View Full Version : The Patriot Act

11-05-2004, 12:12 PM
It would be unpatriotic to oppose the Patriot Act, which clearly violates certain rights qranted by the document it is designed to defend. Bush/Ashcroft, the bad guys ...???

Well.....It's just history repeating itself...........

"Conformity will be the only virtue and any man who refuses to conform will have to pay the penalty,"President Wilson warned...and he had the newly minted Espionage and Sedition Act to back him up.

Passed in June 1917, it cast a wide net and trampled civil liberties. In Vermont, for example, a minister was sentenced to 15 years in prison for writing a pamphlet, distributed to five persons, in which he claimed that supporting the war was wrong for a Christian. Here's a sample of that law:

"Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 20 years, or both."

"The Espionage Act had very little to do with espionage," says Howard Zinn.

"Instead it made it a crime, punishable by up to twenty years in prison, to say or print anything that would 'willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States.' The Sedition Act, which was an amendment to the Espionage Act, made it even a little more drastic. In fact, two thousand people were prosecuted under those acts and about a thousand went to prison."

(For those keeping score at home, the Espionage and Sedition Act is still on the books.)
We also had the Palmer Raids and the deportation of Emma Goldman for her writings and speeches.
n 1919 Woodrow Wilson appointed A. Mitchell Palmer as his attorney general. Palmer recruited John Edgar Hoover as his special assistant and together they used the Espionage Act (1917) and the Sedition Act (1918) to launch a campaign against radicals and left-wing organizations.

Worried by the revolution that had taken place in Russia, Palmer became convinced that Communist agents were planning to overthrow the American government. His view was reinforced by the discovery of thirty-eight bombs sent to leading politicians and the Italian anarchist who blew himself up outside Palmer's Washington home.

A. Mitchell Palmer claimed that Communist agents from Russia were planning to overthrow the American government. On 7th November, 1919, the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution, over 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists were arrested. Palmer and Hoover found no evidence of a proposed revolution but large number of these suspects were held without trial for a long time. The vast majority were eventually released but Emma Goldman and 247 other people, were deported to Russia.

On 2nd January, 1920, another 6,000 were arrested and held without trial. These raids took place in several cities and became known as the Palmer Raids. A. Mitchell Palmer and John Edgar Hoover found no evidence of a proposed revolution but large number of these suspects, many of them members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), continued to be held without trial. When Palmer announced that the communist revolution was likely to take place on 1st May, mass panic took place. In New York, five elected Socialists were expelled from the legislature.

When the May revolution failed to materialize, attitudes towards Palmer began to change and he was criticised for disregarding people's basic civil liberties. Some of his opponents claimed that Palmer had devised this Red Scare to help him become the Democratic presidential candidate in 1920.
Jez, would anyone use the threat of war to get elected to office?
]http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USApalmerR.htm (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USApalmerR.htm[/url)[/url]

Nothing will change until we change our minds...until we discover what Proust called "new eyes." Because, frightened readers, the facade of power is remarkably fragile. Consider the words of David Hume, written in 1758:

"Nothing appears more surprising...than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we inquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find that, as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is, therefore, on opinion only that government is founded, and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments as well as the most free and popular"

"The corporate grip on opinion is the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World," says Gore Vidal. "No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity-much less dissent."

That corporate grip, obscured by layers of fear, is a very,very weak grip...but until we recognize that reality, we'll be too busy running scared from terrorists and fascists to inspire genuine change.
From an interesting site:
www.salvationinc.org/ (http://www.salvationinc.org/)