Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The (Bad!) Smell of VICTORY
Austin Chronicle (TX) ^ | SEPTEMBER 12, 2003 | JORDAN SMITH

Posted on 09/15/2003 11:54:38 AM PDT by MrLeRoy

If you thought the federal government couldn't possibly create legislation more draconian and reprehensible than the PATRIOT Act, RAVE Act, CLEAN-UP Act, or Ecstasy Awareness Act, you thought wrong -- really, really wrong. Late last month ABC News shagged a copy of a proposed bill quietly making the Capitol rounds, and reportedly slated for introduction this fall, that would create the crime of "narcoterrorism" -- making it possible for the feds to redefine any and all drug crimes as acts of terrorism.

"This bill would treat drug possession as a 'terrorist offense' and drug dealers as 'narcoterrorist kingpins,'" a Democratic aide for the House Judiciary Committee told ABC News. "To say that terrorist groups use a small percentage of the drug trafficking in the United States to finance terrorism may be a fair point, but this bill would allow the government to prosecute most drug cases as terrorism cases."

The draft legislation, titled the Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003 -- or, quaintly enough, the VICTORY Act -- is authored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A Hatch spokesperson told ABC that the senator is merely "examining legislative options" but hasn't yet "submitted anything for consideration." The bill would expand law-enforcement powers that lawmakers couldn't stuff into the USA PATRIOT Act, against which criticism continues to mount. Among VICTORY's provisions: raising the threshold for court rejection of information gained through illegal wiretaps; giving law enforcers authority to issue "nonjudicial" subpoenas to gain access to individuals' financial records; and extending the U.S. Department of Justice's power to issue "sneak-and-peek" subpoenas in drug cases. That means cops and prosecutors could subpoena communications, financial records, or other information for perusal before notifying the subject of the search. A host of the sweeping and invasive provisions aren't directly related to terrorism, but would "severely undermine basic constitutional rights and checks and balances," notes a recent ACLU press release.

Also only tenuously related to security, homeland or otherwise, is the bill's creation of a charge of narcoterrorism that could apply to anyone who "knowingly" sells, manufactures, or possesses drugs whose profits "may" end up in the hands of groups the government has designated as terrorist organizations. Convicted narcoterrorists would receive a 20-year mandatory-minimum sentence. "They're thinking that Americans are scared of drugs and scared of terrorists, so they should be really, really scared of narcoterrorists," the Drug Policy Alliance's Bill Piper told the Drug Reform Coordination Network. "We already have laws against drugs and against terrorism. We don't need this."

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: drugwar; patriotact; patriotactii; victoryact; wod; wodlist

1 posted on 09/15/2003 11:54:38 AM PDT by MrLeRoy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: *Wod_list; jmc813
Wod_list ( ping
2 posted on 09/15/2003 11:55:01 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

I'm not that surprised given that Hatch wanted to make it legal to destroy computers over pirated software. This was about nine months ago.

He seems to have lost any sensibility toward limiting government powers at all.
3 posted on 09/15/2003 12:00:58 PM PDT by Da Mav
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Da Mav
He's from the government and he's here to help.
4 posted on 09/15/2003 12:02:05 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; Bill D. Berger; ..
WOD Ping
5 posted on 09/15/2003 12:07:07 PM PDT by jmc813 (Check out the FR Big Brother 4 thread!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
I bet it passes unanimously.
6 posted on 09/15/2003 12:09:52 PM PDT by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
We are a nation who have turned our backs on God, legislated Him out of the public and deemed his Presence on public grounds a criminal offense. God is an outlaw in our government's eye, something to be feared and hated. It all boils down to a power struggle, no? Men who would govern us effectively know they need the help of God, men who would rule over us see God as a competitor.

Until we find our collective way back to God, and to the mentality and morality that our nation was founded on, we will continue to be ruled by men instead of being governed by men. In other words, things are about to get a lot worse for us before they get better. It seems our freedoms are falling like leaves off a tree in Autumn. All atheistic governments who relegated God to second-class citizen status have found this out----what surprises me is that we have not learned from it.

7 posted on 09/15/2003 12:13:12 PM PDT by TheCrusader
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheCrusader
men who would rule over us see God as a competitor.

Indeed---even those who loudly proclaim that they are acting in God's name.

8 posted on 09/15/2003 12:19:23 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
We have men on the left and right fringes that would like to see our government become an authoritarian state similar to the Third Reich or the USSR. The frightening part is that the public doesn't seem to care.
9 posted on 09/15/2003 12:30:08 PM PDT by meenie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: meenie
I care meenie, I often feel alone in this exhausting fight for our country's survival. I don't know what I would do without FR. Wish I had found it before I lost half of the heart to fight. Somedays I even feel optimistic. Somedays I want to find an island somewhere far away....
10 posted on 09/15/2003 12:44:59 PM PDT by MontanaBeth (This space for rent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: MrLeRoy
The entire purpose of the proposed bill by Hatch is to continue to destroy the Constitution's built-in "balance of powers". The really smart founders of our republic figured out that having three branches of government each jealously guarding its own power and prerogatives will work much better than concentrating all power in one branch and hoping for the best.

I think the Supreme Court especially ought to notice the provision about "nonjudicial subpoenas" -- cutting the judicial branch out of this scheme -- and reject the entire bill as unconstitutional.

11 posted on 09/15/2003 12:55:40 PM PDT by wildandcrazyrussian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson