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Paul C. Roberts: Patriot Police

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    Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization Patriot Police By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - pcroberts @ postmark.net January 24, 2006 A provision in the Patriot
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2006
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      Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization


      Patriot Police
      By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - pcroberts @ postmark.net
      January 24, 2006


      A provision in the "Patriot Act" creates a new federal police force
      with power to violate the Bill of Rights. You might think that this
      cannot be true as you have not read about it in newspapers or heard it
      discussed by talking heads on TV.

      Go to House Report 109-333 -USA PATRIOT IMPROVEMENT AND
      REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 and check it out for yourself. Sec. 605 reads:

      "There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to
      be known as the 'United States Secret Service Uniformed Division'."

      This new federal police force is "subject to the supervision of the
      Secretary of Homeland Security."

      The new police are empowered to "make arrests without warrant for any
      offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for
      any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have
      reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has
      committed or is committing such felony."

      The new police are assigned a variety of jurisdictions, including "an
      event designated under section 3056(e) of title 18 as a special event
      of national significance" (SENS).

      "A special event of national significance" is neither defined nor does
      it require the presence of a "protected person" such as the president
      in order to trigger it. Thus, the administration, and perhaps the
      police themselves, can place the SENS designation on any event. Once a
      SENS designation is placed on an event, the new federal police are
      empowered to keep out and to arrest people at their discretion.

      The language conveys enormous discretionary and arbitrary powers.=20
      What is "an offense against the United States"? What are "reasonable
      grounds"?

      You can bet that the Alito/Roberts court will rule that it is whatever
      the executive branch says.

      The obvious purpose of the act is to prevent demonstrations at
      Bush/Cheney events. However, nothing in the language limits the police
      powers from being used only in this way. Like every law in the US,
      this law also will be expansively interpreted and abused. It has dire
      implications for freedom of association and First Amendment rights.=20
      We can take for granted that the new federal police will be used to
      suppress dissent and to break up opposition. The Brownshirts are now
      arming themselves with a Gestapo.

      Many naive Americans will write to me to explain that this new
      provision in the reauthorization of the "Patriot Act" is necessary to
      protect the president and other high officials from terrorists or from
      harm at the hands of angry demonstrators: "No one else will have
      anything to fear." Some will accuse me of being an alarmist, and
      others will say that it is unpatriotic to doubt the law's good intentions.

      Americans will write such nonsense despite the fact that the president
      and foreign dignitaries are already provided superb protection by the
      Secret Service. The naive will not comprehend that the president
      cannot be endangered by demonstrators at SENS at which the president
      is not present. For many Americans, the light refuses to turn on.

      In Nazi Germany did no one but Jews have anything to fear from the
      Gestapo?

      By Stalin's time Lenin and Trotsky had eliminated all members of the
      "oppressor class," but that did not stop Stalin from sending millions
      of "enemies of the people" to the Gulag.

      It is extremely difficult to hold even local police forces
      accountable. Who is going to hold accountable a federal police
      protected by Homeland Security and the president?


      Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the
      Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street
      Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He
      is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at:
      pcroberts @ postmark.net

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