Pharyngula

That’s some law, that Patriot Act

It’s got everything a fascist dictator might want in a law.

A new provision tucked into the Patriot Act bill now before Congress would allow authorities to haul demonstrators at any “special event of national significance” away to jail on felony charges if they are caught breaching a security perimeter.

[The] measure…would extend the authority of the Secret Service to allow agents to arrest people who willingly or knowingly enter a restricted area at an event, even if the president or other official normally protected by the Secret Service isn’t in attendance at the time.

(via Nathan Newman)

Comments

  1. #1 Darkling
    January 30, 2006

    Isn’t there a song, whose name escapes me for the moment , that includes the following line:

    “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”

    Somewhere something’s gone horribly wrong

  2. #2 timageous
    January 30, 2006

    Does that felony arrest come with a savage beating or does that come with the next revision?

  3. #3 Graculus
    January 30, 2006

    How does this fit in with your new “Homeland Defense Police” and all those new detention camps?

  4. #4 Kristine
    January 30, 2006

    “Does that felony arrest come with a savage beating or does that come with the next revision?”

    Beating are quaint. It’s likely we’ll see more “punishment by proxy” as we saw during the 2004 RNC protests in New York, which was essentially torture by inflicting injury through tight handcuffs (or flexcuffs) after an arrest, being held in unsanitary conditions for over 24 hours (like the protestors being held on Pier 57, lying on a floor covered with transmission fluid and other toxic agents that caused skin sores), being forcibly separated from epilepsy medication or eyeglasses, being refused medical treatment for breathing problems or internal injury, being refused water so that dehydration sets in, etc. Angry yet?

  5. #5 Steve LaBonne
    January 30, 2006

    What would you expect from a law with a name straight out of 1984?

  6. #6 BronzeDog
    January 30, 2006

    And I thought the Patriot Act was creepy, before. *shudder*

    What would you expect from a law with a name straight out of 1984?

    *Double shudder*

  7. #7 Ginger Yellow
    January 30, 2006

    Essentially this provision expands the jurisdiction of the Secret Service so that they can arrest anyone if they have reasonable grounds to believe that they have committed or are committing any crime, so long as it occurs at an event of national significance. Who decides if it is such an event? The president. Frankly I find the administration’s brazen flouting of the law and the constitution over the NSA scandal far more worrying, but it’s certainly not good.

  8. #8 Alon Levy
    January 30, 2006

    Remember that the line about the land of the free and the home of the brave was written at a time when the southern half of the US had slavery.

  9. #9 just john
    January 30, 2006

    Okay, I confess I saw something and headed right over here to post it, and only chose this thread because a slight relevence (the fascism reference.)

    So, is the thing at the end of this true? This alleges that Nazi Germany officially considered astrology as science.

    (apologies to Godwin)

  10. #10 Ick of the East
    January 30, 2006

    I still find it incredible that these people act as if they will be in power forever and that the laws they push through will never be used against them or their supporters.

    Do they know something we don’t know?

  11. #11 Graculus
    January 30, 2006

    Do they know something we don’t know?

    Google “Hursti hack”

  12. #12 Harry Eagar
    January 30, 2006

    Get a grip, Professor.

    This is no different from what went on at Cow College when President Johnson visited in 1965. And one of my classmates was, indeed, arrested by the Secret Service for visiting his dormitory, which had been evacuated so we couldn’t overlook LBJ’s arrival.

    Democrats then.

  13. #13 Nullifidian
    January 30, 2006

    Original post:
    [The] measure…would extend the authority of the Secret Service to allow agents to arrest people who willingly or knowingly enter a restricted area at an event, even if the president or other official normally protected by the Secret Service isn’t in attendance at the time.

    Harry Eagar:
    Get a grip, Professor.

    This is no different from what went on at Cow College when President Johnson visited in 1965. And one of my classmates was, indeed, arrested by the Secret Service for visiting his dormitory, which had been evacuated so we couldn’t overlook LBJ’s arrival.

    Democrats then.

    (emphasis added)

    Not quite the same, is it?

  14. #14 Harry Eagar
    January 31, 2006

    Yes, it’s exactly the same. He was arrested before Johnson got there.

    Johnson was there for about 3 hours. The no-go zone was in effect for nearly 3 days.

  15. #15 Nullifidian
    January 31, 2006

    It’s exactly the same to set up a zone around an area when a president is coming as it is to set up a sort of free-arrest zone when a president is not coming at all, does not need to come, nobody from the administration needs to come, nobody from the Supreme Court needs to come, nobody from the Congress needs to come, not even the local school board needs to come for it to be designated an “Special Event of National Significance.” You’re right. The parallel couldn’t be clearer.

  16. #16 outeast
    January 31, 2006

    Hey, poops to your pussy Patriot Act! Britain’s got you outclassed now – as of the New Year a few little changes to the law mean that you can get banged up for a month without charge for effectively any offense – even littering:)

  17. #17 Anonymous
    January 31, 2006

    “And I thought the Patriot Act was creepy, before. *shudder*

    What would you expect from a law with a name straight out of 1984?

    *Double shudder*”

    NO-NO: Double PLUS shudder

  18. #18 QrazyQat
    March 29, 2006

    What would you expect from a law with a name straight out of 1984?

    And the title of the post begs the response, “Best there is”.

    At least that’s the (other apropos) literary (actually movie for me) reference I got from it. 🙂

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.