Danger – if you meet it promptly and without flinching – you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!…Winston Churchill
Until the Left voted in their “messia”they hated all the provisions of the Patriot Act. Instead of admitting that it provided the tools needed to prevent another 9/11. The Left attacked the Act based on the specious argument that it took away our freedom.
Well, now that they control Congress, the White House and all branches of the Federal government it appears that they like the power that the Patriot Act gives them to gag anyone who prints or speaks against the power grab Obama and his “capos”from Chicago are steam rolling on the USA.
In order to understand the position change the Left has taken it is important to review a little recent history.
On April 8, 2008,working with the Bush administration, Congressional Republicans were maneuvering to make permanent the sweeping anti-terrorism powers granted to federal law enforcement agents after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Patriot Act
The move touched off strong objections from many Democrats and even some Republicans(RINOS) in Congress who believed that the Patriot Act, as the legislation that grew out of the attacks is known, has already given the government too much power to spy on Americans.
The landmark legislation expanded the government’s power to use eavesdropping, surveillance, access to financial and computer records and other tools to track terrorist suspects.
Justice Department officials credited the Patriot Act with allowing the F.B.I. to move with greater speed and flexibility to disrupt terrorist operations before they occur, and they say they wanted to see the time limit on the legislation lifted.
“The Patriot Act has been an extremely useful tool, a demonstrated success, and we don’t want that to expire on us,” a senior department official said on condition of anonymity.
Despite this endorsement from an agency that protects Americans from another 9/11. Democrats opposed the extension when Bush was president.
The Kyl-Schumer measure eliminated the need for federal agents seeking secret surveillance warrants to show that a suspect is affiliated with a foreign power or agent, like a terrorist group.
The proposal was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, added amendments that would require the Justice Department to give detailed information about how the secret warrants are being used and that could give defense lawyers access to some information generated by the warrants in criminal cases.
Fast forward to this week, and this story will demonstrate how opinions change when power changes hands!
In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day.
The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Indymedia.us Web site “not to disclose the existence of this request” unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization.
Kristina Clair, a 34-year old Linux administrator living in Philadelphia who provides free server space for Indymedia.us, said she was shocked to receive the Justice Department’s subpoena. (The Independent Media Center is a left-of-center amalgamation of journalists and advocates that – according to their principles of unity and mission statement – work toward “promoting social and economic justice” and “social change.”)
The subpoena (PDF) from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded “all IP traffic to and from http://www.indymedia.us” on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to “include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information,” including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers’ Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.
“I didn’t think anything we were doing was worthy of any (federal) attention,” Clair said in a telephone interview with CBSNews.com on Monday. After talking to other Indymedia volunteers, Clair ended up calling the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, which represented her at no cost.
Under long-standing Justice Department guidelines, subpoenas to members of the news media are supposed to receive special treatment. One portion of the guidelines, for instance, says that “no subpoena may be issued to any member of the news media” without “the express authorization of the attorney general” – that would be current attorney general Eric Holder – and subpoenas should be “directed at material information regarding a limited subject matter.”
Still unclear is what criminal investigation U.S. Attorney Morrison was pursuing. Last Friday, a spokeswoman initially promised a response, but Morrison sent e-mail on Monday evening saying: “We have no comment.” The Justice Department in Washington, D.C. also declined to respond.
Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, replied to the Justice Department on behalf of his client in a February 2009 letter (PDF) outlining what he described as a series of problems with the subpoena, including that it was not personally served, that a judge-issued court order would be required for the full logs, and that Indymedia did not store logs in the first place.
Morrison replied in a one-sentence letter saying the subpoena had been withdrawn. Around the same time, according to the EFF, the group had a series of discussions with assistant U.S. attorneys in Morrison’s office who threatened Clair with possible prosecution for obstruction of justice if she disclosed the existence of the already-withdrawn subpoena — claiming it “may endanger someone’s health” and would have a “human cost.”
Lucy Dalglish, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of The Press, said a gag order to a news organization wouldn’t stand up in court: “If you get a subpoena and you’re a journalist, they can’t gag you.”
My fear is that this kind of bogus gag order is much more common than one would hope, considering they’re legally baseless,” Bankston says. “We’re telling this story in hopes that more providers will press back and go public when the government demands their silence.” After all we still have the freedom to speak even it is opposition to what Obama and Pelosi want!
Update 1:59pm E.T.: A Justice Department official familiar with this subpoena just said that the attorney general’s office never saw it and that it had not been submitted to the department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. for review. If that’s correct, it suggests that U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison and Assistant U.S. Attorney Doris Pryor did not follow department regulations requiring the “express authorization of the attorney general” for media subpoenas — and it means that neither Attorney General Eric Holder nor Acting Attorney General Mark Filip were involved. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an internal investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility. As usual, the deniability game is being played by the Obama administration. Things just happen and no one appears to know about it at the top of the chain of Command!
How long will Americans stand by while the Marxist Liberals destroy our money and freedoms as they incrementally take away pieces of our Constitutional rights?