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On Extending the PATRIOT Act - HR 514
Congressman Tom McClintock | February 15, 2011 | Tom McClintock

Posted on 02/15/2011 12:05:55 PM PST by Congressman Tom McClintock

House Chamber, Washington, D.C. February 15, 2011 M. Speaker: Last year I voted to extend the PATRIOT Act for one year. I regret that vote and was glad to have been able to correct it, although I am pained that the House voted otherwise yesterday. During this past year, I have become convinced that the provisions of the so-called PATRIOT Act are an affront to the Bill of Rights and a serious threat to our fundamental liberty as Americans. The Fourth Amendment arises from abuses of the British Crown that allowed roving searches by revenue agents under the guise of what were called “writs of assistance” or “general warrants.” Instead of following specific allegations against specific individuals, the Crown’s revenue agents were given free rein to search indiscriminately. In 1761, the famous colonial leader, James Otis, challenged these writs, arguing that "A man's house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege." Two hundred and fifty years later, the PATRIOT Act restores these roving searches. In the audience that day in 1761 was a 25-year-old lawyer named John Adams. He would later recall, "Every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance. Then and there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there, the child, ‘Independence’ was born." The American Founders responded with the Fourth Amendment. It provides that before the government can invade a person’s privacy, the executive branch must present sworn testimony to an independent judiciary that a crime has occurred, that there is reason to believe that an individual should be searched for evidence of the crime and specify the place to be searched and the things to be seized. The John Doe roving wiretaps provided under the bill are a clear breach of this crystal clear provision. The entire point of having an open and independent judiciary is so that abuses of power can be quickly identified by the public and corrected. The very structure of this law prevents that from occurring. I also object to the so-called “lone wolf” provision of the Act that allows a person who is not acting in concert with a foreign power to be treated as if they were. This malignant fiction utterly blurs the critical distinction between a private person protected under our Constitution and an enemy combatant acting as an agent of a foreign power. My Chief of Staff, Igor Birman, was born in Moscow. His family emigrated to America when he was 14. He tells of the days leading up to their long-awaited departure. His father had technical expertise and the authorities were desperate to find some pretense to cancel the family’s exit visa. A week before they departed for America, the family returned home to find that Soviet authorities had turned their apartment upside down looking for anything that could be used to block their emigration. This was not the result of suspected criminal activity, but rather the same kind of open-ended search the Fourth Amendment protects us against. His younger brother was terrified and hysterical. His mother calmed the little boy by saying, “Don’t worry. We’re leaving in a few days for America. This will never happen to us there.” Our country is threatened by foreign governments and multi-national terrorist groups which are actively working to do us harm, backed by a fifth column within our borders. But we have faced far more powerful governments and far better organized networks of spies and saboteurs in the past without having to shred our Bill of Rights. The freedom that our Constitution protects is the source of our economic prosperity, our moral authority and our martial strength. It is also the ultimate bulwark against authoritarianism. Abraham Lincoln was right. No transatlantic military giant – let alone some fanatical terrorist group – can ever “step across the ocean and crush us at a blow.” And no foreign power can destroy our Constitution. Only we can do that. As Lincoln said, “As a nation of free men, we are destined to live forever – or die by suicide.”


TOPICS: Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: billofrights; constitution; freedom; liberty; mcclintock; patriotact

1 posted on 02/15/2011 12:05:58 PM PST by Congressman Tom McClintock
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock

The constitution isnt a suicide pact.


2 posted on 02/15/2011 12:07:28 PM PST by Crim (The Obama Doctrine : A doctrine based on complete ignorance,applied with extreme incompetence..)
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To: Crim

Same arguement being used to try to take away your Second Amendment Rights. We won’t have any Civil Liberties left if we surrender them for security.


3 posted on 02/15/2011 12:19:48 PM PST by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock
And no foreign power can destroy our Constitution. Only we can do that

What is it that keeps elected officials from adhering to their oath of office to protect and defend ALL of the laws of our Constitution. Yes, you are speaking up about the Patriot Act nullifying the 4th amendment and for me, I sincerely appreciate you for doing so. However, the 4th amendment has been abused for years by the IRS, BATFE and police enforcement agencies across this country and it continues today. Maybe not in a blanketed fashion as does the Patriot Act but the camel tore that tent down long ago. These agencies routinely confiscate an individuals private properties before the person has been convicted of a crime or without due process. The Constitutional law seems to be what ever this administration and other elected elites say it is. Thank you for your efforts to right the wrongs being foisted up on this nation.

4 posted on 02/15/2011 1:03:55 PM PST by drypowder
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock; greyfoxx39; Politicalmom; Arthur Wildfire! March; ...

Ping


5 posted on 02/15/2011 5:32:32 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: calcowgirl; Congressman Tom McClintock

McClintock ping.

Still wondering if this “Congressman Tom McClintock” FReeper is the real deal or not.


6 posted on 02/15/2011 5:37:08 PM PST by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: Gene Eric; calcowgirl; Congressman Tom McClintock; greyfoxx39; Politicalmom; ...

OK. What I understand happened is that the Dems and some Republicans voted to not extend the Patriot Act while most of the Republicans did.

Now, my understanding is that the Patriot Act is not something that conservatives would support for the reasons listed in the thread.

However, I understand also that the TEA party supports extending the Patriot Act.

Considering that I disagree with dems on virtually everything and agree with the TEA Party on almost everything, I am puzzled as to why voting to not extend this fell out the way it did and that I think the dems voted correctly.

Having the dems do something that I think sounds like the right thing to do always makes me take a good hard look at what’s going on.

What am I missing here? There must be something that I am not aware of. Either that or hell just froze over.


7 posted on 02/15/2011 6:02:08 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock
Congressman Tom McClintock

Are you *sure* you're really Congressman Tom McClintock?

You don't look like him, y'know.

8 posted on 02/15/2011 6:19:28 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will believe in abject nonsense.)
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock; 1010RD; 4Liberty; afnamvet; ALOHA RONNIE; ambrose; Amerigomag; ...

PING!

McClintock ping list
Freepmail me if you want on or off this list.


9 posted on 02/15/2011 6:44:51 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Sapere Aude!" --Immanuel Kant)
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To: calcowgirl

Thanks CCG!


10 posted on 02/15/2011 6:51:13 PM PST by SZonian (July 27, 2010. Life begins anew.)
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock
Allow me to assist:

__________________________________________________

House Chamber, Washington, D.C. February 15, 2011 - M. Speaker: Last year I voted to extend the PATRIOT Act for one year. I regret that vote and was glad to have been able to correct it, although I am pained that the House voted otherwise yesterday.

During this past year, I have become convinced that the provisions of the so-called PATRIOT Act are an affront to the Bill of Rights and a serious threat to our fundamental liberty as Americans.

The Fourth Amendment arises from abuses of the British Crown that allowed roving searches by revenue agents under the guise of what were called “writs of assistance” or “general warrants.” Instead of following specific allegations against specific individuals, the Crown’s revenue agents were given free rein to search indiscriminately. In 1761, the famous colonial leader, James Otis, challenged these writs, arguing that "A man's house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege."

Two hundred and fifty years later, the PATRIOT Act restores these roving searches. In the audience that day in 1761 was a 25-year-old lawyer named John Adams. He would later recall, "Every man of an immense crowded audience appeared to me to go away as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance. Then and there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there, the child, ‘Independence’ was born."

The American Founders responded with the Fourth Amendment. It provides that before the government can invade a person’s privacy, the executive branch must present sworn testimony to an independent judiciary that a crime has occurred, that there is reason to believe that an individual should be searched for evidence of the crime and specify the place to be searched and the things to be seized. The John Doe roving wiretaps provided under the bill are a clear breach of this crystal clear provision.

The entire point of having an open and independent judiciary is so that abuses of power can be quickly identified by the public and corrected. The very structure of this law prevents that from occurring. I also object to the so-called “lone wolf” provision of the Act that allows a person who is not acting in concert with a foreign power to be treated as if they were. This malignant fiction utterly blurs the critical distinction between a private person protected under our Constitution and an enemy combatant acting as an agent of a foreign power.

My Chief of Staff, Igor Birman, was born in Moscow. His family emigrated to America when he was 14. He tells of the days leading up to their long-awaited departure. His father had technical expertise and the authorities were desperate to find some pretense to cancel the family’s exit visa. A week before they departed for America, the family returned home to find that Soviet authorities had turned their apartment upside down looking for anything that could be used to block their emigration. This was not the result of suspected criminal activity, but rather the same kind of open-ended search the Fourth Amendment protects us against. His younger brother was terrified and hysterical. His mother calmed the little boy by saying, “Don’t worry. We’re leaving in a few days for America. This will never happen to us there.”

Our country is threatened by foreign governments and multi-national terrorist groups which are actively working to do us harm, backed by a fifth column within our borders. But we have faced far more powerful governments and far better organized networks of spies and saboteurs in the past without having to shred our Bill of Rights. The freedom that our Constitution protects is the source of our economic prosperity, our moral authority and our martial strength. It is also the ultimate bulwark against authoritarianism.

Abraham Lincoln was right. No transatlantic military giant – let alone some fanatical terrorist group – can ever “step across the ocean and crush us at a blow.” And no foreign power can destroy our Constitution. Only we can do that. As Lincoln said, “As a nation of free men, we are destined to live forever – or die by suicide.”

11 posted on 02/15/2011 6:54:37 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; calcowgirl; Congressman Tom McClintock
Are you *sure* you're really Congressman Tom McClintock?

It *sure* sounds like him...

...but I think he's trying to do something to my eyes; his post formatting needs hel< p>.

12 posted on 02/15/2011 6:56:12 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Lancey Howard
Mucho bedda.
13 posted on 02/15/2011 6:57:00 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: metmom
I understand also that the TEA party supports extending the Patriot Act.

Who exactly do you mean by "the Tea party"? I think the majority of those who call themselves teapartiers do not support the patriot act
although I know some in Congress chose to support the extension.

14 posted on 02/15/2011 7:03:46 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Sapere Aude!" --Immanuel Kant)
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To: SZonian

You’re welcome! :-)


15 posted on 02/15/2011 7:07:10 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Sapere Aude!" --Immanuel Kant)
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To: calcowgirl

Mr. mm was reading something from the Sunday paper about it and I THOUGHT that’s what the paper claimed.

I don’t know where the paper got to so can’t verify it.

I agree that it doesn’t make sense. That’s why I was asking.

It may have been nothing more than those supporting the extension, although I don’t know why someone who opposed the PA would support an extension of it.


16 posted on 02/15/2011 7:48:08 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: calcowgirl

FWIW, I don’t trust anything any of the liberal MSM claims about the TEA Party.


17 posted on 02/15/2011 7:49:26 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock

At last, a Congresscritter that GETS IT!!! Tom, I wish I lived in your district! Keep fighting the good fight! This ol’ boy’s got your back!

DC Wright
USMC Retired


18 posted on 02/15/2011 10:22:09 PM PST by dcwusmc (A FREE People have no sovereign save Almighty GOD!!! III OK We are EVERYWHERE)
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To: Crim

Are you implying that we should destroy the Constitution in order to save it? Cryptic comments do NOT go over well here, thank you.


19 posted on 02/15/2011 10:26:45 PM PST by dcwusmc (A FREE People have no sovereign save Almighty GOD!!! III OK We are EVERYWHERE)
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To: calcowgirl

BTTT


20 posted on 02/16/2011 3:01:46 AM PST by E.G.C. (Edward's Soft Rock Playlist: On Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/my_playlists?p=A7A56731DE671E6A)
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To: Congressman Tom McClintock

Do you otherwise support the provisions of the Patriot Act without the John Doe roving wiretaps?

I find this Act confusing as there seem to be opinions both for and against it in part or in its entirety from both sides.


21 posted on 02/16/2011 6:07:53 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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