Wasn't The PATRIOT Act Supposed To Be About Stopping Terrorism?

from the oh-look dept

The PATRIOT Act was all about stopping terrorism, right? We were told that special provisions that ate away at our civil liberties were needed specifically to catch dangerous terrorists — and that the reason for such an abdication of our rights had nothing to do with simply giving the government more useful surveillance powers. Aaron DeOliveira points us to a fascinating chart that shows how often law enforcement has been using “sneak-and-peek” warrants. These warrants let officials search private property without letting the target of the investigation know. Again, we were told that these expanded powers were needed to stop terrorism. So what have they been used for? Take a look:

Yup. They’re all pretty much being used in drug cases. Now some might make the argument that it’s important to go after drug dealers — but that’s not how the PATRIOT Act was supposed to be used.

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Wasn't The PATRIOT Act Supposed To Be About Stopping Terrorism?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:



Warning: image content might be unsuitable for minors


“The cultivation of opium in Afghanistan reached its peak in 1999, when 350 square miles (910 km2) of poppies were sown. The following year the Taliban banned poppy cultivation, a move which cut production by 94 percent. By 2001 only 30 square miles (78 km2) of land were in use for growing opium poppies. A year later, after American and British troops had removed the Taliban and installed the interim government, the land under cultivation leapt back to 285 square miles (740 km2), with Afghanistan supplanting Burma to become the world’s largest opium producer once more. Opium production in that country has increased rapidly since, reaching an all-time high in 2006. War in Afghanistan once again appeared as a facilitator of the trade. Some 3.3 million Afghans are involved in producing opium.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ahh, a wonderful story, true, but not telling all fo the story:


The expansion of the poppy fields has been made by the taliban as a way to finance their insurgent activities since 2001. They didn’t have the need for the money then, but they certainly have the need for the money now. The vast majority of the cultivation is in taliban controlled areas of the country.

Please look past the end of your nose.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

John Belushi is crying wherever he is right now.

You see that is why proibition never works it produces the right incentives for real criminals to profit and become a problem, if it was legalized you wouldn’t have all this financing schemes that benefit the Taliban now would you?

Even the government own studies acknowledge that fact.

“Prohibition led to widespread disrespect for law. New York City alone had about thirty thousand (yes, 30,000) speakeasies. And even public leaders flaunted their disregard for the law. They included the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who owned and operated an illegal still.”


Is just like the others proibition of our time like copyrights and piracy, the more the people from behind the curtains scream the more others find it appealing to do it more.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:


Oh look when the police is confronted with the fact that clearance rates(aka crime solving rates) are declining despite boosting crime decline, they say the statistics are not accurate.

So when people show the police that despite a reduction in crimes committed, they actually are getting more and more incompetent year after year they say with a strait face that their numbers are wrong and should not be used, WTF?!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

production has increased since the US lead invasion, in large part because we want to keep the farmers happy, and not destroy their income streams, sending them into the arms of the taliban.

the other plus side to this, besides lowering the number of extremists produced in the region, is the continued war on drugs at home (supplied by a country we occupy), and the continued availability of law enforcement to use the patriot act for purposes it was not intended for. All cheer lead by uniformed folks such as yourself.

we are the cause and cure of the disease, and there is no reason to believe that continued production benefits the taliban more then our government’s own self-serving interests.

liberty, who needs it right?

Another Anonymous Coward says:


Your comment is not the total picture either. Who’s protecting those drug crops in Afghanistan? That’s right… AmeriKan troops! You’ve bought into the farce of “terrorism”. It was and remains a sham that was used to pass this load of tripe called the “Patriot Act”. The “law” is for US Citizens. Don’t be such a sheeple… try a little critical thinking.

rooben (profile) says:

Re: Re:

of course, so do charities, right so we should allow warrantless wiretapping of charities, cause, you know – some of them siphon money to terrorists.

Hey, goes what? I heard that parents sometimes give birth to kids that grow up to be terrorists. So – having parents fuels terrorism. Lets go after all families, too.

If the investigation is drugs, they are using it for drugs, not terrorism. Because some drug dealers fund terrorists, does not mean DEA are focused on battling terrorists. They are looking for drug dealers, because that in itself is a crime.

Tying it to terrorism is just another way to weasel more rights away from you. Last I checked, drug dealers can be American citizens, and have access to the same constitutional rights as you do. I know this statement is way overused by people that don’t know the difference…but this is ACTUALLY anti-constitutional. Have a right to due process. If the agency is using sneak-and-peak, that means they don’t have any evidence, or enough evidence to call it probable cause…its a way to get evidence enough to obtain an actual, constitutional warrant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If you had any idea how easy it is to grow poppies, you’d understand this is not the case.

The statement “Drug money controls terrorism” is quite possibly the most ignorant statement I’ve heard toward the “war on drugs”

Tell me, what part of making a plant, not even a plant, a WEED illegal?

Protip: If the plants were not illegal, then no one has to go to harms way to obtain it.

Go back to the 80’s with that Reagan Anti-Drug bullshit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Your ignorance is showing

What do poppies have to do with drugs in the US? Is there Heroin outbreak that I am unaware of.

Trying to use prohibition to make something that 30$ of population takes part in (drugs) is ludicrous. The only reason the war on drugs continues is the lobby money that comes in year after, election after election.

If they really wanted to stop the violence they would legalize the minor/harmless/beneficial drugs. then the cartels would have to find another way to finance their shenanigans.

Palu lupa says:

Re: Re:

That’s retarded for so many reasons. Is Afghanistan a large funder of terrorism? No. Terrorism funding (Islamic, at least) mainly comes from the middle east. Second, any country that IS a large contributor to terrorism will draw money from whatever economically successful industries prevail in that country. In the middle east its oil, in Afghanistan it’s opium. Third, most drug money is centered around South America, which doesn’t give two shits about terrorism.

Joe says:

Re: Re:

Why doesn’t the US destroy these fields? We have hundreds of troops that guard these fields (google for pictures and articles).

Marijuana is mostly domestic now a days, so less money for terrorists. Which gives me an idea. Why don’t we regulate drugs and decrease a major source of profits for terrorists?

By the way when we take out big drug dealers all it does is increase prices and therefor profits for the other surviving dealers. There will always be someone who is willing to take risk and gain massive profits.

kingtodd (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What country had all but eradicated the production of poppies under the Taliban government?


What country had oil executive Hamid Karzai installed as a puppet president by business owners George W. Bush and Salem bin Laden?


What country became the world’s leading producer of poppy within 6 months of the overthrow of their government by the United States?



Drug money fuels terrorism? Well who is harvesting the poppy in Afghanistan?

Vince says:

Re: Anomymous Coward, how appropriate

You’re name is quite appropriate. Considering that you pose a false response to a rational question.
“I have to ask: Mike, what country has the largest production of poppies?


Drug money fuels terrorism.”

Uh-huh. Actually, the Far East/Southeast Asia produce more Opium than Afghanistan. Afghanistan reduced their poppy production to instead become the number 1 producer of hash to Europe. Look it up, douchebag. And why IS it that Afghanistan produces poppies? Because they are valuable. And why is that? Because, no-talent-ass-clowns(like yourself) have tampered with the market causing an artificial price spike making it more profitable. Your comment is false for another reason. Your statement is the claim that you fund criminals by purchasing from criminals. But, YOUR POLICIES PUT THESE PRODUCTS INTO THE SOLE DOMAIN OF THE CRIMINAL. If drugs were legal then they wouldn’t fund criminals because law abiding businesses could handle these products. Another, reason your wrong is that the “drugs” that these warrants are used for have NOTHING TO DO WITH HEROIN. They don’t even have anything to do with cocaine. The 1,618 searches are all almost exclusively for marijuana. Oh yeah! That “most foul” herb that’s grown all across the US! Yep, that’s worth losing our Rights! Well, I’m glad you’re happy giving up your liberty and I hope your children enjoy their indentured servitude…

John Doe says:

It all started with the war on drugs

The so called drug war started the mass erosion of our civil liberties. The feds realized that all they have to do is tack the word war onto something and they can pretty much get away with anything they do. Look at what has been done in the drug war, then the war on terror and soon the cyber war.

Travis says:

Re: It all started with the war on drugs

It’s been going on longer that that. During the “War on Fascism” (WW2), our government placed most Japanese Americans in concentration camps of our own (no where near as bad as the Nazis). During the “War on Communism” (Cold War)many Americans were arrested simply for thinking that the basic principals of communism (not the specific execution) wasn’t that bad of an idea.

aikiwolfie (profile) says:

Drugs and Priracy Fund Terrorism

Drugs and Piracy fund terrorism. So clearly we must cut off the funding. So expect for searches of everybody’s houses. Terrorists blend in and are thus indistinguishable from people. So every body is now guilt until proven not guilty yet. Innocent has been dropped as a verdict. We’re all guilty of something.

blaktron (profile) says:

Re: RE: anonymous coward

Actually, its difficult to prove drug money fuels terrorism, unless you count all violence as terrorism. Most drug related violence is profit-protection, not ideological in nature. When you start saying anything that causes terror is ‘terrorism’ then you’ve muddied the term enough to basically include anything under that label. Terrorism is violence with the only goal as the creation of fear, a particularly vile brand of violence that procludes profit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: RE: anonymous coward

I think its fair to assume that money from the drug trade spills over into terrorism. Just because of the payoffs and protection type of graft that gets moved around, its not ideological in nature. The Oil funding however I would think is largely ideologically driven and is also a much much much much much larger percentage of terrorist funding. I also bet that not once has the patriot act been used to violate the privacy of a Saudi prince or other similar Arab oil barons. Or thier corporate and banking representatives in the US.

blaktron (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: RE: anonymous coward

I agree its fair to assume, but ‘fair to assume’ is far from proof, and a statment of fact like “yes drug money has been used to fund terrorism” is not worded as assumption. It might be ‘fair to assume’ that drug money funds terrorism, but right now, at least, most drug money would be spent fueling the cartel war in Mexico, not travelling halfway around the world into the middle east.

Also, the vast majority of cartel leaders are catholic, so just because the american media paints both terrorists and drug dealers as ‘brown people’, doesn’t mean the 2 VERY different groups have anything in common other than the rough shading of their skin.

Motheius says:

What you see is what you get Provision

I believe there should be a WYSIWYG provision in every law like the PATRIOT act that basically goes like this:

1. Law is created that gives the police insane powers for catching leprechauns

2. Time passes (2 years as a suggestion)

3. Mandatory dialog between Police and fellow citizens:

Publicly appointed person:

Excuse me Mr. Police Officer, how’s that law working out and how many leprechauns did you catch?

Police type person:
OMG it’s sooooo great! I was able to catch 1,300 smurfs!!!

Publicly appointed person:
Oh, I see; that law is now null and void. If you want to catch smurfs *AND* leprechauns, you’re going to have to write the law that way. This one is done, go back and try again.

Another idea would be to have the law with a mandatory sunset. For example after 5 years, if you’ve not caught all the terrorists with these new powers, then they aren’t working the way you thought they would. Give us back our rights.

Of course Law Enforcement would want to extend these powers, and I believe the law should let them. However it should function like this:

1. 5 years is up and the Law Enforcement folks come to renew the law

2. We happily allow this but we automatically cut the time in half before the sunset occurs again.

In addition to this, the Law Enforcement folks who benefit from this law (which is all of them) lose 10% of their budget which is then to be used for social welfare. That or a really big block party. Either one.

/shrug. It could work

Jimr (profile) says:

Any act that is un-american, as determine by a secret council, is obviously terrorist in nature and to question such policies is a sure fire sign that you are a terrorist or a supporter of terrorist.

Based large on the same principle tests to see if you are a witch. We drown, burn, etc you. If you are not a witch then you shall simply die (but your soul will be saved) and if you do not die then you must be a witch.

The witch hunting standards have just been updated and the Patriot act ‘helps’ .


patrot-act, terrorism, and what else

(1). Prosecute, eliminate ?MURDER- fraud- crime- injustice networks?= cruel tyranny= robbery machine = ROBBER- ISM; destroying essences of democracy, capitalism; continuing, on-going; relaying, penetrating every segment of our lives (inc. civic non- profit organizations); expanding here domestically to overseas- foreign countries; with threat, coercion, victimization, deprivation, discrimination; unjust practices, manipulation, influence; bad legislative bills; unjust hidden agenda with false/ misleading excuses (inc. private- public partnership, economic development, housing, school construction, transportation, abandonment of properties, maintenance of ?paper roads?, nonsense grants, programs; ?, whatever) to benefit/ facilitate ?MURDER-fraud- crime- injustice networks? (inc. officials, judges, developers, lawyers, employees, etc.); expand further unjust operation; endless unlawful- immoral acts; rob/destruct resources (rights, land, properties, home, buildings, assets, accounts, income, pension, documents, evidences; public, private; business, civic, political); frivolous litigation, levies, foreclosures, garnishment, guardianship, power of attorney; improper processing of complaints, procedures, proceedings, docketing, bookkeeping, accounting; cause vicious cycles: socio- political- election-media- budget- legislative- system problems; civil-human rights backwards; people-slave. Examples of problems are provided below: **
(2). Restore: principle, fairness, cost-effectiveness, accountability, reliability, capability; fair election, justice, peace (including civic, non-profit organizations), ?check and balance?; Restore: TRUE essence of democracy, fair election process; easy access to government, files, records, transcripts; not unjustly manipulated, influenced, misled by wrong person, information, or ?official misconduct- government gang- fraud- crime- injustice networks? = serious causes of socio- political ? election ?media- budget- legislative problems, which destroy people, families, society, peace, justice, democracy. Based on merits, justification; NO double standards, improper processing of complaints, procedures, proceedings; falsification, false records, tampering of evidence, data; harassment, intimidation (complainant, witnesses); false charges, citation, bond, imprisonment; disparities and improper treatments, etc.; abuse of laws, power, authorities.
(3). Promote democracy, fair election, quality, competition, people input (policies, issues, officials, judges); televise public hearings, citizen/candidate forum/debate; maintain, disseminate meaningful accurate information, records, capability, reasoning, good sense of justice, public interest, endurance. Objective screening by meaningful rigorous examinations, evaluations for quality, capability, endurance and public interest.
* To capture extended serious problems of ?MURDER-fraud- crime- injustice networks? with official misconduct- government gang, please incorporate the following: (A). complaints/ cases: administrative and judicial levels; (B) frequent testimonies before government bodies, official, legislators, law enforcement, committees, public hearings; local ? federal; (C) spin-off complaints, improper processing of complaints, procedures, proceedings, accounting, bookkeeping, docketing, etc.; (D) Candidate statements, see Webs and archives. Urge to re-open and investigate Congress.org, DNet (by League of Women Voters), links, etc.; (E) complaints and reports to police, law enforcement, consumer affairs, other authorities/agencies against ?fraud- crime- injustice networks?; (F). Numerous TV programs on social issues (Dr. Lih Young: producer, host, speaker).

(G). Frequent recommendations/petitions to officials, agencies, law enforcement, local – federal; as individuals or with civic organizations. ** EXAMPLES OF PROBLEMS – ?MURDER- FRAUD- CRIME- INJUSTICE NETWORKS?- with official misconduct, government gang- endless unlawful immoral acts:
(A): OPM, IRS, DHHS, SSA, DOJ, FBI, DOD, USDA, DOC, USCIS (US citizens/ neutralization services), custom services, various agencies, law enforcement; 3 branches, local ? federal- global; National Park Service (Prettyman?), Library of Congress (Neil Gladd); many financial/brokerage/ accounting/ bill-payment processing/ collection institutions/agencies; insurance, car related businesses, utilities?, more; dealers Lakeforest Oldsmobile; phone/utilities/cable, judges, legal/court personnel, detective/ process server/ impersonators, with phony names, or would not provide names even in the court cases (Complainant could not get access to court files; could not even make copies); Leslie Gradet, Tamera Jones, William D Roessler; Offices of Treasury, Comptroller, Attorney Gneral: Joel Jacob/Jacobson, Gail Malle-Davis, Sylvia J. Brokos, Mary Hawse, Linda Tanton, Gerald Langbaum, John Barry, Pamela Porter, Leo F. Partridge, Mark Vulcan, Jamis Riley, James Britt, Audrey Thomas, Jeanne Lippy, Jesse Rosenburger, Ralph Lepson; transcribers Margaret Bauer, Senators: Walter Baker, Barbara Hoffman, Thomas Middleton, Trooper: Marty Sealey, Vincent Mass, State Election Board Ross Goldstein; Maryland DOEd Susan Page, Barbara Smith(?), SSA employees and supervisors (especially in Rockville, Md), and Bullivant (?, probably in N. J.; or other states). Lobbysts/ municipal attorneys/lawyers/affiliates, Paul Glasgow, David Venable, Joseph Stoltz, Jr., Barry Gordon, Stephen Perouka, David Steinberg, Wolpoff & Abramson, Richard D. Mirsky, Poppleton, Garrett & Polott, P.C., accountant Hilda K. Matijevic; Marc Sliffman (Silver Spring, Wheaton area), Samuel White and his law firm and lawyers Shawn Bartley, Daniel Pesachowitz, Laura Jolly (phony person, named as “substitute trustee”, but can never be found or contacted even through official agencies); many court personnel and judges (District Court ? Court of Special Appeals). Court Auditor Robert Romero. State, county health services organizations/ agencies, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County Crisis Center, Jean Burgess (white, female), Marsha Aaron; Department of Aging; Adult Protective Services, Sherry Davis, Suzanne Lord (?), Odick Esq., Bonnie Klem, etc.; Suburban Hospital, physicians, emergency staff; social worker Jody Crecensi (?), case manager Patricia Grafferty (?), Robert Rothstein, M. D. (?), Tipp Woodward; Manor- Care in Potomac Maryland: Cheryl Paulson (?, administrator) and nurses, etc.; forensic services, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Jolie Smith; numerous psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc.: Potomac Ridge Steven Israel, Collin, Gabriel (?); social worker Tracy Lewit; Springfield Hospital Center: forensic services, Kevin Knight, Dr. Valadez (refused to give full name, despite repeated requests); Carla Craville, Francoise Reynolds, Roxanne Heyman, Amy True; Judges James Sasfield, Gary Crawford, Cheryl McCally, etc., prosecutors/government attorneys, e.g., John McCarthy, Nunylny (?), Peter Mitchell (Montgomery County Office of Human Rights); District Court Commission (Rockville, Md) M. Dickerson; Court Personnel T.M. (only initials, no full name available); many judges, clerk of the courts (Jeffrey Ward, Loretta Knight, Bettie Skelton, Molly Rhul, etc.), other court personnel, various counties, states; local ? federal; law enforcement, FBI; police e.g., in Rockville, Md. Sgt. Cowell (first name not available), C.P. Sadleson; officer Davis (MCPD); Denis Lewis (Baltimore County); sheriff: R. Lewis (Female, White, Montgomery Countym Md.), K. Naff (white, male, Montgomery County, Md); fire and rescues (abuse, even no fire; conspiracy).

(B): The problems are interrelated horizontally and vertically, among all issues, local- global. Clerks of the Circuit Court (Montgomery County, Md.) Loretta Knight, Bettie Skelton, Molly Rhul; District Court Clerk Jeffrey Ward, Administrative Judge Cornelius Vaughey, Sheriff Elliot Tolbert, etc. government attorney John McCarthy, Kristen Bender, court personnel, attorneys (public, private), law enforcement (FBI, sheriff, police, fire/rescue, etc., contractors) are part of the ?:fraud- crime- networks: with spying, surveillance, harassment, unlawful search, stealing, robbery, injuries; false arrest, imprisonment, citation, trespass, testimony; withholding witnesses; destroy information, documents, evidence, etc.
( C). False/ unjust/ frivolous levies, liens, garnishment, guardianship, power of attorneys, foreclosure, tenant-hold-over- eviction, etc. Thousands of cases are pending in the court systems for years or even decades; believed to be filed by ?fraud- crime- networks? to victimize people; without due process, proper services, proceedings; cause homelessness, poverty; not because of the problems of homeowners/citizens, but because of unjust judicial/court/legal personnel, court auditor Robert Romero as part of ?official misconduct- government gang- fraud- crime- injustice networks?. Judges (unjust, irresponsible, judicially disabled) include Warren Donohue, John Debelius, Durk Thumpson, Ann Harrington, Louise Scrivener, Lawrence De Beard, Eric Johnson, James McKenna; District Judge Gary Everngam, Judge Gary Crawford; court personnel/ sheriff, attorneys, affiliated law firms; Sheriffs Earnest Turner, R. Lewis, K. Naff, etc.
(E). Problems of privatization, irresponsibility, disabilities of government attorneys and judicial/legal/court personnel are very serious, expanding, local- nationwide- global; exporting injustice overseas; Rockville city, Montgomery County, Maryland state; New Jersey Monmouth County, Judge Robert McLeod (private attorney), Judge Patricia Bueno Cleary, Prosecutor (private attorney) Patrick Healy, police David D?Arcy.
(F) Other people committed, conspired with police and fraud- crime- networks: Private attorneys: Robert McCarthy (Bethesda, Md.), Olivia Cammack (Silver Spring, Md.), David Slacker (Bethesda Md.); Ria Rochvarg (assigned as legal assistance provider to certain counties by Md. Department of Health and Mental Highgiene, but she went around the state for various abuses with Sherry Davis, Police Davis, etc. attorneys (public and private), Timonthy Adelman, Esq., (?) and law firms Adelman, Sheff and Smith(?, in Annapolis, Md), Robert McCarthy, Suburban Hospital, etc. Landlord/ landladies e.g., Jiewen Tan (Rockville, Md.) and Chia Yao (Gaithersburg, Md.) had been unjustly influenced/ conspired.

darryl says:

Terrorist to one person is a freedom fighter to another.

Fraud, drugs and terrorrism, well you first have to define a bit more clearly what terrorrism is.

It has been put in such broad terms that it is really just like everything else, being a crime.

I am sure that seeing the huge drug trade that would terrorise some people.

As would theft, fraud, and undue enforcement of ‘laws’, it would be hard to say that the US has not conducted it’s own campaign of terror with Rumsfeld stating “we have to fight them the same way they are fighting us”.

all that chart shows is that there are A LOT more people in the drug trade then in the terror trade.

Obviously a single terrorist can do alot more damage than a single drug dealer, but there are far more drug dealers than terrorists, does not mean you dont bother with looking for them.

darryl says:

the lie about WMD's caused great terror. deliberatly

An interesting doco this week, where a reporter was with some troops in Afganistan and the reporter had a bunch of photo’s of 911 and the towers falling, they everyone in the country village if they recognised the pictures and if they know anything about it.

ONLY ONE PERSON in the entire town had ANY clue as to what the pictures were of !!! that was the police chief.

they had NO idea what ‘911’ was or what effect it has, and have never even heard about it let along seen a picture of it.

and yes, it is clear with absolute proof that terrorism is largely financed by the drug trade.

ts says:

Re: the lie about WMD's caused great terror. deliberatly

citation?? Even if you can prove terrorism is largely financed by the drug trade, what do you propose we do to stop it? We’ve already proven without a doubt that you can’t make people stop doing drugs by passing new laws. But you can control where they buy the drugs by legalizing and regulating. Just sayin’..

My biggest bitch about these stats is that a lot of the drug arrest have been people growing medicinal marijuana.. complying with their state laws. Apparently states have no rights, and the federal government needs to control everything and everyone. And to those who say marijuana is not medicinal, maybe you should watch the documentary “Run From the Cure” (it’s on youtube).

Bill Surowiecki (profile) says:

Well you see the best thing about the word “terrorist” is that it can be manipulated to fit almost anyone we don’t like, or more specifically a group that the government does not like.

This has become a magical word that acts as a skeleton key for the cage containing the dogs of war. Michele Bachmann just the other night at the Republican Debate changed the topic of Border Patrol dealing with illegal immigrants to Narcoterrorism. She may have a point, there are some major problems with cartels and violence in the area. However, the idea that she slipped it into a debate about illegal immigration shows how the vagueness of the Patriot Act is twisted to suit ones needs. Now we can think about treating the entire situation, immigration and drugs as one problem that will fall under the scope of the Patriot Act. All this thanks to the inclusion of one little word.

The single biggest argument against The Patriot Act, has always been that its scope is far too broad and its definition on who it can be used against are far too vague. Set aside the obvious breach it causes for our privacy and look at what it actually does to our right to dissent. We now have a set of laws that, on a politician whim, can be used to label us domestic terrorists.

Bruce Brown (profile) says:


The first time I came up against something like this was the RICO law. We were all told that it was necessary to go after the Mafia. It could be used for a lot more, but they were only going to use it on the Mafia. They promised and crossed their hearts.

The first charge of RICO I saw was a Doctor that was defrauding Medicare.

It is a fairly common charge now for any business that the government wants to harass.

Never believe when supporters of a bill say “Yeah but we are only going after…”

Dr.Frost (user link) says:

My friend did 3 1/2 years in federal prison under the patriot act for using a cell phone to commit a felony. He was a medical marijuana care provider who had been raided by the DEA several times. He never had enough plants for them to do anything serious to him and eventually they took him in for giving someone grow tips over the phone. They threatened him with 10 or more years for various organized crime and conspiracy charges and his lawyer got them to drop it down to just the cell phone charge. He did 3 1/2 years for telling someone how to grow a plant over the phone. When are we going to make them give us back the constitution that so many people have fought for. Ben Franklin said “those who would trade their freedom for security deserve neither.”

yeknomgod.com (profile) says:

Yeah, let's stop these Commie SOBs!

They’re poisoning our children by putting homosexuality-causing chemicals in the water and they’re either making us smoke cigarettes or quit smoking, I can’t tell yet, but whichever one it is will cause birth defects in genetically homogeneous children, meaning only mixed-race babies will survive the coming Apocalypse!

What?… What’s a ‘terrorist’? I thought we were still fighting commies….

Yeah… those terrorists are… uh… aborting 9-month old babies and selling crack to 5 year olds! (Someone please get me evidence backing me up… or just fabricate it. Thanks!).

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...