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<nettime> More security, less freedom = more anger, less safety
Ivo Skoric on Sat, 27 Oct 2001 05:57:12 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> More security, less freedom = more anger, less safety


Trading freedom for security: US Congress passed the anti-terrorist 
act. Anybody who goes to prison trades freedom for security. The 
US is now self-imposing a prison sentence upon itself. Because 
the cell is the only place that seems to be safe right now. A close-
cirquit air ventilation system would be an additional benefit, I 
guess. Once it became boring sitting in the cell, shivering in fear, 
this act would be loosely, intermitently and arbitrarily applied. 
Because security cannot be obtained by imposing it as a measure. 
The anger that is at the root of the need for that heightened 
security is like the raging whitewater - it will find its way around and 
over any dam the civilization builds. It needs to be reached out to 
and calmed and harnessed in the positive ways.
ivo

ps - today's New York Times brings the information that 36% of all 
New Yorkers, that joined the US military forces in recent days, are 
foreign nationals (including the interviewed Kazakh, who is in the 
country only 3 years). This reminds me of the late Roman Empire 
when most of the Roman legions were German and Slav 
conscripts. Eventually they opened the gates of Rome to their 
brethren in 476... And overweight, rich, idle, sophisticated, 
detached Roman gentry found itself at a quite a surprise. But what 
it is also interesting to observe is that Rome, while losing the 
worldly empire, remained the leader of the world through the 
Catholic Church for about next one thousand years. The equivalent 
would be that even if we lose the USA, we should still have the 
AOL. 

> http://www.wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,47858,00.html
>
> USA Act Stampedes Through
> By Declan McCullagh
>
>  2:00 a.m. Oct. 25, 2001 PDT
>
> WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate is set to end a month-long debate over
balancing freedom and security on Thursday by granting police more
surveillance power and sharply curtailing Americans' privacy.
>
> Since the House of Representatives already has voted for the
anti-terrorism bill (400 KB), the widely expected Senate endorsement would
send the labyrinthine legislation to President Bush for his signature later
this week.
>
> Approval in both chambers -- the House voted 357-66 for the so-called USA
Act on Wednesday -- is set to take place as fears of anthrax have snarled
the usual course of business on Capitol Hill and temporarily shuttered most
of Congress' office buildings.
>
> The clandestine process that Senate and House leaders used to usher
versions of the bill through the legislative process with little opportunity
for public debate drew condemnations from a minority of politicians.
>
> "The report has just come to us," said Rep. Robert Scott (D-Virginia)
during the debate that began Tuesday. "It would be helpful if we would wait
for some period of time so that we can at least review what we are voting
on, but I guess that is not going to stop us, so here we are."
>
> Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) was far more sarcastic: "This bill,
ironically, which has been given all of these high-flying acronyms -- it is
the Patriot bill, it is the USA bill, it is the
stand-up-and-sing-the-Star-Spangled-Banner bill -- has been debated in the
most undemocratic way possible, and it is not worthy of this institution."
>
> Even though many Republicans seemed worried about the additional police
powers, nearly all GOP members of the House decided to rally behind their
president. Of the 66 votes against the legislation in the House, only three
were Republicans.
>
> "We learned something six weeks ago," said Rep. Spencer Bachus
(R-Alabama). "It was a very painful lesson. We learned that legislation was
needed to provide law enforcement and intelligence additional tools that
they needed to address the threat of terrorism and terrorists."
>
> Added Rep. Marge Roukema (R-New Jersey): "I would like to say to some of
the naysayers that complain about the provisions, as to whether or not they
deny due process or whatever, the question has been asked, are we
endangering the rights and privacy of innocent Americans. The answer is no,
but it does give our law enforcement officials the requirements that they
need for their careful investigation."
>
> While the final anti-terrorism bill -- call it USA Act v3.0 -- is not as
extreme as earlier drafts, key portions suggested by the Justice Department
have emerged from closed-door negotiations without modification.
>
> The USA Act permits police to obtain court orders to conduct secret
searches of Americans' homes and offices, browse medical and financial
records without showing evidence of a crime and monitor e-mail and Web
activity without a judge's approval in some circumstances.
>
> In a compromise between the House and the Senate, some of the additional
eavesdropping powers automatically expire in December 2005. The Senate
version did not include an expiration date.
>
> A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said that the Senate
likely will consider the USA Act on Thursday afternoon.
>
> Opponents of the USA Act put a brave face on bitter defeat Wednesday.
>
> In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union said it "applauded the
66 members of the House of Representatives who voted against the final
version of anti-terrorism legislation, saying that they acted bravely to
preserve civil liberties in America in the face of enormous pressure from
the Bush Administration."
>
> Jeanne Butterfield, director of the American Immigration Lawyers
Association, said: "I think that the legislation as it came out goes a long
way in achieving the sort of balance we were seeking.... The extraordinary
powers to detain people based on meeting a very broad definition of
terrorism is a concern still and we will be keeping an eye on that."
>
> Robert Fike, federal affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform, echoed
a common theme: Right now it's difficult to reach members of Congress or
their aides to lobby them.
>
> "One of the problems we've been having -- and it's not just us, it's
everyone in the interest community -- we haven't been able to communicate
with Congress," Fike said. "Congress is still working in the Stone Age.
Their preferred method of communication is letter. They don't like dealing
with e-mail."
>
> Both chambers of Congress had approved different versions of the
anti-terrorism bill earlier this month, which led congressional leaders to
work out differences and compromise on the current draft.
>
> Ben Polen contributed to this report.
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