Third Party & Independents Archives

PATRIOT Act: Not just for Terrorists Anymore!

I had a long rather drawn out discussion with Richard Bennett about the problems posed by the Patriot Act. His stance was that the privacy concerns were nothing to worry about when compared with the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, which is open to debate.

In addition to privacy concerns we now have to worry about being charged as terrorists for crimes totally unrelated to terrorism.

Federal prosecutors used the act in June to file a charge of "terrorism using a weapon of mass destruction" against a California man after a pipe bomb exploded in his lap, wounding him as he sat in his car.

What's next? Drano bombs? Well guess what? I'm a terrorist too. While I totally agree that pipe bombs are definitely a bad thing and it is, in fact, illegal to posess one, is he really guilty of "terrorism using a weapon of mass destruction"? I think no, at worst he's a runner up for a Darwin Award. In fact, the story says he was WOUNDED, not KILLED, by the "weapon of mast destruction." Huh? This is a weapon of mass destruction.

A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months.

Yes, drugs are illegal. No, meth is NOT a chemical weapon. I'm sorry, but this is blatant abuse of the PATRIOT Act. Without a doubt. Ashcroft, who just finished a 16 city tour promoting the PATRIOT Act, says the laws help prevent terrorism. I say the government is using it to circumvent laws already on the books (arms and anti-drug laws in the above instances). Would anyone out there like to attempt to explain why the two men above are guilty of terrorism?

Posted by joestump at September 14, 2003 11:34 PM