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The Real Threat of The Patriot Act. How it undermines the Constitution!

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The Real Threat of The Patriot Act. How it undermines the Constitution!

sleepin'dawg
This concerns the USA PATRIOT Act, a U.S. law about which most of us are ignorant and is not widely understood. You need to understand it because this Act could have a major impact on you -- and on your wealth. Try to learn more about The Patriot Act, it's not very easy because it is spread out all over the place. The link below can get you started. You may find it interesting, to say the least.

THREE QUESTIONS

Consider these serious questions, the answers to which could determine what happens to your cash, your investments and, ultimately -- to you and your family:

1) If you are a U.S. citizen or resident of the United States, and you have an account at a bank, do you know the name of your banker?

2) Do you know the name of even one official that works at the bank where your accounts are kept?

3) If all the cash in your bank account suddenly was frozen, who would you call? What would you do? How would you get it unfrozen?

Chances are, if you're like most Americans (and like me), you don't have answers to these questions. Even if you have a private banker whom you know well, what I am about to say still applies to you -- even more so, since you probably have greater wealth involved.

But your banker -- whether you know him or not -- knows everything about you and your finances -- and he and his staff are watching your every move -- because the U.S. government forces bankers to act as spies, reporting on you, on all of us, to the federal money police at the U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCen).

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

A national crisis, such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, immediately encourages a 'do something' reaction in politicians of every stripe. The greater the crisis, the swifter -- and more unthinking -- the solution politicians concoct.

At such times, a herd mentality takes hold that overcomes logic and reason. Having served eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives, I can attest first hand to this dangerous political phenomenon. Just six weeks after the September 11th attacks, on October 26, 2001, a panicked U.S. Congress adopted the so-called 'USA PATRIOT Act.'

The PATRIOT Act became law with great haste and secrecy. In the name of the 'war on terrorism,' Congress passed this questionable legislation giving the U.S. executive branch and its police agencies sweeping new powers that undermine the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Act (all 362 pages of it) was passed with little debate by senators and congressmen, most of whom did not, and could not even read the bill, because when the final vote was taken, no printed copies were available.

In my opinion, the Act constitutes the greatest single governmental assault on personal and financial privacy in U.S. history. Already three U.S. district courts have ruled parts of the Act to be unconstitutional.

The Act is being used for purposes that have nothing to do with fighting terrorism undefined but everything to do with unchecked police surveillance, wiretapping and secret searches of homes and offices. Fully 125 pages of this Act concern individual financial activities as well as U.S. and offshore banking and finance.

WHAT IS THE THREAT?

The PATRIOT Act permits:

* secret FBI and police searches of your home and office

* secret government wiretaps on your phone, computer and/or Internet activity

* secret investigations of your bank records, credit cards and other financial records

* secret investigations of your library and book activities

* secret examination of your medical, travel and business records.

* the freezing of funds and assets without prior notice or appeal

* the creation of secret 'watch lists' that ban those named from air and other travel

You may think you are immune from these radical police powers - but as many innocent Americans have discovered, anyone can be caught in the government's unthinking surveillance web -- with little or no judicial review or appeal.

In 2004, in the same week that the New York City Council voted to condemn the PATRIOT Act, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll found that while most Americans back the anti-terrorism ideas behind the Act, they are not only confused, but woefully ignorant of the provisions of the law and how it is being administered.

What can you do about this??? How can we protect ourselves??? It would be interesting to hear what others here are aware of and are thinking about. The Patriot Act was born out of a dire need to protect the USA from any further threats of terrorism but has it gone too far??? If so, what should be done to correct the potential abuses of it??? Or are we going to respond only with apathy to the potential stripping away of all our freedoms and rights???

Here are a couple of links to help people learn more of what The USA Patriot Act is and you can learn about the potential threats to your freedom, especially the risks to your personal wealth, regardless of whether you have lots or little. How would feel if all your assets were frozen by some whim of a governmental official who has mistakenly targetted you as a terrorist. There have been horror stories of people's assets being mistakenly frozen in the past, over supposed drug dealing and money laundering, because of mistakes made through a mix up of names. The potential threat now is even worse because the scope has broadened and the agencies have been given even broader powers.

http://www.usgov.com/index.php?show=Department+of+justice%2C+laws%2C+the+USA+patriot+act&rsr=sf&submit=Search

http://uscis.gov/graphics/lawsregs/patriot.pdf

Dawg]:)