Open Letter Regarding PATRIOT Act Renewal

Posted on 07/02/2011 by

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[EDIT 08.02.2011]

The renewal of H.R. 514 failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority necessary to pass! The PATRIOT Act has died in the House, expect the Senate to try something dastardly. In other news, Norm Dicks, ‘my’ representative, voted yes. Like I wrote below, he’s an embalmed toad.

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This is my letter to “my” representative, regarding the upcoming renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act. I have zero faith in Rep. Dicks doing anything but voting ‘yes’, because he is an embalmed toad. Literally. I’m not making this up, look at him. However, there’s always hope.

You can take action here, via the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Feb 7, 2011

Representative Norm Dicks
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2467
Independence Avenue and 1st Street, SW
Washington, DC 20515-4706

Dear Representative Dicks,

Greetings to you, and I hope this find you well. It is my understanding that the USA PATRIOT Act is up for a vote tomorrow in the House.

It is often true, I find, that Representatives forget that they represent, and do not dictate. You represent me, along with my fellow citizens. Therefore, I require you to stand up for my civil liberties tomorrow by voting *NO* on H.R. 514, Rep. Sensenbrenner’s bill to extend the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until December 8, 2011

I do not think that I need to list the litany of offences and travesties which have been perpetrated under the auspices of the Orwellianly-named PATRIOT Act. Your office, I suspect, has received much in the way of that. It is a document which is not patriotic at all, but rather a device for the most draconian and offensive assaults upon civil liberties since the Civil War.

As you might or might not remember, the Act was last renewed in February of 2010, a Congress which you were part of. This renewal came with a promise to fully consider and debate a range of proposed reforms before the next renewal deadline.

The government has routinely exceeded or abused its surveillance powers, and used the Act to fig-leaf itself. As an example, the Electronic Frontier Foundation provided new evidence detailing a decade of rampant FBI abuse of its power to issue National Security Letters, a power that was broadly expanded by the PATRIOT Act. This can be read in the "Patterns of Misconduct" report, published by the EFF and based on thousands of documents obtained using the Freedom of Information Act.

In what can only be called a legislative sneak attack, and a blatant betrayal of previous promises, the House’s leaders have placed a straight reauthorisation bill (H.R. 514) on the suspension calendar for a vote on Tuesday. This is without any reforms, debate, or amendments. There has been no effort put into eliminating those aspects of this despicable Act which have allowed for the most egregious offences.

I demand that you strongly oppose this rushed renewal of the Act without any reform and without any debate. You and Congress are duty-bound to act as a check on the Executive Branch. You are obligated to vote *NO* on the PATRIOT extension bill (H.R. 514) when it comes to a vote on Tuesday, as you well know you should. It is your duty to represent the people, and I have no doubt you hear the people speaking with one voice: “NO”.

Sincerely,
Mr. Andrew McInnes

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Posted in: Activism