CALL TO ACTION FOR ALL US DEFENDERS PATRIOT ACT
It was brought to
our attention this week by Jerry Rose, TMRA2 Legislative Task Force member and
State Vice Chairman, that certain sections of the Patriot Act are due to
expire February 28th,
2011. The three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act give the government
sweeping authority to spy on individuals inside the United States, and in some
cases, without any suspicion of wrongdoing.
All three should be
allowed to expire with no sunset review at all because the provisions donít
require individual or fact-based suspicion as required by the Constitution and
they donít impose checks and balances. In addition we want to ask Congress to
consider reforming the Patriot Act all together.
The Provisions that
are set to expire are:
. Section 215 of
the Patriot Act authorizes the government to obtain "any tangible
thing" relevant to a terrorism investigation, even if there is no showing
that the "thing" pertains to suspected terrorists or terrorist
activities. This provision is contrary to traditional notions of search and
seizure, which require the government to show reasonable suspicion or probable
cause before undertaking an investigation that infringes upon a person's
privacy. Congress must ensure that things collected with this power have a
meaningful nexus to suspected terrorist activity or it should be allowed to
. Section 206 of
the Patriot Act, also known as "roving John Doe wiretap" provision,
permits the government to obtain intelligence surveillance orders that identify
neither the person nor the facility to be tapped. This provision is contrary to
traditional notions of search and seizure, which require government to state
with particularity what it seeks to search or seize. Section 206 should be
amended to mirror similar and longstanding criminal laws that permit roving
wiretaps, but require the naming of a specific target. Otherwise, it should
. Section 6001 of
the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, or the so-called
"Lone Wolf" provision, permits secret intelligence surveillance of
non-US persons who are not affiliated with a foreign organization. Such an
authorization, granted only in secret courts is subject to abuse and threatens
our longtime understandings of the limits of the government's investigatory
powers within the borders of the United States. This provision has never been
used and should be allowed to expire outright
Last year, Congress
passed a one-year extension of the three provisions without making much-needed
changes to the overly broad surveillance law.
The Patriot Act has
been used improperly again and again by law enforcement to invade Americansí
privacy and violate their constitutional rights. Rather than allow these
provisions to be rubberstamped in February, Congress should seize this
opportunity to make reforming the Patriot Act a priority.Ē Write your
officials in Congress and tell them we are against HR 67 which allows the Sunset
review to be extended until 2012 and to let the provisions of the Patriot Act
fade into the sunset and expire forever!
Start at the top,
work your way down in contacting your Representatives!
The Honorable John
United States Senate
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4304
In Re: Reauthorization
of the Patriot Act- It's Time to Fix the Patriot Act!
evidence than ever that the rampant Patriot Act abuse is a real and present
danger. Although the original intent was to assist in fighting terrorism,
the documentation confirms that this abuse has been used over and over again in
Texas, trampling on our fourth amendment written for United States citizens on
our Sovereign soil! In Texas there have been numerous reports of Law Enforcement
stopping bikers, photographing their tattoos and patches and putting the
information in the Fusion Center data base even if they are not suspected of a
crime. What has happened to our Fourth Amendment?
The three expiring
provisions of the Patriot Act give the government sweeping authority to spy on
individuals inside the United States, and in some cases, without any suspicion
of wrongdoing. Section 215 . Section 206 . Section 6001 of the
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 are due to expire Feb.
2011. I feel all three should be allowed to expire if they are not amended
to include privacy protections to protect personal information from government
overreach. I am against HR67 which allows another extension on the
provisions until 2012, this matter needs to be dealt with now.
I also respectfully
request that you promote Patriot Act reform. It is past time for our government
to stop violating the rights of non criminal, law abiding everyday people who
have nothing to do with terrorism. Please tell congressional leaders to include
substantive National Security Letter reforms in any bill extending Patriot Act
I look forward to
your response on this important matter.