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 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.

  2. #2 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.

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