How Can We Justify This? 
by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio)

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A scientifically verified way to eliminate terrorism now and forever?

Please support the creation of a Department of Peace.

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Know your enemy 1, 2, 3, 4

 

Feb. 23/02 TODAY'S COMMENT http://www.bushwatch.net/bush.htm#feature 

How Can We Justify This?

Let us pray that our nation will remember that the unfolding of the promise of democracy in our nation paralleled the striving for civil rights. That is why we must challenge the rationale of the Patriot Act. We must ask why should America put aside guarantees of constitutional justice?

How can we justify in effect canceling the First Amendment and the right of free speech, the right to peaceably assemble?

How can we justify in effect canceling the Fourth Amendment, probable cause, the prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure?

How can we justify in effect canceling the Fifth Amendment, nullifying due process, and allowing for indefinite incarceration without a trial?

How can we justify in effect canceling the Sixth Amendment, the right to prompt and public trial?

How can we justify in effect canceling the Eighth Amendment which protects against cruel and unusual punishment?

We cannot justify widespread wiretaps and internet surveillance without judicial supervision, let alone with it. We cannot justify secret searches without a warrant. We cannot justify giving the Attorney General the ability to designate domestic terror groups. We cannot justify giving the FBI total access to any type of data which may exist in any system anywhere such as medical records and financial records.

We cannot justify giving the CIA the ability to target people in this country for intelligence surveillance. We cannot justify a government which takes from the people our right to privacy and then assumes for its own operations a right to total secrecy. The Attorney General recently covered up a statue of Lady Justice showing her bosom as if to underscore there is no danger of justice exposing herself at this time, before this administration.

Let us pray that our nation's leaders will not be overcome with fear. Because today there is great fear in our great Capitol. And this must be understood before we can ask about the shortcomings of Congress in the current environment. The great fear began when we had to evacuate the Capitol on September 11. It continued when we had to leave the Capitol again when a bomb scare occurred as members were pressing the CIA during a secret briefing. It continued when we abandoned Washington when anthrax, possibly from a government lab, arrived in the mail. It continued when the Attorney General declared a nationwide terror alert and then the Administration brought the destructive Patriot Bill to the floor of the House. It continued in the release of the Bin Laden tapes at the same time the President was announcing the withdrawal from the ABM treaty. It remains present in the cordoning off of the Capitol. It is present in the camouflaged armed national guardsmen who greet members of Congress each day we enter the Capitol campus. It is present in the labyrinth of concrete barriers through which we must pass each time we go to vote. The trappings of a state of siege trap us in a state of fear, ill equipped to deal with the Patriot Games, the Mind Games, the War Games of an unelected President and his unelected Vice President.

Let us pray that our country will stop this war. "To promote the common defense" is one of the formational principles of America. Our Congress gave the President the ability to respond to the tragedy of September the Eleventh. We licensed a response to those who helped bring the terror of September the Eleventh. But we the people and our elected representatives must reserve the right to measure the response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the response.

Because we did not authorize the invasion of Iraq.

We did not authorize the invasion of Iran.

We did not authorize the invasion of North Korea.

We did not authorize the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.

We did not authorize permanent detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

We did not authorize the withdrawal from the Geneva Convention.

We did not authorize military tribunals suspending due process and habeas corpus.

We did not authorize assassination squads.

We did not authorize the resurrection of COINTELPRO.

We did not authorize the repeal of the Bill of Rights.

We did not authorize the revocation of the Constitution.

We did not authorize national identity cards.

We did not authorize the eye of Big Brother to peer from cameras throughout our cities.

We did not authorize an eye for an eye.

Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan.

We did not authorize the administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases.

We did not authorize war without end.

We did not authorize a permanent war economy.

Yet we are upon the threshold of a permanent war economy. The President has requested a $45.6 billion increase in military spending. All defense-related programs will cost close to $400 billion. Consider that the Department of Defense has never passed an independent audit. Consider that the Inspector General has notified Congress that the Pentagon cannot properly account for $1.2 trillion in transactions. Consider that in recent years the Dept. of Defense could not match $22 billion worth of expenditures to the items it purchased, wrote off, as lost, billions of dollars worth of in-transit inventory and stored nearly $30 billion worth of spare parts it did not need.

Yet the defense budget grows with more money for weapons systems to fight a cold war which ended, weapon systems in search of new enemies to create new wars. This has nothing to do with fighting terror. This has everything to do with fueling a military industrial machine with the treasure of our nation, risking the future of our nation, risking democracy itself with the militarization of thought which follows the militarization of the budget.

United States Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio)
Email responses to http://www.kucinich.us/contact.php

 

I can't remember if I sent this to you yet or not. Anyway, here it is again, for your information and, hopefully, if you have time, to contact your congressman.

I wanted to give you an update on Rep. Dennis Kucinich's Department of Peace Bill which was introduced on April 8. This bill, if passed will allocate 1% of the military budget to form a group of "peace creating experts". You can find out more about the proposed Dept.of Peace and bill by going to- http://www.dopcampaign.org/. Here's the phone number to call to find out the status of any bill: 202-225-1772. When I called on Fri. to check the status of the Dept. of Peace Bill, HR 1673, I was told that it was pending in 4 House Committees.

While in committee, bills are discussed by a small number of Representatives in that specific committee. While in committee the Reps will hash it out, throw it around and see if it has any chance of going anywhere. If they don't think it does, they will do nothing and it will ostensibly "die in committee".

The more letters we can generate from other

Members of Congress to the chairmen of the committee the more likely it will be that a bill will make it out of committee to be debated on the House floor and then voted on. So you could call your Representative and ask him/her to send a letter to the chair of the committee or ranking democrat depending on what party your Rep is from, asking that they support the DoP legislation. The more letters the leadership gets, the more willing they are to stick their neck out on a piece of legislation.

Please spread the word. Every phone call, e-mail or letter makes a difference. To find out who your representatives are, visit www.congress.org You can call the U.S. capital switchboard at (800) 839-5276 or (202) 224-3121 to reach your representative. Handwritten letters, typed letters, faxes and phone calls have the most impact. Emails, pre-formatted letters and pre-printed postcards are less effective, but still worthwhile. Please see our Citizen Action Guide (go to http://www.dopcampaign.org/, click on "take action" or see "Tips" below) to learn how to write your representative. The bill number is HR1673.

Here are the four committees and the committee chairman:

-Full House Committee on Governmental Reform- 202-225-5074- Henry Waxman
-Full House Committee on International Relations- 202-225-5021- Henry Hyde
-Full House Judiciary Committee- 202-225-3951- F.J. Sensenbrenner
-Full House Committee on Education in the Work Force- 202-225-4527- John Boehner

Thanks!   Valerie

***

The 342 page "Patriot Act" was passed by a Congress under duress, so quickly that most members of Congress did not even read it, and with so little debate that even now the average American has no idea what has happened. Read reviews of the so-called "Patriot Act":

American Civil Liberties Union - 
USA Patriot Act Boosts Government Powers While Cutting Back on Traditional Checks and Balances

Center for Constitutional Rights - 
The USA Patriot Act - What's So Patriotic About Trampling on the Bill of Rights?

Do a search of the Internet for "Patriot Act" for more information. 

"They that can give up essential liberty to attain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety, and ultimately will have neither." - Benjamin Franklin.  

***

A Recent Letter To The New York Times...

Reprinted from http://www.bushwatch.net/bush.htm#feature March 17, 2002.

So stunned was I by today's editorial--"The Stolen Election in Zimbabwe"--that I assumed I had clicked onto either "The Onion" or "Satire Wire"--and not "The New York Times," the icon of journalistic integrity, the source of "All the News That's Fit to Print"! After confirming that I had indeed just read a NYT editorial, I honestly did not know how to react: laughter, tears, apoplexy? Considering the fact that your publication did not see 'fit to print' an editorial condemning the stolen election in the United States of America in December 2000, my reaction consisted of an admixture of shock, insult, and bewilderment that you were compelled to print one about the recent 'election' in Zimbabwe. And I wondered why you declined to point out that Mr. Mugabe employed many of the same tactics used by the state officials of Florida--and to the same effect. Of course, your newspaper also failed to report the gross violations of voting rights and election laws--both state and federal--that transpired in Florida in November 2000, but I'm certain we shall hear all about the violations of election laws in Zimbabwe.

And your paper also did not call for Justices Scalia and Thomas to recuse themselves in adjudicating the decision in the case of Bush v. Gore because both had members of their immediate families working for the Bush campaign--a son and a wife, respectively. But I'm sure you will let us know at length the details of political favoritism and nepotism in the election in Zimbabwe. Nor did you print editorials revealing the outright fraud committed by the state of Florida in eliminating qualified voters from voter registration rolls--a total of approximately 173,000. However, I await your precise accounting of the disenfranchised in Zimbabwe. Nor did you expose the collusion between the states of Texas and Florida, governed at the time by a pair of brothers surnamed 'Bush,' in exchanging lists of convicted felons who 'might have' moved from Texas to Florida in order to prevent said felons from voting. Yet, I am comforted to know you will investigate all hints of familial collusion in the polling practices of Zimbabwe. Nor did you editorialize about the fact that the person who oversaw both the purging of the voter registration rolls and effectively stopped the precinct-by-precinct recounts was Katherine Harris, simultaneously Secretary of State for Florida and co-chair of the Bush presidential campaign. But knowing your dedication to truth, I am comforted in the knowledge that you will surely publish the lurid details of the gross collusion involved in the elections in Zimbabwe.

In closing, I would like to commend you for your commitment to the truth surrounding the election in Zimbabwe; were I a citizen of that nation, I would sleep soundly at night knowing that a free press watches over my hard-won rights. But I was born, raised, and remain a proud citizen of the United States of America; thus I shall not rest until the foremost voice of freedom and democracy in my land devotes its considerable resources to upholding the laws of my country as it does to those of Zimbabwe.

Sincerely, Kathleen Trevena

***

 


==============================================
         THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY OFFSHORE A-LETTER
Your Link to Freedom, Privacy & Prosperity in the Offshore World
       Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - Vol. 5 No. 17
==============================================
In This Issue:
* COMMENT: Ashcroft's Sneak Attack

* OFFSHORE: Report Hits IRS Rule. EU Tax Deal Shaky; Guernsey Doubts;
  Gibraltar Stuck; Panama Opts Out. Monaco Election Upset.
  Liechtenstein 4 Rent. Attractive Malta. Hong Kong Tax; Philippine No.

* WEALTH: Patriot Act Shreds Privacy. Big 4 Tax Shelters Under IRS,
  Lawsuit Siege. Credit Cards Offshore Refunds. Case for Gold. Invest
  in East Europe. German Decline. Richest British Lady; Not HRH EII.
==================
COMMENT: Ashcroft's Sneak Attack

Dear A-Letter Reader:

Over the weekend it was revealed that the Bush administration has been preparing in secret a bold, expansive sequel to the USA Patriot Act. The new proposal, entitled the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003," gives the US government new, sweeping powers to increase domestic spying, surveillance and police activities. It simultaneously decreases judicial review of, and public access to, information about such actions.

The bill would end court ordered restraints that prevent local US police from spying on domestic groups or individuals. It gives the US Atty Gen wartime powers for more electronic surveillance and physical searches without first getting a probable cause court order. It would deny bail for anyone accused of a "terrorist related crime," a definition that is greatly expanded. It forces suspects to prove why they should be released on bail, reversing the traditional requirement that prosecutors prove why an accused should be held.

Among other things, the bill prohibits disclosure of information about people detained as terrorist suspects and would create a DNA database of "suspected terrorists," and allow deportation of US citizens who become members of, or those accused of helping, "terrorist groups."

Based on my own analysis of the original USA Patriot Act, I view it as the single greatest violation of the US Constitution ever enacted by Congress. The law was rammed through in Oct 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks without a text seen by most members of Congress.

In addition to all but destroying American financial privacy, the 2001 USA Patriot Act gave government huge new police powers to use wiretaps, electronic and computer eavesdropping, searches. Now they want even more power over our lives and fortunes.

We urge you to educate yourself abut this dangerous expansion of police powers. Let your Senators and Congressman know your views. Without the hysterical atmosphere post 9/11, it is doubtful that Congress will give the likes of John Ashcroft yet another blank check to destroy our rights. Your voice can help prevent this new threat to liberty.

That's the way that it looks from here.
BOB BAUMAN, Editor
==============================================
COMMENT LINKS:
* New Anti-Terror Bill: Critics Cry Foul. LINK:
  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/08/attack/main539929.shtml
* US prepares to widen surveillance powers.
http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1042491635794
* Text of new Ashcroft proposal. LINKS:
http://www.public-i.org/dtaweb/report.asp?ReportID=502&L1=10&L2=10&L3=0&L4=0&L5=0
http://www.dailyrotten.com/source-docs/patriot2draft.html
* EPIC web site on the original 2001 USA Patriot Act.
  LINK: http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/
* US Congress LINKS: http://senate.gov - http://house.gov
==============================================

***

==============================================================
         THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY OFFSHORE A-LETTER
Your Link to Freedom, Privacy & Prosperity in the Offshore World
          Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - Vol. 6 No. 95
==============================================================

COMMENT: PATRIOT Act Sneak Attack II

Dear A-Letter Reader:
Back on May 4 we commented about what we called a "PATRIOT Act Sneak Attack."

At the time the American Civil Liberties Union alerted the public about the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee plan to adopt a proposed expansion of the controversial USA PATRIOT Act without even holding a public hearing.

As we noted then, the legislation expands many of the worst provisions of the 2001 PATRIOT Act, a law that was rammed through Congress with little debate just 45 days after the 9/11, 2001 terrorists attacks.

As a result of many protests from US citizens, the Judiciary Committee postponed a vote on the bill, HR 3179, the Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Tools Improvement Act of 2003, and instead a subcommittee held a public hearing on May 18.

But you would never know that the hearing occurred if you read the American press or watch or listen to US electronic news media. A major expansion of one of the most controversial laws ever adopted in the US was ignored by most of the media (See LINK below). And this is a law that has been protested officially by 277 cities and towns and the states of Maine, Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii. Each has passed resolutions asking the US Congress to reconsider this radical law and to make changes to better safeguard our liberties. They certainly did not seek a sneak expansion of the Act's already broad police powers.

We believe that if more Americans understood the Act, more would oppose it as presently written. But it seems the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress want to slip through bills, such as HR 7139,in a piecemeal effort to adopt still more unconstitutional curbs on our freedoms.

We again urge you to contact your Member of Congress or the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, to protest expansion of unneeded police powers at the expense of liberty. This is not the way to defeat terrorism.

That's the way that it looks from here.
BOB BAUMAN, Editor

PS: Keep reading the A-Letter for details on how you can purchase our upcoming report on The Patriot Act. Further information will be available in future issues.
==============================================================
COMMENT LINKS:
* New anti- terrorism laws are working their way through Congress.
  LINK: http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/8726312.htm
* ACLU Opposes Increase in PATRIOT Act Powers. LINK:
  http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=15589&c=206
* Dawn of the Daddy State. The Atlantic Monthly.
  LINK: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2004/06/starobin.htm
* More about the PATRIOT Act. LINK:
  http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=12126&c=207
* E-mail to House Judiciary Committee: Judiciary@mail.house.gov
==============================================================
   
                 

***

==============================================================
         THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY OFFSHORE A-LETTER
Your Link to Freedom, Privacy & Prosperity in the Offshore World
          Thursday, May 20, 2004 - Vol. 6 No. 92
==============================================================
 

COMMENT: Patriot Targets Rich & Poor

Dear A-Letter Reader:

A few days ago US federal agents raided 17 money transmitting businesses in the Washington, DC area that allegedly sent millions of dollars abroad without obtaining state money transmitting licenses. Government agents defended the raids as aimed at curbing terrorists moving cash offshore. But none of the businesses raided were charged with any terrorist activity, and no one was arrested. But $3.6 million in accounts were confiscated and the owners will have to go to court to get it back.

A US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said the raids and seizures were justified under the PATRIOT Act because, he said, "When you have an underground banking system, it tends to make us very vulnerable to terrorist activity as well as other crime."

There you have it; no judicial review, no formal charge of a crime, just suspicion on the part of government agents that a crime "might" occur.

Some immigrant and crime specialists say the crackdown has targeted many mom-and-pop businesses that have nothing to do with financing terrorism. These informal money senders are running afoul of the PATRIOT Act simply because they lack the resources to meet all of its licensing requirements, critics say.

The kicker in all this is that the section of the PATRIOT Act used to justify these raids was ruled unconstitutional by a US District Court judge in Denver in April. He said the law arbitrarily divided money transfer operators into two groups; those covered by state laws that punish failure to obtain a license, and those who work in states that don't require a license, "a difference that is wholly geographic and arbitrary."

A year ago in June 2003 we noted that US agents had begun secret seizure of millions of dollars from foreign banks that do business in the US. And according to one government official, "the seizures involved fraud and money laundering investigations that are unrelated to terrorism."

Those seizures also were not based on convictions or even indictments for alleged crimes. They were based solely on suspicions of US agents. Although these extraordinary powers were to be used to fight terrorism, the fed money grabbers were (and are) confiscating funds for non-terror alleged crimes. No probable cause, due process or notice and no appeal.

We say it again: Congress passed the PATRIOT Act without even knowing what was in it. Now it is being used to confiscate funds from both poor and rich based on mere suspicion.

What we don't need is to extend the Act, as Pres. Bush advocates, but rather to review every line of its 362 pages, then drastically revise it to conform to the US Constitution.

That's the way that it looks from here.
BOB BAUMAN, Editor


==============================================================
COMMENT LINKS:
* US Raids 17 businesses that send cash abroad. LINK:
  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34538-2004May17.html
* PATRIOT Act; refuge for scoundrels?
  LINK: http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/morris/morris14.html
==============================================================
    
THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY OFFSHORE A-LETTER.
* Bob Bauman, Editor * Daniel Aponte, Jr. Research Asst.
  SUBSCRIBE to The A-Letter FREE or send to a friend at
  LINK: http://www.sovereignsociety.com/
  Please DO NOT respond DIRECTLY to THE A-LETTER.
  Send E-mail to: INFO@THESOVEREIGNSOCIETY.COM

=============================================================
THE SOVEREIGN SOCIETY Ltd., 5 Catherine St., Waterford, Ireland
TEL: 353-51 844 068 FAX: 353-51 304 561
Copyright (C) 2004. All domestic & international rights reserved.



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