Da Black Whole

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Beautiful Day in the Homeland

hello boys and girls, and welcome to another day in Mister Rogers' Nay Bore Hood!

today, we're going to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey!!

House Votes to Extend Patriot Act

By GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The House voted Thursday to extend the USA Patriot
Act, the nation's main anti-terrorism tool, just hours after televisions in the Capitol beamed images of a new attack in London.

hmm . . . rather a convenient set of coincidences, all these London bombings while the House is "considering" (hardy-har!) re-upping the (anti) Patriot Act . . .

As similar legislation worked its way through the Senate, House Republicans generally cast the law as a valuable asset in the war on terror. Most Democrats echoed that support but said they were concerned the law could allow citizens' civil liberties to be infringed.

shall we dance, Tweedle-Dee?


After more than nine hours of debate, the House approved the measure 257-171. Forty-three Democrats joined 214 Republicans in voting to renew key provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire at the end of the year.

The bulk of the back-and-forth centered on language making permanent 14 of 16 provisions that had four-year sunset provisions under the original law, which Congress passed overwhelmingly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The bill also includes 10-year extensions to the two other provisions set to expire on Dec. 31, one allowing roving wiretaps and another allowing searches of library and medical records.

"While the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism initiatives have helped avert additional attacks on our soil, the threat has not receded," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the
House Judiciary Committee'

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the top Democrat on the committee, said that while "I support the majority of the 166 provisions of the Patriot Act," the extensions could lessen accountability. "Ten years is not a sunset; 10 years is semi-permanent," he said.

President Bush' hailed the vote.

"The Patriot Act is a key part of our efforts to combat terrorism and protect the American people, and the Congress needs to send me a bill soon that renews the act without weakening our ability to fight terror," Bush said in a statement released by the White House.

As the House debated the legislation, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved its own extension of the bill, though it included only four-year extensions for the roving wiretap and records search provisions.

A competing bill also has been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which would give the FBI' expanded powers to subpoena records without the approval of a judge or grand jury. That ensured further Senate talks on the terrorism-fighting measure. The House legislation will also have to be reconciled with whatever emerges from the Senate.

The House debate included frequent references to the attacks earlier in the day, two weeks after larger London blasts that killed 56, including four suicide bombers.

The roving wiretap provision, Section 206, allows investigators to obtain warrants to intercept a suspect's phone conversations or Internet traffic without limiting it to a specific phone or identifying the suspect. The records provision, Section 215, authorizes federal officials to obtain "tangible items" such as business, library and medical records.

Advocates argued that such powers already exist in criminal investigations so they should be expressly continued for terrorism investigations. They also cited safeguards in the bill, such as a requirement that a judge approve the records search.

One amendment, passed by a 402-26 vote, requires the FBI director to personally approve any request for library or bookstore records. Another successful amendment sets a 20-year jail term for an attack against a rail or mass-transit vehicle; a 30-year sentence if the vehicle carries nuclear material; and life imprisonment — with the possibility of the death penalty — if anyone is killed in such an attack.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., a former FBI agent, recalled using such tools in gang and child molestation investigations.

"All we do in the Patriot Act is say, `Look, if we can go after child molesters sitting in the library and bombers who we need to sneak-and-peek on a warrant, we ought to be able to go after terrorists,'" he said.
Critics heralded the bulk of the existing law, but said the sunsets were wisely inserted amid the inflamed passions following the Sept. 11 attacks, and should be retained to assess the long-term impact of the law.

now this one's a classic, watch how it's done:

our FBI Congressman -- shilling for our CIA President -- connects the UnPatriot Act with anti-child-molestation measures

whereas before, anyone opposing the Patriot Act was, by the very naming of the Act itself, a traitor or, at minimun, unpatriotic, now the stakes are raised

failure to support the new, improved Patriot Act now infers support of child molestation

of course Mister Rogers doesn't actually say that -- but it is subtextual, psychologically and logically, to his actual statement

after all, the making of an Evildoer, like the making of any scapegoat, is a process, an accretion of steps designed to make the War on Evildoers appear not only just, but inevitable

mass manipulation, in a mass-comm age, is ridiculously easy, especially given a dumbed-down, drugged, materialistic population, many of whom have been psychologically prepared to believe they are already Victims (Protected Classes, anyone?)

the FBI, like any gubbermint entity (and indeed like most organisms of any type) seeks to expand its own domain, it's power

it is not interested in justice, or national stability, or (tee-hee!) whatever's left of the old Constitution . . .


that was easy, wasn't it, boys and girls?

i'm sure that Mister Rogers will be back very soon with another installment from his Nay Bore Hood

he's a busy, busy boy!

stay Tuned to this channel for updates!

"Periodically revisiting the Patriot Act is a good thing," said Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass. "The Patriot Act was an effort to answer the most difficult question a democracy faces: How much freedom are we willing to give up to feel safe?"

all of it, obviously, and damn quick too

Democrats were incensed after Republican leaders blocked consideration of an amendment that would have blocked the library searches. The House approved identical language last month in a test vote.

"If you don't like it, come up and speak against it," said Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who sponsored the amendment. "But it has passed once and it would likely pass again."
The House bill number is H.R. 3199.

the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, all these terrorist networks we are supposed to fear: they get satellite teevee too, y'know

Al-Qaeda strategists, we can assume safely, would be opposed to re-passage of the Patriot Act, as would any terrorist organization

so why would they carry out these recent bombings, given the assurance that such highly incendiary attacks would guarantee that the heart of legislation opposing them would sail through the American Congress?

one might argue that the bombings were planned far ahead of time, and couldn't be called off . . .

but the original Patriot Act had a specific sunset -- December 31, 2005

the U.S. House would have to vote on the Act now, in late July, because they go out of session (to their home districts) in August, and only meet briefly in September before adjourning for the year

Al-Qaeda operatives certainly would be well-aware of all these elements -- they are not secret, but obvious public-record facts

well, that's all for today, kids!

Mister Rogers wishes you all a Secure night's sleep in Der Homeland


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