Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization
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
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
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
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. What is "an
offense against the United States"? What are
You can bet that the Alito/Roberts
court will rule that it is whatever the executive branch
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. 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
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?
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Paul Craig Roberts [email
him] is the author with Lawrence M.
for Peter Brimelow`s
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the
recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.