is a threat to our Constitutional Republic.

    BTW- If they did not read it why did these dumbasses
    vote FOR it ? :confused:

    Uncommon sense at work representing our best interest ?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2003
  9. Zigzag2

    Zigzag2 Guest

    Shiz, I agree that the pure democracy set forth by our Founding Fathers has transgressed to a social democracy.

    We do what we can and prepare for the worst.

    Piece be with you! ;)
  10. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

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    Do not agree on that one :

    The Constitution Art. 4 sec. 4 :

    We are guaranteed a Republican form of government.

    Historically Democracies are failures, they self destruct.

    As this one will if not turned around.

    That is why we have a second Amendment.
  11. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    You're right, Shiz. We are far away from a democracy, even in the sad state of affairs today.

    It is all the more important that we retain our wonderful Republic as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
  12. Zigzag2

    Zigzag2 Guest

    Definition of pure democracy,

    Main Entry: pure democracy
    Function: noun
    Date: circa 1910
    : democracy in which the power is exercised directly by the people rather than through representatives
  13. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

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    There is a great deal of reference by the media and sadly, even by many of our elected officials to “our democracy” or “this democracy” when referring to our government. The Founding Fathers of our nation wisely established a Republic, not a Democracy, and there are many important differences. The differences can be debated and argued in many ways but the best and simplest definition to date is the one printed in The Soldiers Training Manual issued by the United States War Department, November 30, 1928 which follows in it’s entirety.

    TM2000-25: 118-120

    DEMOCRACY:

    A government of the masses.

    Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression.

    Results in mobocracy.

    Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.

    Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.

    TM 2000-25: 120-121

    REPUBLIC:

    Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.

    Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.

    Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.

    A greater number of citizens and extent of territory my be brought within it’s compass.

    Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
  14. Zigzag2

    Zigzag2 Guest

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary is not the Gospel, but a reference in communicating the written word.

    Go back and reread what I wrote, and put it into context Shiz.
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