The Orwellian Patriot Act

What does the Patriot Act Allow? Is it a reasonable law enforcement tool ? Or is it one step closer to a Totalitarian Police State? By invalidating the constitution the Union is effectively dissolved, replaced gradually from 1950 -2001 with the Military Correctional Corp of Central North America, or the Oceana of George Orwell's1984. Initially this page was supposed to be a study of arguments pro and con, but as I composed the material I slowly realized this was the most sinister peace of governance every contemplated in the History of Capitalist Representative Governments. Here is an extended page of instance of use and abuse of the Patriot Act and State secrets laws generally.

Harry Reid introduced his bill to continue the extreme surveillance regime of the Patriot Act without any reforms just a few days ago. The bill didn’t go through committee. Reid didn’t give any U.S. senators time to offer amendments, circumventing the processes of representative democracy by slapping the Patriot Act onto the small business legislation and moving it to the floor of the Senate, lickety split.

Senator Reid and his fellow fans of the Patriot Act unconstitutional spy powers had months to pass their bill. There was no real rush. They waited until the last minute specifically in order to avoid amendments that could have brought back some small amount of constitutional protections for Americans.

Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve this Frankenstein version of the Patriot Act. Here’s a list of how the U.S. Representatives voted – Search this roll call for the name of your member of Congress:

Excerpted from:

Four More Years of Unchecked Spying, Surveillance and Secrecy

Last night, Congress passed and the president signed a four-year extension of three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. You may recall that the original expiration was scheduled for December 31, 2009 — and what did Congress do after 18 months of short term extensions, sporadic hearings and a markup or two? Nothing. The Patriot Act was reauthorized as-is without a single additional privacy protection. After a rollercoaster week of Patriot Act consideration there were some definite winners and losers:


  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Sen. Wyden is a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and has been ringing the bill on the Patriot Act for quite a while. In particular, he’s been warning us that despite the law being unconstitutional and permissive on its face, the Administration relies on secret legal interpretations that let them go even farther. As he said on the floor: “I want to deliver a warning this afternoon: When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry.” Although Congress did not vote on his amendment regarding secret law, he got committee chairman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to agree to turn the Intelligence Committee’s attention to this point.

  • Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo). Sen. Udall has been on the Intelligence Committee for all of five months and has already fought harder for privacy than some members have done in the decades they have lounged there. He introduced an amendment to fix section 215 of the Patriot Act — the so-called library provision—and gave Sen. Wyden an assist on the secret law issue. He’s a rising leader in the civil liberties area — keep an eye on him.

  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). When Congress gave itself a short-term extension to discuss amendments and strategy three months ago, Sen. Paul was very clear: if he didn’t get to offer amendments next time around, he’d procedurally draw out the Patriot Act process as long as he possibly could. And he did. And he got to offer the only two amendments considered on the Senate floor. Both failed, but without his leadership there probably wouldn’t have been a record 23 ‘no’ votes on final passage, including four republicans.


  • The entire House of Representatives. The House spent roughly 30 minutes debating the Patriot Act this time around. Seriously? I guess with the Memorial Day weekend approaching they had to get home to eat some barbecue and kiss some babies.

  • Senate Leadership — both parties. They had three months notice of this expiration, yet waited until the week of the sunset to get down to business, and at the end of the day, did not get it together and permit votes on some very important amendments. For example, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) had a very moderate, bipartisan, bicameral reform proposal that would insert rudimentary oversight and accountability provisions into the Patriot Act. It didn’t even get a vote.

Patriot will be back in four years. In the meantime, keep your eye on cybersecurity. There are proposals out there that would permit information grabs that make the Patriot Act look quaint. Also get prepared for a fight over the FISA Amendments Act, which will sunset next year. See you then!

Roll Call: U.S. House Passes Patriot Act Extension With No Reforms! posted 26th May 2011 in Legislation, Liberty by jclifford

Yes, it’s confusing. They call the bill the “Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011, S. 990, but it’s really the bill to extend the Patriot Act without any reforms, without any chance of amendment.

May 27, 2011: Senate bill S-990: "Small Business Additional Temporary Extension Act of 2011"

(The Patriot Act Re-authorization)

Arguments and articles concerned with infringement of constitutional liberties:

Actual Provisions Of The Patriot Act Summarized:

Excerpted From How Stuff Works:

Main Provisions of the Patriot Act

The Patriot Act's full title is Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. It's split into 10 parts, and it covers a lot of ground. Here is a summary.

Title I - This section pertains to the protection of civil liberties. It authorizes federal money to accomplish much of the act's provisions and authorizes the Secret Service to create a nationwide electronic crime task force. This section also gives the president the authority to confiscate the property of any foreign person who is believed to have aided in a war or attack on the United States. Such seizures can be submitted secretly to courts as evidence.

Title II - This section broadens the ability of law-enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance on "agents of foreign powers." It allows the interception of communications if they're related to terrorist activities and allows law-enforcement agencies to share information related to terrorist activities with federal authorities. In addition, Title II authorizes roving surveillance -- that is, a court order allowing surveillance on a particular person allows officers to use any means available to intercept that person's communications, regardless of where the person goes. Previously, a court order would only allow a wiretap on a specific line in one location. Further, it allows the government to order files from the providers of communications services with details about specific customers' use of the service. For example, an Internet service provider can be ordered to provide information on IP addresses, login times and sites visited. Title II also allows delayed notification of search warrants, meaning a suspect's house could be searched while the suspect isn't present, and the suspect would not be notified of the search until after it was carried out. The wide-ranging Title II included many other relatively minor clauses. Title II also contained the sunset clause that would have caused many of the act's provisions to expire in 2005 had they not been renewed. We'll discuss more on the sunset clause later.

Titles III-X of the Patriot Act

Title III - This section of the Patriot Act is aimed at cutting off the financial support of terrorist groups. It has provisions requiring banks to take steps to prevent money laundering, allows law-enforcement agencies to gather information from banks and creates longer prison terms for money laundering and smuggling.

Title IV - This section has provisions intended to strengthen border security. It authorizes increased funding forborder patrols, customs officials and immigration officials. Foreigners with ties to terrorist organizations are banned from entering the United States, and the monitoring of foreign students is expanded by Title IV.

Title V - The most important part of Title V is the use of National Security Letters (NSL). An NSL is a demand for the release of information and paperwork related to a person under investigation. The Patriot Act makes NSLs much stronger, allows them to be used against U.S. citizens and contains a gag order preventing the target of the NSL from ever knowing about it or telling anyone else about it. There is no judicial review or need for probable cause when an NSL is requested and issued.

Photo courtesy of the FBI

Organization Chart of the FBI National Security Service

Title VI - This section contains provisions for providing financial compensation to victims of terrorism and their families.

Title VII - Authorization and budgeting for increased sharing of information between law-enforcement agencies and jurisdictions are contained in this section.

Title VIII - This portion of the Patriot Act adds several crimes to the list of things considered acts of terrorism, including attacking a mass transit system, using a biological weapon, supporting terrorism and computerhacking. The penalties for terrorist crimes are also increased.

Title IX - This section creates a method for the sharing of national intelligence information between governmentagencies.

Title X - The final section of the Patriot Act contains a number of relatively minor, miscellaneous provisions.

California Representatives who voted against Patriot Act Reauthorization:

Rep. Karen Bass [D, CA-33]

Rep. Lois Capps [D, CA-23]

Rep. Judy Chu [D, CA-32]

Rep. Anna Eshoo [D, CA-14]

Rep. Sam Farr [D, CA-17]

Rep. John Garamendi [D, CA-10]

Rep. Michael Honda [D, CA-15]

Rep. Barbara Lee [D, CA-9]

Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D, CA-16]

Rep. Doris Matsui [D, CA-5]

Rep. Jerry McNerney [D, CA-11]

Rep. Grace Napolitano [D, CA-38]

Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8]

Rep. Laura Richardson [D, CA-37]

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D, CA-34]

Rep. Linda Sánchez [D, CA-39]

Rep. Brad Sherman [D, CA-27]

Rep. Jackie Speier [D, CA-12]

Rep. Fortney Stark [D, CA-13]

Rep. Michael Thompson [D, CA-1]

Rep. Maxine Waters [D, CA-35]

Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30]

Rep. Lynn Woolsey [D, CA-6]

Rep. John Campbell [R, CA-48]

Rep. Tom McClintock [R, CA-4]

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R, CA-46]

California Representatives Who voted for Patriot Act:

Senators Boxer D and Feinstein D both support the Patriot Act Reauthorization.


Rep. Joe Baca [D, CA-43] Abstain

Rep. Xavier Becerra [D, CA-31] Abstain

Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28] Abstain

Rep. Mary Bono Mack [R, CA-45] Abstain

Rep. Bob Filner [D, CA-51] Abstain

Rep. Howard McKeon [R, CA-25] Abstain

Rep. George Miller [D, CA-7] Abstain

Rep. Loretta Sanchez [D, CA-47] Abstain

Rep. Brian Bilbray [R, CA-50] Aye

Rep. Ken Calvert [R, CA-44] Aye

Rep. Dennis Cardoza [D, CA-18] Aye

Rep. Jim Costa [D, CA-20] Aye

Rep. Susan Davis [D, CA-53] Aye

Rep. Jeff Denham [R, CA-19] Aye

Rep. David Dreier [R, CA-26] Aye

Rep. Elton Gallegly [R, CA-24] Aye

Rep. Walter Herger [R, CA-2] Aye

Rep. Duncan Hunter [R, CA-52] Aye

Rep. Darrell Issa [R, CA-49] Aye

Rep. Jerry Lewis [R, CA-41] Aye

Rep. Daniel Lungren [R, CA-3] Aye

Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R, CA-22] Aye

Rep. Gary Miller [R, CA-42] Aye

Rep. Devin Nunes [R, CA-21] Aye

Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-40] Aye

Rep. Adam Schiff [D, CA-29] Aye

Patriot Act Series:

Votes by Senator

Senators who voted against the Patriot Act Reauthorization:

NAYs ---21

Akaka (D-HI)

Baucus (D-MT)

Begich (D-AK)

Bingaman (D-NM)

Brown (D-OH)

Cantwell D-WA

Coons (D-DE)

Durbin (D-IL)

Harkin (D-IA)

Franken (D-MN)

Heller R-NV

Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Lee (R-UT)

Merkley (D-OR)

Murray (D-WA)

Murkoswki R-AK

Paul (R-KY)

Sanders (I-VT)

Tester (D-MT)

Udall (D-NM)

Udall D-CO

* - Voters marked "No Data" are voters that THOMAS has not associated yet.

** Because of incomplete data, party breakdown visualizations may be inaccurate by one or two votes.

Vote Result

Votes by Party

House Members who voted Nay: (278-Yea)

Rep. Gary Ackerman [D, NY-5]

Rep. Justin Amash [R, MI-3]

Rep. Tammy Baldwin [D, WI-2]

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett [R, MD-6]

Rep. Karen Bass [D, CA-33]

Rep. Rob Bishop [R, UT-1]

Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D, OR-3]

Rep. Robert Brady [D, PA-1]

Rep. Bruce Braley [D, IA-1]

Rep. Paul Broun [R, GA-10]

Rep. John Campbell [R, CA-48]

Rep. Lois Capps [D, CA-23]

Rep. Michael Capuano [D, MA-8]

Rep. Russ Carnahan [D, MO-3]

Rep. André Carson [D, IN-7]

Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R, UT-3]

Rep. Judy Chu [D, CA-32]

Rep. David Cicilline [D, RI-1]

Rep. Yvette Clarke [D, NY-11]

Rep. Hansen Clarke [D, MI-13]

Rep. William Clay [D, MO-1]

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [D, MO-5]

Rep. James Clyburn [D, SC-6]

Rep. Steve Cohen [D, TN-9]

Rep. Gerald Connolly [D, VA-11]

Rep. Jerry Costello [D, IL-12]

Rep. Joe Courtney [D, CT-2]

Rep. Joseph Crowley [D, NY-7]

Rep. Elijah Cummings [D, MD-7]

Rep. Danny Davis [D, IL-7]

Rep. Peter DeFazio [D, OR-4]

Rep. Diana DeGette [D, CO-1]

Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D, CT-3]

Rep. Lloyd Doggett [D, TX-25]

Rep. Michael Doyle [D, PA-14]

Rep. John Duncan [R, TN-2]

Rep. Jeff Duncan [R, SC-3]

Rep. Donna Edwards [D, MD-4]

Rep. Keith Ellison [D, MN-5]

Rep. Eliot Engel [D, NY-17]

Rep. Anna Eshoo [D, CA-14]

Rep. Sam Farr [D, CA-17]

Rep. Chaka Fattah [D, PA-2]

Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick [R, PA-8]

Rep. Barney Frank [D, MA-4]

Rep. Marcia Fudge [D, OH-11]

Rep. John Garamendi [D, CA-10]

Rep. Chris Gibson [R, NY-20]

Rep. Charles Gonzalez [D, TX-20]

Rep. Tom Graves [R, GA-9]

Rep. Al Green [D, TX-9]

Rep. Morgan Griffith [R, VA-9]

Rep. Raul Grijalva [D, AZ-7]

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez [D, IL-4]

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa [D, HI-1]

Rep. Richard Hanna [R, NY-24]

Rep. Andy Harris [R, MD-1]

Rep. Alcee Hastings [D, FL-23]

Rep. Martin Heinrich [D, NM-1]

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler [R, WA-3]

Rep. James Himes [D, CT-4]

Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D, NY-22]

Rep. Mazie Hirono [D, HI-2]

Rep. Rush Holt [D, NJ-12]

Rep. Michael Honda [D, CA-15]

Rep. Jay Inslee [D, WA-1]

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D, TX-18]

Rep. Timothy Johnson [R, IL-15]

Rep. Henry Johnson [D, GA-4]

Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3]

Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D, OH-9]

Rep. Dale Kildee [D, MI-5]

Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D, OH-10]

Rep. Raúl Labrador [R, ID-1]

Rep. Rick Larsen [D, WA-2]

Rep. John Larson [D, CT-1]

Rep. Barbara Lee [D, CA-9]

Rep. John Lewis [D, GA-5]

Rep. David Loebsack [D, IA-2]

Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D, CA-16]

Rep. Ben Luján [D, NM-3]

Rep. Stephen Lynch [D, MA-9]

Rep. Connie Mack [R, FL-14]

Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D, NY-14]

Rep. Donald Manzullo [R, IL-16]

Rep. Edward Markey [D, MA-7]

Rep. Doris Matsui [D, CA-5]

Rep. Tom McClintock [R, CA-4]

Rep. Betty McCollum [D, MN-4]

Rep. James McDermott [D, WA-7]

Rep. James McGovern [D, MA-3]

Rep. Jerry McNerney [D, CA-11]

Rep. Gregory Meeks [D, NY-6]

Rep. Michael Michaud [D, ME-2]

Rep. Gwen Moore [D, WI-4]

Rep. James Moran [D, VA-8]

Rep. Christopher Murphy [D, CT-5]

Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-8]

Rep. Grace Napolitano [D, CA-38]

Rep. Richard Neal [D, MA-2]

Rep. Frank Pallone [D, NJ-6]

Rep. Edward Pastor [D, AZ-4]

Rep. Ronald Paul [R, TX-14]

Rep. Donald Payne [D, NJ-10]

Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8]

Rep. Ed Perlmutter [D, CO-7]

Rep. Chellie Pingree [D, ME-1]

Rep. Jared Polis [D, CO-2]

Rep. Bill Posey [R, FL-15]

Rep. David Price [D, NC-4]

Rep. Charles Rangel [D, NY-15]

Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R, MT-0]

Rep. Laura Richardson [D, CA-37]

Rep. Cedric Richmond [D, LA-2]

Rep. Phil Roe [R, TN-1]

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R, CA-46]

Rep. Todd Rokita [R, IN-4]

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard [D, CA-34]

Rep. Bobby Rush [D, IL-1]

Rep. Timothy Ryan [D, OH-17]

Rep. Linda Sánchez [D, CA-39]

Rep. John Sarbanes [D, MD-3]

Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D, IL-9]

Rep. Kurt Schrader [D, OR-5]

Rep. Robert Scott [D, VA-3]

Rep. José Serrano [D, NY-16]

Rep. Brad Sherman [D, CA-27]

Rep. Louise Slaughter [D, NY-28]

Rep. Jackie Speier [D, CA-12]

Rep. Fortney Stark [D, CA-13]

Rep. Betty Sutton [D, OH-13]

Rep. Michael Thompson [D, CA-1]

Rep. Bennie Thompson [D, MS-2]

Rep. John Tierney [D, MA-6]

Rep. Scott Tipton [R, CO-3]

Rep. Paul Tonko [D, NY-21]

Rep. Edolphus Towns [D, NY-10]

Rep. Christopher Van Hollen [D, MD-8]

Rep. Nydia Velázquez [D, NY-12]

Rep. Peter Visclosky [D, IN-1]

Rep. Timothy Walz [D, MN-1]

Rep. Maxine Waters [D, CA-35]

Rep. Melvin Watt [D, NC-12]

Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30]

Rep. Anthony Weiner [D, NY-9]

Rep. Peter Welch [D, VT-0]

Rep. Allen West [R, FL-22]

Rep. Frederica Wilson [D, FL-17]

Rep. Rob Woodall [R, GA-7]

Rep. Lynn Woolsey [D, CA-6]

Rep. David Wu [D, OR-1]

Rep. John Yarmuth [D, KY-3]

Rep. Donald Young [R, AK-0]