Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Sen. Inouye splits with Hawaii delegation, votes YES to renew Patriot Act
"Americans know that their government will sometimes conduct secret operations, but they don’t believe the government ought to be writing secret law. And the reason why we have felt so strongly about this issue of secret law is that it violates the trust that Americans place in their government, and it undermines public confidence in government institutions and agencies, making it harder for them to operate effectively."--U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
by Larry Geller
Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye split with the rest of the Hawaii delegation and voted to renew the Patriot Act. See the headline report from Democracy Now below. The Patriot Act, perhaps more than any recent legislation, undermines American democracy, furthers the advance of the police state, and brings the government more firmly into opposition against its own citizens.
If you would like to question Sen. Inouye on his vote, I’m sure he would be glad to send you his form letter reply. The links from Congress.org below allow you to send him, or the others in Hawaii’s Congressional delegation, a message.
Patriot Act Extensions
House: Vote Passed (250-153, 28 Not Voting)
The House gave final approval to this bill extending certain provisions of the Patriot
Act until June 1, 2015. The bill, S. 990, originally reauthorized some small business
programs but with the Patriot Act provisions due to expire at the end of the day, the
Senate used it as the vehicle to pass the extension. President Obama signed the bill
into law before the end of the day.
Rep. Mazie Hirono voted NO
send e-mail (http://www.congress.org/signon/congressorg/mail/?id=31644)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted NO
send e-mail (http://capwiz.com/congressorg/mail/?id=1314
Senate: Vote Agreed to (72-23, 5 Not Voting)
The Senate passed this bill extending certain provisions of the Patriot Act until June 1,
2015. The bill, S. 990, originally reauthorized some small business programs but with
the Patriot Act provisions due to expire at the end of the day, the Senate used it as the
vehicle to pass the extension. The House passed the bill a few hours later and President
Obama signed it into law before the end of the day.
Sen. Daniel Inouye voted YES
send e-mail (http://capwiz.com/congressorg/mail/?id=201
Sen. Daniel Akaka voted NO
send e-mail (http://capwiz.com/congressorg/mail/?id=202
Headline from 5/27/2011 Democracy Now:
Obama Signs Extension of PATRIOT Act
President Obama has signed a law renewing three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act shortly following the House’s passage of the measure in a 250-to-153 vote. The provisions empower law enforcement officials to obtain "roving wiretaps" on suspected foreign agents, track non-citizen "lone wolves" suspected of terrorism, and obtain certain business and even library records. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized lawmakers for passing the provisions without adding the proper privacy safeguards. The provisions were extended despite a warning from two Democratic senators that the U.S. Department of Justice has been secretly interpreting the PATRIOT Act in a way to enable domestic surveillance activities that many members of Congress do not even understand. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, a member of the Intelligence Committee, accused the Obama administration of relying on a secret law to expand domestic surveillance.
Sen. Ron Wyden: "Americans know that their government will sometimes conduct secret operations, but they don’t believe the government ought to be writing secret law. And the reason why we have felt so strongly about this issue of secret law is that it violates the trust that Americans place in their government, and it undermines public confidence in government institutions and agencies, making it harder for them to operate effectively."
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Hirono, Hanabusa and Akaka were able to vote their conscience because the measure was going to pass. Inouye probably serving his last term voted with Obama to keep the money flowing to Hawaii. If President Obama opposed the Patriot Act, Senator Inouye would surely haves voted against it. It is a political reality we have to deal with. Obama knows the Patriot Act is unconstitutional, but if he opposed it the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, defense contractors and the private intelligence contractors would destroy his chances of being re-elected. That is the political reality President Obama has to deal with.
Another political reality is that Obama has lost his liberal base. He will probably be re-elected, but who knows. His base may just stay home.
Hirono and Hanabusa want to keep their constituents, if one must always look for that as a motive. Akaka's heart is pure. Good man.
Imagine what would happen if each President (maybe Senators, too) were elected to only one term without the possibility of re-election.
The Pres would get one 6 year term and that's it. Senators would get one 4 year term and that's it.
Eliminating the power of special interests, whose power exists solely if re-election is possible, would make things interesting.
Eliminating the power of special interest cannot be accomplished by term limits. For example, a Congressman can push a law which favors Big Pharma and when his term ends takes a multi-million dollars job as a lobbyist for Big Pharma. And of course that Congressman was elected from Big Pharma political contributions in the first place. Campaign finance reform which means publicly finance elections is the only real way to reduce the corruption in government.
I continue to be disgusted..are the drones that have come to Hawai'i to be used against its citizens?
Of course, no one will say that the drones will be used for domestic spying. Just as no one will say that the cameras recording license plates on the H-1 freeway will ever be used to issue speeding tickets or to track someone illegally.
I agree with Old Diver that publicly financed elections are the only way. But how to get there? Support and work with Voter Owned Hawaii as a start.
I don't think tracking someone's movements through public spaces is illegal in any circumstances. Physical "trailing" by police, cam tracking, cam/computer running of plate numbers and face recog software is all legal when used in public places.
ps - If I'm wrong in the above assumptions on legality, please site the state and/or fed statutes specifically referencing these actions as illegal.
Everything is legal unless specifically stated otherwise in the law statutes.
I know...many don't like the idea and say "there outta be a law". Well, until then...
Actually, at a state level at least, not everything is legal except if a statute says it is illegal. For example, the state was stopped by a court because it did not have administrative rules permitting it to transmit voting machine data electronically or over the Internet. A similar situation--the Dept of Health was prevented from cutting some people off of mental health services because there was nothing saying they could do that. Finally, the state was not allowed to cut of Micronesians and others from life-saving dialysis and chemotherapy services because there was nothing saying they could do that.
Old Diver, If we destroy the roots upon which our country is based upon, and became sucessful, we will destroy our country.
To state that enacting and continuing policies that will destroy our country, are "politically necessary" is just so off the mark...
These policies are a part response to 9-11, and they have cast the win into the terrorists hands by destroying the basis of American strength. Continuing this most non-patriotic of all laws is handing victory to the attackers.
Is this not as obvious as the sun comes up tomorrow?
The UK is full of CCTV's and plate/face recog systems.
The people don't seem to have a problem with it.
So what's with us?? An over-exaggerated sense of entitlements and rights???
I think so.
I understand that many do have an issue with surveillance in the UK, but I haven't followed the issue there very closely. My impression on that, and their participation in the Iraq war, etc., is that the people may not have very much control over their own government's actions. Maybe I'm being too simplistic. Of course, what control do we have...
What control do we have? Pretty much nothing except voting and revolutions, and I'm not into revolutions.
I just see where the wind's blowing and where it's likely to blow in the future and "set my sails" accordingly.
I can profit in any situation.
I have been an opponent of the Partiot Act from the beginning and have stated so many times here. I was just explaining why I believe our Congressional Delagation voted the way they did. I was wearing my analysis hat.