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    If You Thought Patriot Act I Was Bad, Wait Until You See Patriot Act II

    Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2003

    A recent report published by Gun Owners of America gave an in-depth summary of a new expanded version of the USA Patriot Act. The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 (DSEA) gives even more broad new powers to the federal government.

    The GOA report states, "Our analysis suggests that, rather than toughening our ability to capture and kill Osama bin Laden and his ilk, this bill would instead rely on cosmetic 'solutions' which threaten the constitutional rights of Americans, without increasing our national security. In fact, this placebo will probably make our country considerably less secure."

    The report lists several problematic portions of the new bill including:

    *The government could bug, wiretap, or search anyone in America for up to 15 days without going to any court.

    *The government could seize personal information about Americans (including credit information, educational transcripts, etc.) in a wide range of circumstances without the approval of any court.

    *Individuals and groups which advocate Second Amendment rights could be classified as "foreign powers" and subjected to electronic surveillance for up to one year without the approval of any court.

    *DSEA could allow members and supporters of gun rights organizations to be stripped of their citizenship, arrested and held indefinitely without charges, here or abroad, in secret at a secret location without access to an attorney or benefit of constitutional protections.

    *Allows the federal government to create and sustain a DNA database of "suspected" terrorists, with the federal government exercising unfettered discretion over who is a "suspected" terrorist. Under this law, a "suspected" terrorist would be any person whom the U.S. Attorney General says is a "suspected" terrorist.

    It should be obvious to all Americans that the federal government is using the "war on terrorism" as a ruse to abolish the freedoms of the American people, to eviscerate the Bill of Rights, and to seize unlimited power for itself. It should also be obvious that if it were a Democratic administration attempting this, resistance would be vocal and vigorous. Because it is a Republican administration, however, resistance is almost nonexistent.

    What the Clinton administration could not accomplish in 8 years, the Bush administration is doing in less than 4. What international terrorists such as Osama bin Laden could not do through violence, power-hungry politicians within our own government are doing through bureaucratic and congressional statute. Even worse, the American people seem content to let it happen. Patrick Henry must be rolling over in his grave!

    © Chuck Baldwin

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