Many Americans think they understand the dangers of the Patriot Act, which Congress has vowed to extend 4 more years in a vote later this week. Trust me when I say, Americans are not nearly frightened enough. Unfortunately, Bradley Manning is also subject to some of these rules, so it’s important for his supporters to understand what he’s facing.
Ever wonder why the truth about 9/11 never got exposed? Why Americans don’t have a clue about leadership fraud surrounding the War on Terror? Why Americans don’t know if the 9/11 investigation was really successful? Why the Iraqi Peace Option draws a blank? Somebody has known the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden— or his grave—for the past 10 years. But nobody’s talking to the people.
In significant part, that’s because of the Patriot Act— a law that equates free speech with sedition. It’s got a big agenda, with 7,000 pages of Machiavellian code designed to interrupt individual questioning of government policy. In this brave new world, free speech under the Bill of Rights effectively has been declared a threat to government controls for maintaining stability. And the Patriot Act has become the premiere weapon to attack whistle blowers and dissidents who challenge the comfort of political leaders hiding inconvenient truths from the public. It’s all the rage on Capitol Hill, as leaders strive to score TV ratings, while demogauging their “outstanding leadership performance” on everything from national security to environmental policy.
Truth has Become Treason
But wait—Congress assures us the Patriot Act only targets foreigners, who come to our shores seeking to destroy our way of life through violent, criminal acts. Good, law abiding Americans have nothing to fear. The Patriot Act restricts its powers of “roving wiretaps” and warrantless searches to international communications among “bad guys.” Congress has sworn, with hand on heart, it’s only purpose is breaking down terrorist cells and hunting out “lone wolf” mad men.
That’s what they told you, right? And you believed them? You trust the government. Well, that was your first mistake. With regards to the Patriot Act, it’s a fatal one. Would the government lie to you? You betcha! And they have.
The Patriot Act reaches far beyond terrorism prevention. In my home state of Maryland, State Police invoked the Patriot Act to run surveillance on the Chesapeake Climate Action Network dedicated to wind power, recycling and protection of the Chesapeake Bay. They infiltrated the DC Anti War Network, suggesting the group might be a front for “white supremacists,” and Amnesty International, claiming to investigate “civil rights abuses.” Opponents of the death penalty also got targeted (in case they got violent).
Bottom line: truth tellers who give Americans too much insight on any number of issues are vulnerable to a vast arsenal of judicial weapons typically associated with China or Mynamar. In the Patriot Act, the government has created a powerful tool to hunt out free thinking on the left or right. It doesn’t discriminate. Anyone who opposes government policy is at risk
How do I know all this? Because I was the second non-Arab American ever indicted on the Patriot Act. My arrest defied all expectations about the law. I was no terrorist plotting to explode the Washington Monument. Quite the opposite, I had worked in anti-terrorism for almost a decade, covering Iraq and Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Malaysia at the United Nations. At the instruction of my CIA handler, I had delivered advance warnings about the 9/11 attack to the private staff of Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Office of Counter-Terrorism in August, 2001. FBI wire taps prove that I carried details of a comprehensive peace framework with Iraq up and down the hallowed corridors of Capitol Hill for months before the invasion, arguing that War was totally unnecessary.
I delivered those papers to Democrats and Republicans alike; to my own second cousin, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card; and to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who lived next door to my CIA handler. Gratis of the Patriot Act, we had the manila envelope and my hand written notes to Secretary Powell, dated a week before his infamous speech at the United Nations. My papers argued that no WMDs would be found inside Iraq, and that the peace framework could achieve all U.S. objectives without firing a shot.
In short, I was an Asset who loudly opposed War with Iraq, and made every effort to correct the mistakes in assumptions on Capitol Hill.
Then I did the unthinkable. I phoned the offices of Senator Trent Lott and Senator John McCain, requesting to testify before a brand new, blue ribbon Commission investigating Pre-War Intelligence. Proud and confident of my efforts, I had no idea Congress was planning to blame “bad intelligence” for the unpopular War.
Over night I became Public Enemy Number One on Capitol Hill.
Thirty days later I awoke to hear FBI agents pounding on my door. My nightmare on the Patriot Act lasted 5 years— Four years after my arrest, the Court granted me one morning of evidentiary testimony by two supremely credible witnesses. Parke Godfrey verified my 9/11 warnings under oath. Otherwise, I never got my day in Court.
The Patriot Act’s Arsenal to Stop Free Speech
If you care about America and the traditions of freedom, whether you’re progressive or conservative, you should be angry about this law.
First come the warrantless searches and FBI tracking surveillance. My work in anti-terrorism gave me no protection. I got my first warrantless search after meeting an undercover FBI agent to discuss my support for free elections in Iraq and my opposition to torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi detainees. (Sorry guys, body wires don’t lie.)
If truth tellers don’t get the message to shut their mouths, the Justice Department ratchets up the pressure. Defendants face secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony. Throughout five years of indictment, my attorneys and I never got to read a single FBI interview or grand jury statement. Under the Patriot Act, the whistleblower/defendant has no right to know who has accused him or her of what criminal activities, or the dates of the alleged offenses, or what laws got broken.
Of course, I was able to piece together my activities. I knew that “sometime in October, 2001” an Iraqi diplomat gave me the English translation of a book on depleted uranium, which showed how cancer rates and birth defects had spiked in Iraqi children.
And I was quite certain that on October 14, 1999, an Iraqi diplomat asked me how to channel major financial contributions to the Presidential Campaign of George Bush and Dick Cheney. The Justice Department got the date from me, since I reported my conversation immediately to my Defense Intelligence handler, Paul Hoven.
It’s unlikely the grand jury knew that, since the Justice Department has the prerogative to keep a grand jury in the dark. In this brave new world, a grand jury can be compelled to consider indictments carrying 10 years or more in prison, without the right to review evidence, or otherwise determine whether an individual’s actions rise to the level of criminal activity at all.
That’s just the beginning. Once Congress scores an indictment against a political opponent, the Justice Department can force Defense attorneys to undergo protracted security clearances, while the whistle blower cum defendant waits in prison— usually in solitary confinement or the SHU. After the security clearance, prosecutors have an ironclad right to bar attorneys from communicating communications from the prosecution to the defendant, on threat of disbarment, stiff fines or prison sentence.
Scared yet? Once you get to trial, the situation gets much worse. The Patriot Act declares that a prosecutor has no obligation to show evidence of criminal activity to a jury at all. And the Defense can be denied the right to argue a rebuttal to those secret charges, because it requires speculation that might mislead the jury—or might expose issues that the government considers, well, secret. After all that a Judge can instruct a jury that the prosecution regards the secret evidence as sufficient to merit conviction on the secret charges. The Jury can be barred from considering the lack of evidence in weighing whether to convict.
Think I’m exaggerating? You would be wrong. That’s what happened to me. All of it—with one major glitch. All of this presumes the whistle blower’s lucky enough to get a trial. I was denied mine, though I fought vigorously for my rights. Instead, citing the Patriot Act, I got thrown in prison on a Texas military base without so much as a hearing—and threatened with indefinite detention and forcible drugging, to boot.
Americans are not nearly afraid enough.
Neither is Congress. As of this week, members of Congress should be very afraid. Anyone who votes to extend the Patriot Act should expect to pack their bags in 2012. They will be targeted for defeat. Above all, the words “freedom” and “Constitution” will never appear in their campaigns without suffering extreme public scorn—never, ever again.
Listen to this 80-minute May 17th interview with Susan by Suzie of the Patriot Games: 5-17-11 SL
Susan Lindauer, former Asset covering Iraq & Libya and the second non-Arab American indicted on the Patriot Act, is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq, which reveals details of her CIA team’s 9/11 warnings and a comprehensive peace option with Iraq.
To quote my colleague and late, great actor “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”.
Can a “Wake-Up!” call be any louder?
Sort of like the Titanic, huh?
Yea, where are the Shelley Winters look-alikes? Glub glub.
I meant to add his name above, Roy Scheider!
Boomerang: Louder? it’s gonna smack us right in the schnozzola if it gets any clearer!
UPDATE: Senate blocks debate over Patriot Act re-authorization
No more amendments, no more removing certain portions of the Fascist Act. Instead, “A vote to extend all provisions of the act without amendments will likely come Thursday, according to Hill staffers.”
FUVM Harry Reid
How can they have such contempt for the people? How can they despise us so much, when last November they swore up and down to throw out this law???
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Ditto that, ww. Nazi Germany never went away, really, it just moved its borders apparently…to LOTS of places.
Well the Gov’t can KMA a thousand times over.
Yes, it’s Nazi Germany in the 1930s. They’re getting everything in place — and they’re testing the waters with a few scattered arrests here and there. And nobody has really protested, right? So far so good… It’s all right out in the open for anybody paying attention, but if we challenge them they say we’re paranoid.
And yet Herman Goering hit it dead on:
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy enough. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
Words of warning, indeed.
Yea, Goering sure had it right. Sad to say though. Well, like I said: they can KMA. Welcome to the Underground.
Now, apparently, the guvt. wants to prosecute us with our twitter feeds and facebook posts. The police state closes in. Speaking of bin Laden, how many have seen this?
And the Corbett Report on bin Laden family history and intelligence community links?
Great stuff! I like this guy!
The German word “Gestapo” is an acronym of GEheimSTAdtPOlezi. Translation, “Homeland Security.”
Americans are allowing Gestapo tactics in the name of security.
Actually it translates to “Secret City Police”. Just sayin. Still agree with you though
Gestapo… translates into Homeland Security…. That’s a point worth remembering and repeating often! Alan, many thanks!
As Max Weber said in Politics as a Vocation, a government is the “monopoly on violence” in a particular territory. Violence, and the threat of violence, are the instruments a state uses to enforce its will upon the governed, and in disputes with other states. It therefore seems to be a natural tendency for governments to be composed of individuals who are not adverse to the use of violence.
John Dean, in his book Conservatives Without Conscience, discusses the work of Professor Robert Altemeyer, a sociologist at the University of Mannitoba. Dr, Altermeyer did studies of Right-Wing Authoritorians(RWA), who come in two flavors, Followers and Leaders, aka Social Dominants. The RWA Leaders, typified by folfs like Rumsfeld and Cheney, exhibit many of the qualities one associate with psychopaths.
“Typical traits that distinguish a right-wing authoritarian leader are:
* typically men
* opposes equality
* desirous of personal power
* amoral (unprincipled, unethical, dishonorable and unscrupulous)
* intimidating and bullying
* faintly hedonistic (self-indulgent)
* cheats to win
* highly prejudiced (racist, sexist, homophobic)
* tells others what they want to hear
* takes advantage of “suckers”
* specializes in creating false images to sell self
* may or may not be religious
* usually politically and economically conservative/Republican”
He states that they “…appear to be best positioned to become leaders of right-wing movements and undertakings, a group Altemeyer describes as ‘scary’.”
PHK: Data please. Oh, wait, you’re a bot or something right? or maybe a paid schill? Please go away and suck wind.
What does wind power have to do with the Patriot Act? I sense the desire to create a diversion…. Sorry, it won’t work….
I trashed his comment.
So, Susan – what do we do? Many of these arrests etc. fly under mostly everyone’s radar. How do we hit ’em with our best shot(s)??
I can’t even edit my own comments on here. A constant source of irritation. I’m jealous, Rady. Still, one has to appreciate a woman with brains AND power.
As to Ms. Le Fay’s question, I’m not sure that we have much of a shot until opposition reaches a certain critical threshold. Until then, the best we can do is to make ourselves heard as loudly as possible, and try to convince as many people as we can that the Patriot Act is both dangerous and unpatriotic.
Excuse me, Ms. LeFay? And to WHOM would you be referring, Bodhidharma? Is assume you know what your handle means????
To you, of course. Did not mean to offend, if I did. I was just acknowledging the reference to my favorite character in Celtic mythology. I started reading Joseph Campbell’s books on mythology when I was a teen. And as a Buddhist, certainly know a little about Bodhidharma. It’s hard to find a screen name that isn’t already taken on a lot of sites I post to, and I try to keep the ones I use to as few as possible.
Sorry for drifting so far off topic.
monopoly on censorship here
No offense taken, was being lamely sarcastic. Actually, I am quite used to the reference and she is one of my favorite persons from Celtic history (not necessarily mythology!) Also, as a follower of Lama Norlha Rinpoche, and Kalu Rinpoche (the old one and the new, hehe) I was poking at you. Ok, now back on topic ya’ll.
PHK, read the article you referenced about pollution created in China by mining for rare metals. I think it is just another glaring example of the damage of our imperialist neoconservative policies where we export production to countries where our corporations get away with practices that are quite literally murderous. Do you own a cell phone? Check out the damage we are creating in Africa to obtain the ores to make those. I don’t think in either case it makes the technology evil. Just the practices our corporations use in implementing them.
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…If YOU want to save YOUR COUNTRY listen to the TRUTH… speak the TRUTH…. follow the TRUTH….do NOT beafraid of the TRUTH.