NATIONAL 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 don’t require individual or fact-based suspicion as required by the Constitution and they don’t 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 expire.
. 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 expire.
. 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 Americans’ 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.” 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 Cornyn
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!
Dear Honorable (Your Senator or Congressman),
There's more 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 Alabama trampling on our fourth amendment written for United States citizens on our Sovereign soil! In Alabama there have been 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. 28th, 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 powers.
I look forward to your response on this important matter.
(Your town or city)