Archive for February, 2011

If the threat of terrorism is so great that the 4th Amendment can be violated by the Patriot Act and used repeatedly against US Citizens, if we are in that much danger, one would think the Government would allow and desire the Law Abiding Citizens in every state the right to carry a gun in efforts of thwarting any possible attacks.

Right?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) released the following Dear Colleague letter to his fellow Senators this morning regarding the renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act. (2/15/2011)

Dear Colleague:

James Otis argued against general warrants and writs of assistance that were issued by British soldiers without judicial review and that did not name the subject or items to be searched.

He condemned these general warrants as “the worst instrument[s] of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever w[ere] found in an English law book.”  Otis objected to these writs of assistance because they “placed the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.”  The Fourth Amendment was intended to guarantee that only judges—not soldiers or policemen—would issue warrants.  Otis’ battle against warrantless searches led to our Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable government intrusion.

My main objection to the PATRIOT Act is that searches that should require a judge’s warrant are performed with a letter from an FBI agent—a National Security Letter (“NSL”).

I object to these warrantless searches being performed on United States citizens.  I object to the 200,000 NSL searches that have been performed without a judge’s warrant.

I object to over 2 million searches of bank records, called Suspicious Activity Reports, performed on U.S. citizens without a judge’s warrant.

As February 28th approaches, with three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act set to expire, it is time to re-consider this question:  Do the many provisions of this bill, which were enacted in such haste after 9/11, have an actual basis in our Constitution, and are they even necessary to achieve valid law-enforcement goals?

The USA PATRIOT Act, passed in the wake of the worst act of terrorism in U.S. history, is no doubt well-intentioned.  However, rather than examine what went wrong, and fix the problems, Congress instead hastily passed a long-standing wish list of power grabs like warrantless searches and roving wiretaps.  The government greatly expanded its own power, ignoring obvious answers in favor of the permanent expansion of a police state.

It is not acceptable to willfully ignore the most basic provisions of our Constitution—in this case—the Fourth and First Amendments—in the name of “security.”

For example, one of the three provisions set to expire on February 28th—the “library provision,” section 215 of the PATRIOT Act—allows the government to obtain records from a person or entity by making only the minimal showing of “relevance” to an international terrorism or espionage investigation.  This provision also imposes a year-long nondisclosure, or “gag” order. “Relevance” is a far cry from the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of probable cause.  Likewise, the “roving wiretap” provision, section 206 of the PATRIOT Act, which is also scheduled to expire on the 28th, does not comply with the Fourth Amendment.  This provision makes possible “John Doe roving wiretaps,” which do not require the government to name the target of the wiretap, nor to identify the specific place or facility to be monitored.  This bears an uncanny resemblance to the Writs of Assistance fought against by Otis and the American colonists.

Other provisions of the PATRIOT Act previously made permanent and not scheduled to expire present even greater concerns.  These include the use and abuse by the FBI of so-called National Security Letters.  These secret demand letters, which allow the government to obtain financial records and other sensitive information held by Internet Service Providers, banks, credit companies, and telephone carriers—all without appropriate judicial oversight—also impose a gag order on recipients.

NSL abuse has been and likely continues to be rampant.  The widely-circulated 2007 report issued by the Inspector General from the Department of Justice documents “widespread and serious misuse of the FBI’s national security letter authorities.  In many instances, the FBI’s misuse of national security letters violated NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, or the FBI’s own internal policies.”  Another audit released in 2008 revealed similar abuses, including the fact that the FBI had issued inappropriate “blanket NSLs” that did not comply with FBI policy, and which allowed the FBI to obtain data on 3,860 telephone numbers by issuing only eleven “blanket NSLs.” The 2008 audit also confirmed that the FBI increasingly used NSLs to seek information on U.S. citizens.  From 2003 to 2006, almost 200,000 NSL requests were issued.  In 2006 alone, almost 60% of the 49,425 requests were issued specifically for investigations of U.S. citizens or legal aliens.

In addition, First Amendment advocates should be concerned about an especially troubling aspect of the 2008 audit, which documented a situation in which the FBI applied to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to obtain a section 215 order.  The Court denied the order on First Amendment grounds.  Not to be deterred, the FBI simply used an NSL to obtain the same information.

A recent report released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) entitled, “Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001-2008,” documents further NSL abuse.  EFF estimates that, based on the proportion of violations reported to the Intelligence Oversight Board and the FBI’s own statements regarding NSL violations, the actual number of violations that may have occurred since 2001 could approach 40,000 violations of law, Executive Order, and other regulations.

Yet another troublesome (and now permanent) provision of the PATRIOT Act is the expansion of Suspicious Activity Reports.  Sections 356 and 359 expanded the types of financial institutions required to file reports under the Bank Secrecy Act.  The personal and account information required by the reports is turned over to the Treasury Department and the FBI.  In 2000, there were only 163,184 reports filed.  By 2007, this had increased to 1,250,439.  Again, as with NSLs, there is a complete lack of judicial oversight for SARs.

Finally, I wish to remind my colleagues that one of the many ironies of the rush to advance the PATRIOT Act following 9/11 is the well-documented fact that FBI incompetence caused the failure to search the computer of the alleged 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui.  As FBI agent Coleen Rowley stated, “the FBI headquarters supervisory special agent handling the Moussaoui case ‘seemed to have been consistently almost deliberately thwarting the Minneapolis FBI agents’ efforts” to meet the FISA standard for a search warrant, and therefore no request was ever made for a warrant.  Why, then, was the FBI rewarded with such expansive new powers in the aftermath of this institutional failure?

In the words of former Senator Russ Feingold, the only “no” vote against the original version of the PATRIOT Act,

“[T]here is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists. But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live. And that would not be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that would not be America.”

I call upon each of my Senate colleagues to seriously consider whether the time has come to re-evaluate many—if not all—provisions of the PATRIOT Act.  Our oath to uphold the Constitution demands it.

Sincerely,

Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator

http://www.randpaul2010.com/2011/02/senator-rand-paul%E2%80%99s-letter-of-opposition-to-the-patriot-act/

You be the judge.

 

70,000,000,000 USD ($70 Billion)

Posted: February 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Superbowl 45: Packers Win

Posted: February 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

“The surest way to overthrow an established social order is to debauch its currency.”

-Vladimir Lenin 1910, Founder of the Russian Communist Party  and architect of the Bolshevik Revolution

“Lenin was certainly right, there is no more positive, or subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency… The process engages all of the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner that not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

-John Maynard Keynes, 1920, Economist, adviser to bankers, architect of FDR’s and America’s (deficit) spending one’s way out of bankruptcy.

Presidential History

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

1829-1837 Andrew Jackson, President. Strongly opposed to a central bank. He stated that it exposed the government to control by foreign interests, and would make the rich richer. Upon assuming the office, he called a delegation of bankers into the White House. He told them, “You are a den of vipers and thieves! I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Enternal God, will rout you out!” Jackson did accomplish his task. He dissolved the Second National Bank of America (back then banks were granted twenty year charters to print money). Soon afterwards, in 1835, there was an attempt on his life. The would be assassin’s gun jammed. He pulled a second gun and it jammed as well.

1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln, President, had plunged this nation into war and heavy debt. To prevent bankers taking over a nation in debt, he issued debt free currency called greenbacks. He beat the bankers. During the war, the London Times brazenly reported that by that method, the U.S. would furnish its own money without cost, and added “The government must be destroyed, or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.” Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth has been aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic Destroyed. Assassinated spring 1865

1881 James Garfield, President. “Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.” Shot by assailant shortly after taking office. He died of complications months later. Shortly before his assassination, declared that whoever controls the supply of currency would control the business and activities of the people.

1901 William McKinley, President. Advocate of gold standard. Assassinated

1961-1963 John F. Kennedy, President. On June 4, 1963, he issued an executive order (#11110) to issue debt free currency backed by silver reserves held by the government. It is widely reported that he made the following comment at a Columbia University class on Nov. 12, 1963: “The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American’s freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizens of this plight.” Assassinated 10 days later.

“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.” James Madison, 4th U.S. President

©Ronald MacDonald, Robert Rowen, M.D.

“Mr. Chairman, when you hold a $10 Federal Reserve note in your hand you are holding a piece of paper which sooner or later is going to cost the United States Government $10 in gold…

The sack of the United States by the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks is the greatest crime in history.

Mr. Chairman, a serious situation confronts the House of Representatives today.  We are trustees of the people and the rights of the people are being taken away from them.  Through the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks, the people are losing the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.  Their property has been taken from them without due process of law.  Mr. Chairman, common decency requires us to examine the public accounts of the Government and see what crimes against the public welfare have and are being committed.

Mr. Chairman, when a Chinese merchant sells human hair to a Paris wigmaker and bills him in dollars, the Federal Reserve banks can buy his bill against the wigmaker and then use that bill as collateral for the Federal Reserve notes.  The United States Government thus pays the Chinese merchant the debt of the wigmaker and gets nothing in return except a shady title to the Chinese hair.

Mr. Chairman, if a German brewer ships beer to this country or anywhere else in the world and draws his bill for it in dollars, the Federal Reserve banks will buy that bill and use it as collateral for the Federal Reserve notes.  Thus, they compel our Government to pay the German brewer for his beer.

On April 27, 1932, the Federal Reserve outfit sent $750,000, belonging to American bank depositors, in gold to Germany.  A week later, another $300,000 in gold was shipped to Germany in the same way.  About the middle of May, $12,000,000 in gold was shipped to Germany by the Federal Reserve board and the Federal Reserve banks.  Almost every week there is a shipment of gold to Germany.  These shipments are not made for profit on the exchange since German marks are below parity with the dollar.  The Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve banks lately conducted anti-hoarding campaign here.  Then they took that extra money which they had persuaded the American people to put into the banks and they sent it to Europe along with the rest.  In the last several months, they have sent $1,300,000,00 in gold to their foreign employers, their foreign masters, and every dollar of that gold belonged to the people of the United States and was unlawfully taken from them.”

– Louis McFadden June 10, 1932