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Patriot Act to be Expanded

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the big-brother dept.

Privacy 1523

m4dm4n writes "It seems that the patriot act is being expanded rather than scaled back after a vote late Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence committee. The FBI has gained new powers to demand documents from companies without a judge's approval, as well as the ability to designate subpoenas as secret and punish disclosure of their existence with up to one year in prison."

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1523 comments

LEEROY JENKINS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766428)

lets do this!

Re:LEEROY JENKINS (2)

IronMagnus (777535) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766443)

best first post ever.

Re:LEEROY JENKINS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766451)

It's a joke. Laugh troll mods!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeroy_Jenkins [wikipedia.org]
Crap and I don't even play the WoW.

Home of the brave... (4, Insightful)

^Case^ (135042) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766430)

... land of the free?

Re:Home of the brave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766465)

Brave as in "brave to do what I say".
Free as in beer, not free as in freedom.

Re:Home of the brave... (5, Funny)

rxmd (205533) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766466)

...land of the free?
As in beer, I guess.

Re:Home of the brave... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766586)

Freedom is Slavery.

And robots do all the fighting now; they aren't brave.

In Soviet America... (2, Insightful)

Chatsubo (807023) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766601)

PATRIOT acts on YOU!

Sorry, couldn't resist. But seriously. At a time when Russia is just becoming a functioning democracy, I think this is actually pretty ironic.

Anyone get the feeling... (5, Interesting)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766431)

Anyone get the feeling we're becoming more and more of a police state?

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766440)

where'd you get that idea?

the US has fair and democratic elections, does not lock up people without a trial, does not torture, and has no weapons of mass destruction..

MOD PARENT UP (5, Funny)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766516)

+5, insightful
+5, informative
+5 years in prison!

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0, Redundant)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766524)

Tell that to the people in Camp X-Ray.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766559)

dude, you're sense of humour is broken

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766449)

Mod parent down; anti-American and possibly even (gasp) Communist

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (5, Insightful)

rxmd (205533) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766452)

Anyone get the feeling we're becoming more and more of a police state?
What are you, as an American, doing to stop this from happening to your country?

Democracy must not be taken for granted. It needs to be constantly fought for and won, else it will be coopted and lost.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766484)

Because the smart thing to do in a country where they have the power to "disappear" you is to be a squeaky wheel.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1)

rxmd (205533) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766526)

Because the smart thing to do in a country where they have the power to "disappear" you is to be a squeaky wheel.
Where did you learn that? Whom is that supposed to serve? Civil disobedience only works by scale. The Boston Tea Party didn't mean just throwing the occasional crate of tea into the harbour every now and then, either.

If by "being smart" you just mean survical, the solution is to be irrelevant (a good read for this is Solzhenitsyn's "Cancer Ward", especially the dialogue between Shulubin and Kostoglotov in the second half). If, however, you want to acticely do something for your country, just being a squeaky wheel every now and then in isolation won't help anybody.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766577)

Do you know when people are at their most likely to overthrow tyranny? When they're starving, poor and unemployed. Otherwise, they are too busy working and providing for their family and trying to stay alive.

People get up in the morning, commute for a couple hours, work for ten or twelve hours, telecommute for a couple more hours. Feed the family. Pay the bills. Try and save a bit for retirement (or children's education, etc). Fix the broken shit in the house. Spend quality time with the kids and wife. Get some rest before doing it all again the next day.

Only when the majority are starving, poor and unemployed do they have both the incentive and the TIME to put everything on the line and make a change. Otherwise, it's all they can do to keep up with current events, much less act on them.

It's sad, but it's true. And for more of us than would like to admit it.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (5, Insightful)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766488)

That's the problem, nobody cares that their democracy (or more accurately their constitutional republic) is dead and gone. It simply baffles me that people are so willing to piss away their freedom and it drives me crazy that I'm in the minority of people who see what's going on. The average US citizen will display his faith and patriotism in the US and all that it stands for, especially after 9/11, even though we have become the very thing we used to stand against; it sickens me.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (2, Insightful)

maelstrom (638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766531)

So what is one thing you've done besides bitch about it on Slashdot?

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766552)

Recall Cassanadra - you too can lead the suicidal jump from the walls

You already are a near Fascist Corporatist state living beyond its means - not much further to go before war is seen as the natural means to give Americans the 'lebensraum' that is so obviously their divine right

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766558)

People care. You have to have a community for people to take care of each other for the rest of it to exist. That community is traditionally the church, the real one, not the goose stepping antichrist roman catholic one - whose traditions have always been pro-one world government, state established churches, and even raping little kids (which goes back a thousand years, it isn't recent).

Thats the problem, and bush and clinton have aligned themselves with it. If you don't have a community that will even stick up for little kids getting raped (5,000 pedophile priests according to last estimate by the CATHOLIC CHURCH, which is lowball), you have no community.
These people haven't been thrown in jail yet for conspiracy to obstruct justice and cover up crimes. In fact, the current pope is the man that was RESPONSIBLE for the coverup. People have to care about each other and protect each other before anything else happens. This isn't caring folks. If the Roman Catholic church gets away with this, it will be fuel for the wicked to organize behind the strong man, like its happened in every other dictatorship that gets started.

This is the new order crowd. They've aligned themselves with the antichrist, and sold out America. Even now, the catholic church sits as the only religion on the UN, and its own country (which is less than a square mile), signing treaties and waiting to restart the holy roman empire, the same dictatorship that plunged europe into the dark ages for more than 700 years.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766570)

Dude, calm down. Those Jack Chick comics are just really funny satire. It's not real.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (5, Insightful)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766580)

What bothers me, is that if you have a view that disagrees with the current powers, you are viewed as anti-american. I love my country, but I don't agree with everything they say, democrat or republican, and I don't think anyone should. Our country was built upon questioning authority. But it seems you must have blind faith or else you're viewed a dissenter and a traitor. After 9/11 I realized things had to change, but I don't think the patriot act was the correct way to go about it. It almost makes me fear my own country, because I don't know when I or anyone I know, innocent or guilty, could fall victim to this secret law system.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (4, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766592)

The problem is that people don't think that they matter. The person they voted for in my state, and won by a large margin, isn't the president, so their vote doesn't matter. They can't afford to send "gifts" to senators, so they don't matter to them. How many people have you heard that wouldn't even think of voting for a 3rd party candidate, because it was wasting a vote? In a land of 300 million, people have a hard time believing that their one small voice matters. They need a way to realize that there are more out there that think the same, and if they get together, they can be a large voice.

I mean, look at the Parent Television Council (I think thats their name) That one group of ultra conservative parents is responsible for something like 97% of complaints to the FCC for indecency in broadcasting, and has almost single handedly changed the policies of the FCC. Although I totaly disagree with what they are trying to do, (kill all the people you want on TV, but don't show love!) I think its amazing that they have bonded together, and been very loud until they got what they wanted. As much as I disagree with their tactics and message, I have to admire the fact that they can do it, and have a little more hope that maybe others will do something similar for what they believe.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (2, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766547)

What are you, as an American, doing to stop this from happening to your country?

Well, I voted against the bozos in the last election, and tried to convince everybody I could to do the same. ;-)

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766578)

Democracy must not be taken for granted. It needs to be constantly fought for and won, else it will be coopted and lost.

I heartily disagree. Democracy should always be taken for granted. Your suggesting that it constantly needs to be "fought for and won" is antithetical to the very principles of freedom.

I find this general attitude of blaming the populace for their freedoms being taken away disturbing:
Oh, it's your own fault because you failed to fight for your freedom.

If I am under the impression that I must go out and shoot people every few years in order to preserve my freedom, am I truly free? Or am I merely acting in accordance with a codified system of behavior based upon certain unproved assumptions?

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766485)

Anyone get the feeling we're becoming more and more of a police state?

We've been a police state since the 1930s; it has just been a relatively benevolent one until now.

If you do not have the choice to do what you want with your own person or property as long as those choices do not directly do physical damage to another's person or property, then you are not free.

Free people can grow whatever plant they want on their own land. Free people can own whatever kind of firearm they want without previous government permission. Free people can say whatever they want about elected officials and those running for elected office without worrying about government election laws.

There are a myriad ways in which the populace of the United States is no longer free, the problem is that most have "grown up" with those restrictions and consider them normal. The next generation will no doubt similarly consider omnipresent "security cameras" and required government permission for vitamin purchase (rules for such being drawn up by the WTO even today) to be perfectly normal.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766514)

Part of the difficulty of attempting to run a democracy is deciding at which point the good of the country outweighs the rights of the individual.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1)

xpurple (1227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766489)

We already are a police state.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766490)

The Fascist States of America. Look up the definition.

Everyone but the USians have seen this for a while now.

I guess most of you simply do not care.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (5, Insightful)

zmooc (33175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766495)

Dude, your country is viewed as the sole definition of a police state by the rest of the world, might you not have noticed.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (2, Insightful)

maelstrom (638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766544)

Right, cause there aren't any countries like North Korea that would be closer to the true definition of a police state...

I don't like the Patriot Act either, but we aren't to the point where we have to fear being killed for critizing our leadership or laws either.

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766593)

I don't like the Patriot Act either, but we aren't to the point where we have to fear being killed for critizing our leadership or laws either.

You will, you will...

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (1)

Dharma's Dad (668471) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766500)

Anyone get the feeling we're becoming more and more of a police state?
--still looking for a wife...

Just wait until you get a wife....

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766510)

They will continue to push it, until someone complaints VERY BADLY.

You guys must think of a politic as a teenager, always wanting to know how far they go...

Re:Anyone get the feeling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766563)

Looking at you from Europe, I think your current situation couldn't be much more worrying, considering that you're still a democracy after all.

Good luck with the big fight ahead, Americans. Remember, talking about your guns is colossaly stupid when you still very much have the opportunity to change everything with loudly spoken opinions and stubborness.

Short said: (5, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766433)

They can do whatever they want without any judges or other laws having to say anything about it and when you go public (or to your lawyer) you go to prison? Isn't that a human rights violation?

Re:Short said: (2, Informative)

karamellkungen (582670) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766525)

Yes, it is a human rights violation, and not the first perpetrated by the american government against its own citizens either. Have a look at the latest Amnesty International yearly report http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/2am-index-eng [amnesty.org] before you go waving your flag the next time.

Re:Short said: (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766596)

Yes, but if you consume any of the news from the American press, you would have the impression that Amnesty International is pretty much just like the French. Meaning, anti-American, anti-Freedom, hippy snobs that we have to boycott and hate.

Remember, you can't be with us if you criticise us. And if you aren't with us, you're with the terrorists.

Re:Short said: (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766565)

Isn't that a human rights violation?

What's your point?

Re:Short said: (3, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766599)

Isn't that a human rights violation?

Only according to anti-American Communist Islamic organisations like the UN and Amnesty International. Remember, the people this will be used against are terrorists. You don't support terrorists, do you?

How Very Orwellian... (5, Insightful)

colonslashslash (762464) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766438)

Still, it's all in the name of fighting terrorism, of course.

Eurasian spies are everywhere....

Re:How Very Orwellian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766455)

Eurasian spies are everywhere....

Fool! We're at war with Eastasia. We ALWAYS have been at war with Eastasia.

Re:How Very Orwellian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766481)

But how many of the laws implemented by the Patriot act, will have ANY effects on terror?

Except of course by making most people in the US terrorists by proxy?

Hurrah! (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766442)

Yet another step is assuring freedom will overcome terrorism!

It's just too bad Bush can't have a third term. How will we be safe when he is gone?!

Re:Hurrah! (5, Insightful)

zenmojodaddy (754377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766477)

What makes you think he'll stand down after his second term? He's quite content to piss all over your Constitution, so why shouldn't he get a law passed allowing more than two terms of office?

Re:Hurrah! (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766519)

True. He has admitted that he speaks with god or jesus. I suppose he could announce that Jesus told him to serve a third term - and there are enough crazy religious sheeple in this country that would accept it.

I just hope the general freedom thing as a citizen lasts another 40 years. Once I'm dead, to hell with you all. Just don't stick me in a gulag during my life time.

The thing is, you can't expect a society raised by public schools (the government) to question things like The Patriot Act. Remember, these are the same people who today overwhelmingly state that the government should have the authority to censor news papers and that the press has too much freedom and that they should even be required to recieve approval from the government before publishing all stories.

In a society where the young people think we have to much freedom we are seriously fucked. Our young people are supposed to be the rebels. The fighters. The change-makers. Not sheep.

Re:Hurrah! (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766597)

To give Jeb Bush his go?

Guess what, you'll have an elected monarchy.

Re:Hurrah! (5, Insightful)

iapetus (24050) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766503)

No need to worry. Because of the ongoing war against Iran it will be necessary for him to stay on for a third term. America needs continuity, and anyone who says otherwise supports the terrorists.

Re:Hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766506)

Who said he won't have a third term ?
Then he'll change his name to Nehemiah Scudder, and you'll all be safe.

Now sleep.

Re:Hurrah! (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766512)

After him it is going to be his brother: Jeb Bush, who is governor in Florida according to some sources.

Re:Hurrah! (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766532)

Old man Bush recently floated the solution, Jeb will come out of Florida and save The Nation (and the world too).

Powers without balances (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766448)

Kinda makes one wonder when the first people start disappearing. Maybe they already have. At least the commie witch hunts of the 1950's were internal. But you're beginning to scare your neighbors now.

US = Jenga (5, Insightful)

dew-genen-ny (617738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766450)

The perception of US 'freedom' is being undermined on a daily basis just like pieces of wood being removed from a jenga tower.

Wonder how long you've got before it topples. /glad I'm european.

Re:US = Jenga (5, Funny)

cyberfelon2k5 (849302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766460)

I for one welcome our new Jenga playing overlords.

Re:US = Jenga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766478)

Don't be.
We're on the best way to become like that too.
Germany for example wants to pass a law to take your DNA with out a judges ruling, even for minor delicts.

Brave new world.

Re:US = Jenga (1)

aerique (206) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766530)

Yeah, because we're doing so much better in Europe. *boggle*

Bruce Cockburn sang it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766456)

Five years of Bush! (2, Interesting)

johansalk (818687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766458)

Five years ago, before Bush and his administration came to office, my heartfelt wish was "if only I had lived in America rather than Europe". After five years of Bush in office, my heartfelt bliss is that I lived in Europe rather than America.

Re:Five years of Bush! (-1, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766471)

Five years ago, I wished I'd lived in bastions of freedom like the Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, Cuba or Communist China. After five years of Bush in office, I realize that I already do.

Re:Five years of Bush! (-1, Troll)

will_die (586523) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766518)

Please don't compare what is happening in the US to what you have to do in Europe.
Depending on where you are in Europe:
You have to register with you local town hall, this is not for taxes or services or anything(that is all seperate) you just have to register that you are living in there city, send to police and the higher up the buracrary chain.
You are required to carry identification with you all the time, stopped without it, instant jail.
When you stay at a hotel your information and picture is send to the police.
The police can already request all the information from local businesses and other state entities they want.

Re:Five years of Bush! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766528)

Please, name the countries?

Re:Five years of Bush! (2, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766562)

You have to register with you local town hall, this is not for taxes or services or anything(that is all seperate) you just have to register that you are living in there city

In America, you have to "register" with the US Post Office and IRS (and the DMV since you need a state ID or driver's license to exist). And, by way of employment or banking, the social security administration.

You are required to carry identification with you all the time, stopped without it, instant jail.

In America, if you have no identification on you or you refuse to produce it, you are going to be hassled, possibly threatened, and probably detained (perhaps taken to the local station for a lengthy period of time until they sort things out). Though it isn't illegal, lack of identification will get you some serious mistreatment.

Oh, and then there was that case in Texas where the guy was basically arrested for refusing to provide identification on the side of the road by his home.

When you stay at a hotel your information and picture is send to the police.

When you stay at a hotel in America, you need to provide photo identification and a credit card. There are few (and seedy) hotels that will allow you to use cash. And even if you do, they often still require identification and a credit card for security reasons. It's a simple step for the police to locate you or find out where you stayed and when.

No, this isn't Communist China or the STASI. Not yet. But it ain't all that "free", either. Christ, we're letting the MPAA pay the police force in LA to monitor the streets with video cameras for bootlegging. And most big cities have videocamera surveilance at intersections and public gathering spots.

If we think we "aren't like europe", it's only because we've been brainwashed to percieve it that way. Just like, growing up, society brainwashes us to think that America is the only democracy in the world and that everyone else is imprisoned for speaking their mind outside our borders.

Re:Five years of Bush! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766602)

Hmm, what is this european country you're speaking of?

Don't panic! (5, Insightful)

JamesD_UK (721413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766462)

The solution to your problems as a resident of the United States may be at hand [cic.gc.ca] .

Re:Don't panic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766569)

You know, that Insightful mod is sadly fitting...

In Soviet USA... (2, Funny)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766467)

In Soviety USA, lame joke applies to YOU.

As a US Citizen abroad (4, Insightful)

castlec (546341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766470)

It seems like every bit of political news I get these days makes me think a little bit more about not going back. It saddens me to say this but it's true. Apathy is killing our country. We need to remind people that our empire is not unlike others before. They all fell apart. Ours will too.

Re:As a US Citizen abroad (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766496)

I agree. And I, for one, intend to stand up and do something about it!

. . . Right after I finish watching America's Next Top Model . . .

The other way around (5, Insightful)

MochaMan (30021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766548)

Not an American myself, but I'd suspect that you're exactly the kind of person who should be going back to the US to stand up for what you believe in and help turn the current political climate around.

Nice! (5, Insightful)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766472)

The best thing about these new laws is there won't be any evidence of abuse of power - anyone who squeaks will be locked up and have their reputation destroyed, its like getting rid of free speech without actually getting rid of it: genius!

Not too much longer.. (1)

b5turbo (850656) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766479)

..before we have to start registering our websites like China is requiring now. Even little old ladies can be terrorists or pirates (RIAA anyone?) nowadays. Start hiding that pr0n collection, because Big Brothers coming.

The terrorist will not win! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766482)

I remember George Bush said that the terrorist _will_ not win. It looks like they have already won to me.

greetings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766483)

from george orwell :)

Remember Sibel Edmonds! (2, Informative)

johansalk (818687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766486)

"...we fear that the designation of information as classified in some cases [brought forth by Sibel Edmonds] serves to protect the executive branch against embarrassing revelations and full accountability... Releasing declassified versions of these reports, or at least portions or summaries, would serve the public's interest, increase transparency, promote effectiveness and efficiency at the FBI, and facilitate Congressional oversight." U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) in a Letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft http://www.justacitizen.com/ [justacitizen.com]

Outsider's view (1)

d4ni3ls4n (571318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766487)

Living in Australia I obviously have no first hand experience of how this affects the lives of ordinary Amercians, but my view (however influenced by the media that may be) is that it seems the privacy of every single citizen is being eroded slowly with every piece of legislation lodged. It's true we are living in a uncertain age, but how far can the government go protecting its people before it undermines the people's trust in the government? Personally I think the government could be doing more in the protection of its citizens without intruding on their privacy (more). Enough is enough.

Re:Outsider's view (1)

Kirth (183) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766529)

> but how far can the government go protecting its
> people before it undermines the people's trust in
> the government?

Boil the frog slowly, so he won't jump.

So the answer is: Pretty far; with the current course set, you'll end up the most extreme fascist nation that ever existed (and sadly enough, the rest of the world not much behind).

Osama (4, Insightful)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766497)

Osama Bin Laden gets exactly what he publicly stated he wanted to accomplish: make the US government behave more like some 'muslim' governments. OBL thinks that only when the US populace suffers the same as the muslim populace that change will come to the world.

The fact that he publicly stated this is where it gets interersting, because this leaves open (IMHO) 3 options for the US government:
  1. US government does not know what Osama said was his reason for attacking the US, and therefor simply react how Osama wants them to react; in this case US government consists of a bunch of morons
  2. US government knows *damn well* what Osama said and do Osamas bidding, because it suits them well in becoming more like Big Brother
  3. US government knows what Osama said, but think he is lying. Question is: why would a terrorist be lying? A terrorist wants to get his way, so there is no use in lying about what you want to accomplish through terrorism. Like option 1, US government is filled with morons.
So, US government is either too dumb for words or wants to be like Big Brother. Don't know which of the two is more scary.

Re:Osama (1)

Kwil (53679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766560)

Why do you assume 2 and 3 are mutually exclusive?

Not What the Forefathers Wanted (4, Insightful)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766513)

How can our representatives not see that they are bastardizing our constitutional rights so bad that our forefathers are turning in their graves so hard that they're tunneling out of their coffins. How do the reps not see that we don't really want these rules. George Bush and the reps scream freedom from the tops of their lungs while at the same time strip more and more freedoms away from their own people. Why is it so bad to get judge approval for document retrieval? Yes, it may take a little more work and time, but we need checks and balances, not law enforcers becoming judge and jury on a whim. Along with secret subpeonas, and the rest of the patriot act, they're taking our whole legal system underground and out of our hands. I can't believe how quickly they're trying to take away the fundamentals that make us US Americans, but I'm even more surprised at the rate they're succeeding at it.

Re:Not What the Forefathers Wanted (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766536)

we don't really want these rules

Ah, but we do. Oh, we don't, not we sophisticated intellectuals, but we the people as a whole are very keen on these rules.

Every single damn poll I see reveals massive support for further crackdowns and additional police powers, to protect us from terrorism.

The masses actually believe they're in real danger. They've completely bought into the whole politics of fear we've been fed for the last few years.

With thunderous applause, indeed.

Re:Not What the Forefathers Wanted (5, Informative)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766574)

How can...
How do...
Why is it...

Well, it might be some sort of plan. See "The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism here [couplescompany.com] . Interesting note:

"As of January 2004, the United States fulfills all fourteen points of fascism and all seven warning signs are present. But we're not alone. Israel also fulfills all fourteen points and all seven warning signs as well. Welcome to the new republic, redefined, revised and spun. It is not too late to reverse this in either country, but it will be soon. The first step is realizing it. The second step is getting involved. As the propaganda slogan disguising our current war goes, "Freedom isn't free." But our war for freedom isn't abroad; it's here at home."

non-free capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766521)

It seems to me, they are mistaking something called 'free' with something called 'capitalism' or 'liberalism'.
They attack the non-liberal world (literally) without giving any freedom anywhere else!

Freedom is in the mind, not in the money...

Comming tomorrow: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766535)

The FBI asked /. to hand out certain ip addresses.

Patri-what-ic? (3, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766541)

This is hilarious. In my country (Australia) we *have* no patriotic act, and also, we dropped two thirds of our national anthem because, well, we really couldn't be bothered singing the entire thing. It's like, we're... America on opposite day.

Re:Patri-what-ic? (1)

maelstrom (638) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766579)

So do you have a bill of rights yet?

Re:Patri-what-ic? (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766600)

I think the more important question would be, where did the American Bill of Rights go, it was around here somewhere, now there's just these scraps.

Preventing the loss of freedom (1)

JetFox (868640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766542)

Remember all those people you learn about in school, the ones who tried "civil disobedience"? Well, the thing is, many people nowadays feel too proud to do anything, and because they feel that everything that our country is sticking under our noses is good for us, then of course we're going to put this way. That's why no matter what happens, if a piece of jurisdiction gets by that prevents freedom from being protected, then we don't sit around and let it happen. As long as you make your voice heard loud and clear, and don't do stupid stuff like PETA (getting off topic..) then you can make sure we don't end up getting pushed around. The Government serves us, not the other way around.

All you yanks can come crash at my place... (4, Funny)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766545)

... Hey, at least here in Australia we have nice beaches and beautiful women and our governing body is just stupid, not totally morally corrupt. Yet.

Re:All you yanks can come crash at my place... (4, Insightful)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766576)

This would be the same government who would quite happily lie through its teeth about "Children Overboard", or when handed evidence of a large Chinese spy ring operating in the country seem more concerned with placating the Chinese than getting to the bottom of the whole mess.

I hate to say it but Howard and Co are pretty much as morally corrupt as the Labor Government that sat on its hands while Indonesia invaded East Timor.

Dude.... (1)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766568)

Dude, somebody stole my freedom!!!!

[well I'm not from the US, but I thought it was called for]

So what are the options here... (1)

jarich (733129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766571)

Are ~all~ the leaders (senators, congressmen, etc)... are they:

Stupid (being led around by a small group of evil men)?

Evil? Trying to take over the world?

Or are they possibly better informed than you and doing what they think we need done?

hmmmm.... fully briefed heads of state of large country... geeks on a discussion board....

Think about it.

Re:So what are the options here... (3, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766583)

Or are they possibly better informed than you and doing what they think we need done?

Good point. We should trust our government. They are better informed than we are. They are more intelligent. The Government knows better than we do what is best for the country. We should not question the government.

So, in your universe, what is the rationale for holding elections at all?

Re:So what are the options here... (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766588)

Fully briefed by whom? The same guys who were dead certain that Saddam Hussien had WMD, or maybe the guys who couldn't connect the dots to prevent 11/9.

Not passed yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766582)

Committees are one thing, but it needs a general floor vote, doesn't it?

Granted, it will definitely be passed. But I know that one of my senators in particular (who is on the Intelligence Committee) has been quoted as saying that it needs to be ammended (read: limited) before general passage.

Re:Not passed yet. (2, Interesting)

SupremeSpod (115262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766604)

Rise up, overthrow the Giant Lizard Tyrants!

But seriously folks, this is getting scary.

America's been through worse and survived (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12766595)

As I expected, many +5 insightful comments have appeared, claiming that american democracy is dead, or that the U.S. is approaching the police state, and so on. I really encourage you folks to try a broader perspective. Of course, those new laws are bad, and abusing citizens' rights, but
1. It's nowhere near the situation during, for example, maccarthyism. Read something about the period. People were out of jobs (or forced out of the country!) for no reason at all, other that they were untruthfully accused of sympathizing with communists. And yet, American democracy survived this, and -- if anything -- became only stronger. Really, you should have more faith in the system's built-in mechanisms. It worked amazingly well for two hundred years.
2. There is absolutely no comparison with the real police states, which are, unfortunately, still very common on our miserable planet. I think, It's insulting for the tortured to death victims in Iran, or China, or Russia, to even compare the minor inconveniences that Americans suffer with the police state actions. Looking from most of the Earth, America is land of the free, regardless how funny you may find this claim.

All this because of 9/11? (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766598)

You US citizens need to put things in perspective. 2,823 died in that attack. Thats very sad but damnit, its not even a drop in the ocean compared to other dangerous things. Almost a million a year dies of off bad diet and no exercise (heart faliure). 90,000 dies in motor accidents. 28,000 people is killed by firearms a year. Where are the tough actions preventing theese much worse sources of death?

9/11 was just an excuse to implement the police state the Neocons always wanted. The things the US hated the most about Russia is now being implemented and the US citizens is just watching on. As long as the media is pumping out false and outrageous propaganda it wont change either.

Damn im glad i dont live in the US!

It seems... (1)

Racknar (882047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12766607)

like we criticised the hardline Russian government with their nearly unlimited investigative power that existed without any judicial oversite(KGB) and called it a bad thing that such an agency existed to police it's own citizens and now with every expansion of the patriot act we are becoming that which we fought so hard to destroy. I suppose we can gather in a circle and sing kumbaya and hope that the FBI doesn't use it's expanded powers against ordinary citizens, but when has a police agency not abused powers like this when THEY deemed it neccessary? If they weren't hoping to use these powers in an unlimited fashion then why was the wording of the powers expressed so vaugely? Why have no judicial oversite if you are planning on doing things above board and ethically?
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