The Patriot Act Renewal Tramples Free Speech

The Bush team and their congressional allies are in the final stages of jamming a Patriot Act reauthorization act into law. 

The reauthorization bill will give the feds new power to suppress Americans’ speech. The Act contains a provision that will empower the Secret Service to forcibly expand the Free Speech Zones that have blighted dissent when the President or any federal big-wig comes to town. The ACLU’s Caroline Fredrickson warns that the provision “would give the Secret Service effective power to enact ‘exclusion zones’ even without the attendance of the president or other Secret Service protectee.”

Free Speech Zones have been among the most brazen constitutional abuses of the Bush era. The Secret Service, often working in cahoots with local police, create quarantine zones where no one can wave a sign with a discouraging word about George W. Secret Service agent Brian Marr explained to National Public Radio the rationale for pervasive restrictions: “These individuals may be so involved with trying to shout their support or nonsupport that inadvertently they may walk out into the motorcade route and be injured. And that is really the reason why we set these places up, so we can make sure that they have the right of free speech, but, too, we want to be sure that they are able to go home at the end of the evening and not be injured in any way.”

People still have the right to free speech -as long as no one hears their words or sees their signs. The term “free speech zone” has quickly gone from being an obscenity and near-sneer to becoming formal government policy. This is a sea change in the American political vocabulary — and proof of the pervasive deference to government and politicians in the post-9/11 era.

Free speech zones are a pre-emptive strike against American freedom. It is absurd to presume that no one has the right to get close enough to holler at a politician. If Americans acquiesce to free speech zones, they are unfit for self-government.

The fate of the provision vesting new censorship power in the Secret Service will speak volumes about whether the media and members of Congress have learned anything from the abuses of recent years.


One Response to The Patriot Act Renewal Tramples Free Speech

  1. Gregg Roberts December 20, 2005 at 2:59 pm #

    You wrote:

    “This is a sea change in the American political vocabulary — and proof of the pervasive deference to government and politicians in the post-9/11 era.”

    The radical quality of the post-9/11 changes, both at home at abroad, is why I wrote you last year, asking you to look at the evidence that the 9/11 attack was an inside job. You politely replied that you were basically too busy getting your last book out to look at what I was telling you. Now you have yet another book coming out, which I haven’t seen, but which I doubt contains any of the evidence and argument to which I referred you. I would love to be proven wrong about this.

    I freely admit that there are loads of B.S. masquerading as “9/11 Truth.” But this in no way shows that there is no *good* evidence. A lie still gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on. This is no less true of disinformation masquerading as an expose in order to discredit the entire topic, than it is of the official 9/11 story.

    A BYU physicist, Steven Jones, recently came forward with a paper that proposes controlled demolition as a scientifically superior explanation of the collapses. He provides the 9/11 Truth movement with a long-awaited, officially recognized expert to counter the lies and distortions undergirding the official story.

    The key smoking guns of 9/11 remain just as ignored or misrepresented by the mainstream media as the Alpizar shooting, and by the Left media as well:

    – The total, symmetrical, and near-free-fall-speed collapse of both Twin Towers, and of WTC 7 later in the day.

    Even the government’s reports don’t blame the airliner impacts for the tower collapses, except incidentally (by knocking off fire insulation). Yet no other steel-framed skyscraper in history, insulated or not, has ever completely collapsed from any combination of causes other than controlled demolition, which al Qaeda lacked the means to accomplish. Much hotter and longer-lasting fires have never caused anything but localized collapses or collapses of non-structural components. NIST’s $20 million report does not even attempt to model or explain the unprecedented collapses, despite detailed modeling (and dishonest discussion) of the impact damage and fires.

    – More than 100 evasions or lies by the 9/11 Commission and its official witnesses, including denial of the existence of the Towers’ massive core structures.

    These egregious “omissions and distortions” have been amply documented by David Ray Griffin, whose two 9/11 books have sold well over 100,000 copies worldwide despite a deafening silence from all the mainstream US book reviewers.

    – The multiple violations of standard operating procedure and the failure of the air defense system to intercept any of the four diverted airliners were shrugged off with absurd excuses, without a single FAA or NORAD official even being reprimanded.

    I implore you and your readers to look at the sober, concise, referenced information at the URLs supplied below. Though many will find it a bitter pill to even put in their mouth, much less swallow, the potential benefits of many more people taking “the red pill” are hard to overstate. By destroying the very foundations of the War on Terror — the Big Lie that started it all — we could actually reverse, rather than merely slow, the current slide into tyranny in which we find ourselves. Anything less seems about as likely to be effective as sweet-talking an Agent of the Matrix.