“Patriot” Act used to supress news of lawsuits against it

I hadn’t heard about this when it happened a few days ago (but then, I’m out of touch, so maybe everyone has heard about this). The ACLU filed suit over certain provisions in the Patriot Act, and were slapped with a gag order based on… The Patriot Act itself.

See this story (one of several I found) regarding the case and the gag order.

It wasn’t until three weeks after filing the lawsuit that the ACLU was allowed to talk about it publically.

The ACLU is objecting to the FBI’s ability to access the records of companies by simply issuing a “National Security Letter.” These letters do not require judicial oversight, unless a case is brought based on that evidence. This lets the FBI joyride through all sorts of information… what you’ve been buying, reading, drinking, etc. Phone records are also available to them. Man, this is the sort of power ol’ J. Edgar would have killed for.

As if things weren’t getting out of hand already, the Patriot Act supresses even the news that someone has challenged it in court. I’ll sleep sounder at night knowing that our nation won’t be threatened by the news that people think the Patriot Act was a really stupid thing for legislators to pass.


  1. That is some scary stuff. Meanwhile where I live (Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, a mere four miles from America) a group of local citizens (including Dear Wife Betty) organized a petition drive to place a resolution on the Town Meeting warrant to declare the town a Patriot-Act Free Zone. The article made it to the warrant and passed at the meeting. Which action probably does not keep Herr Ashcroft & Party Leader Bush awake nights, but which nevertheless makes me feel good.

    This Patriot Act stuff is worse than anything the Sons of Liberty rebelled against. The question is, how will we get rid of it this time?

  2. The goal of terror is to get the victim to react in such a way as to damage himself and make the terrorists appear more important.

    When seen in that light, Bush has been just about the best collaborator the 9/11 plotters could have hoped for.

    I am still not half so terrified by the attack as by our ill-considered responses.

  3. Suppression of dissent, repeated premature announcements of victory, catchy phrases for the enemy, control of the press, the right to jail citizens secretly, all in the name of our perfect economic/moral system —

    When exactly did my country turn into Soviet Russia? I missed the memo.

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