Winter 2003

Up In Arms Over the Patriot Act

Municipalities nationwide are formerly declaring opposition to the Patriot Act

By Keith Bulriss




On December 2, 2002 Burlington city councilors voted 10-2 in favor of going on record against the USA Patriot Act.

The list of US towns that have passed such resolutions continues to grow: New Haven, Connecticut; Madison, Wisconsin; Eugene, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. As of this writing on December 9, eighteen towns, cities, or counties across the nation have formally passed similar resolutions and dozens of other municipalities including Boston, Oakland, and Miami are hard at work on their own statements.

Under the act, federal investigators can plant wiretaps, search computers, investigate library records, and take other investigative steps if they believe someone is connected with foreign terrorists. The act also makes it illegal for anyone who has been served a warrant under the act from talking about it.

What seems to be going unnoticed here is that the American government can, has been, and will continue to do all of these things —with or without the Patriot Act. Left wing politicos don't seem to want to entertain the notion that those who are investigated *gasp* most likely NEED to be investigated.

Few would dispute the notion that terrorists are bad people and need to be rooted out from their hiding places. As a nation, we are in need of some serious house cleaning due to an open and welcoming immigration policy that is seriously compromising our safety. Rationality has taken a back seat to political correctness for far too long.

Six months to the day after Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi flew planes into the World Trade Center, the Immigration and Naturalization Service notified a Venice, Florida flight school that the two men had been approved for student visas. What is wrong with this picture?

"It does serve to illustrate what we have been saying since 1995 -- that the current system for collecting information and tracking foreign students is antiquated, outdated, inaccurate, and untimely," Immigration and Naturalization Services spokesman Russ Bergeron said in a CNN interview after the incident.

The argument of our country's immigrant heritage no longer holds water. There are undoubtedly more terrorists among us and they need to be found, stripped of everything, and hung to dry. The Patriot Act is a comparatively unimposing measure. Martial law exists and remains an option that no one wants to see—weigh the two.

So, to Burlington and other local governments, stop pouring sugar in the Bush machine's gas tank. Granted, the Patriot Act is the lesser of two evils, but in the long run, it will do us a whole lot of good. The only thing worse than a war abroad would be a war with the government on the home front.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee keeps a running tally of proposed measures if you would like to see the progress of resolutions around the country.

Any questions? E-mail us.

Opinions expressed in the Bullhorn reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of All Points North.













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