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College Professor Puts up Federally Funded Website that Teaches How to Kill

Posted on 10/02/2002 6:45:13 PM PDT by Freedom4USA

Very disturbing article -- Federal funding for this????!!!!

Mass Destruction 101

College Professor Puts up Federally Funded Website that Teaches How to Kill

As the nation faced the searing memory of September 11th, a Pittsburgh college professor has put up a federally funded website that teaches lethal bomb building techniques to anyone who has access to the Internet.

Under the guise of academic freedom and freedom of speech, Carnegie Mellon Professor David S. Touretzky, has put up a copy of chilling website whose author is facing federal felony charges for publishing what essentially is a bomb making manual on the Web.

Nineteen-year-old Californian Sherman Austin, author of the “Raise the Fist” website, was arrested during an FBI raid earlier this year, held for several days of FBI questioning, and is currently facing two felony charges: distribution of information relating to explosives with the intent that such information be used in furtherance of a federal crime of violence; and possession of a firearm which is not registered to him. If convicted, Austin could serve 2-25 years.

On August 7, 2002, prosecutors offered Austin a plea agreement that included dropping other charges and only 1 month of custody in exchange for his guilty plea to violation of 18USC 842 (P) (2) (A). This law makes it unlawful to “teach or demonstrate to any person the making or use of an explosive, a destructive device, or a weapon of mass destruction with the intent that the teaching, demonstration, or information be used for or with the knowledge that the person intends to use it for an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence.”

However, Austin rejected the plea offer and on August 26, 2002 federal prosecutors charged him with two felony violations; distribution of information relating to explosives with the intent that such information be used in furtherance of a federal crime of violence; and possession of a firearm which is not registered to him.

Apparently attempting to taunt the FBI, Touretsky, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, copied the offensive portions of the “Raise the Fist” website in what is called a “mirror”. The cmu.edu website funded by the University now has the following statements, “…Many readers will find their content objectionable…. The information provided in these pages may be technically unsound. No one lacking proper training in munitions technology and safe handling of explosives should attempt to carry out the activities described herein. …. Much better information on explosives is available at your local public library, or from booksellers, so please do not rely on anonymous political radicals for amateur chemistry advise.” Following this “disclaimer” the site goes on to give “basic chemistry” instructions including construction directions for Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs, fuel-fertilizer explosives, pipe bombs, Drano bombs, soda bottle bombs, and match head bombs.

While Prof. Touretzky states on his controversial federally funded site that he doesn’t encourage anyone to use the information, he gives Internet links and addresses for other websites that in his opinion offer “better” information on bomb making.

Instructions include comments such as “These will create an overwhelmingly large explosion and should be practiced in large faraway places like the desert being used. Make sure that you will not injure anyone that you do not intend to injure” and “Don’t blow yourself up, or any of your comrades! Don’t get caught!”

Touretzky’s site includes links to purchase copies of such books as Home Workshop Explosives, Improvised Munitions Black Book, Silent Death (book on chemical and biological weapons manufacture & distribution), and the Anarchist Cookbook.

Touretzky’s controversial site, which exists on a university website funded almost exclusively by federal and state grants, raises several serious questions.

What will Carnegie Mellon University’s grant makers do when they discover public funds are being used to support the publication of information that could be used to kill hundreds or thousands of innocent Americans?

How can federal funds be used to prosecute Sherman Austin on the one hand for publishing his online bomb manual, yet on the other, fund Touretzky’s publication of Austin’s potentially deadly material? Shouldn’t Touretzky also be prosecuted?

In the current climate of fear and concern, why would any loyal American publish such information on the Web? Indeed, as we reflect on the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist strike, including the tragic crash of United Flight 93 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, less than 100 miles from Carnegie Mellon University where Touretzky teaches, one can only wonder what his true intentions really are.

-end-


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 911; banglist; bomb; bombmaking; federalfunding; september11; terrorism

1 posted on 10/02/2002 6:45:13 PM PDT by Freedom4USA
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To: Freedom4USA
And you found this where and who wrote it ?
2 posted on 10/02/2002 6:48:05 PM PDT by Lecie
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To: Freedom4USA
Another cowardly University Professor....won't do it himself
but will "encourage", under cover of a disclaimer, other
cowardly anarchist to act.....
3 posted on 10/02/2002 6:50:36 PM PDT by larry h
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To: Freedom4USA
Please provide a link for credibility...
4 posted on 10/02/2002 6:54:01 PM PDT by Vidalia
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To: Freedom4USA
However, Austin rejected the plea offer

If there isn't a lot more to the story than related here, then I actually applaud his integrity not to plead guilty to something he is not guilty of. I could see a "no contest" plea but not a "guilty" plea. His activity probably ought to be illegal, and if anybody ever used these plans to create mayhem he should have his pants sued off, but I don't think it's illegal since the only apparent intent is to be stunningly tasteless.

5 posted on 10/02/2002 6:54:43 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: Freedom4USA
I'm not sure if this is it, but a quick google search turned up something called www.raisethefist.com
6 posted on 10/02/2002 6:55:58 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Freedom4USA
HOWDY PARTNER!
WOULD YOU HELP ME TAKE BACK THE SENATE??

PLEASE LOG ONTO:

TakeBackCongress.org

A resource for conservatives who want a Republican majority in the Senate

8 posted on 10/02/2002 7:07:38 PM PDT by ffrancone
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To: Freedom4USA
Touretsky has a site that tells you where to look for information on CSS descramblers, a way of getting around the CD music copyright laws.

It's at http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/DeCSS/Gallery/.

Bomb making would seem to be a more serious matter. I'd like to see a link for it.

9 posted on 10/02/2002 7:10:04 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: Freedom4USA
Hey, nothing enhances your life expectancy quite like taking explosives advice from an amateur Che wannabe. He forgot the part about testing the impact fuse with a claw hammer...
10 posted on 10/02/2002 7:10:25 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Vidalia
http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/raisethefist/

There you go. According to the site:

I'm a registered Republican, so needless to say, I don't agree with Sherman Austin's politics, much less his actions. But I'm curious why the FBI would include this Reclaim Guide as part of their justification for raiding a private citizen's home and carting off all his computers and political literature. Since when is it illegal to write about explosives? According to the search warrant, Austin was violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 842(p), which makes it unlawful to: ...

11 posted on 10/02/2002 7:16:24 PM PDT by killjoy
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To: Vidalia
http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/raisethefist/

There you go. According to the site:

I'm a registered Republican, so needless to say, I don't agree with Sherman Austin's politics, much less his actions. But I'm curious why the FBI would include this Reclaim Guide as part of their justification for raiding a private citizen's home and carting off all his computers and political literature. Since when is it illegal to write about explosives? According to the search warrant, Austin was violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 842(p), which makes it unlawful to: ...

12 posted on 10/02/2002 7:17:21 PM PDT by killjoy
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To: Freedom4USA
In the current climate of fear and concern, why would any loyal American publish such information on the Web? Indeed, as we reflect on the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist strike, including the tragic crash of United Flight 93 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, less than 100 miles from Carnegie Mellon University where Touretzky teaches, one can only wonder what his true intentions really are.

Maybe because --

First, terrorists aleady know how to make bombs.

Second, those aircraft were brought down with $1.99 boxcutters available at your local True Value hardware store, not bombs.

13 posted on 10/02/2002 7:17:39 PM PDT by mpoulin
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To: killjoy
Thanks
14 posted on 10/02/2002 7:23:05 PM PDT by Vidalia
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To: mpoulin
But.....young upper middle class, impressionable college students, with a decidedly leftward lean.....may not know
how to make bombs..... so why on earth sponser a web site to teach them how? Even amatuer terrorist can kill!
15 posted on 10/02/2002 7:24:35 PM PDT by larry h
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To: Freedom4USA
"Make sure that you will not injure anyone that you do not intend to injure."

Wow, that's damning.

16 posted on 10/02/2002 7:38:45 PM PDT by Jonathon Spectre
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To: killjoy
Gee, I own most of those books that the web site says are "illegal".

I bought some of them in high school.

17 posted on 10/02/2002 7:55:51 PM PDT by Ford Fairlane
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To: larry h
What about your over 40 right leaning militia type who decry the methods used at Waco and Presidents hip deep in Chinese money?
18 posted on 10/02/2002 8:04:52 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: Ford Fairlane
Is this real? What happened to freedom of the press? There is no law against owning a "firearm that is not registered to you" unless it is a machine gun, sawed off rifle , or shotgun, and even that is questionable under the 2nd amendment.

I am always amazed by how many people are willing to give away everyone's freedom so quickly.

19 posted on 10/02/2002 8:06:11 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: Freedom4USA
Touretzky's site includes links to purchase copies of such books as Home Workshop Explosives, Improvised Munitions Black Book, Silent Death (book on chemical and biological weapons manufacture & distribution), and the Anarchist Cookbook.

My understanding is that most of the instructions in the Anarchist Cookbook if followed will result in death of the would-be anarchist. I don't have a problem with that.

Bomb making instructions have been public for a long time. Whether they're on the Internet or not makes little difference. I have a much greater problem with government-funded abortion which guarantees the death of an innocent.

20 posted on 10/02/2002 8:06:21 PM PDT by altair
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To: Ford Fairlane
Exactly.

I've read throught the man's web site, and I really don't see anything wrong with it at all. This Republic needs a grounded citizenry to provide checks and balances. There's a heck of alot of worse junk out there, published by true whackos. This guy goes after whatever he finds to be somewhat contemptable.

I learned alot about the church of scientology through this guy's site. LMAO!
21 posted on 10/02/2002 8:25:19 PM PDT by clifdweller
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To: Freedom4USA; Squantos
Recipes and formulas by "One Eyed Smittie" and "Five Fingers Jones".
22 posted on 10/02/2002 8:29:10 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: Ford Fairlane
Gee, I own most of those books that the web site says are "illegal"

One of the best resources online is the Big Book of Mischief which is available at: http://www.ripco.com/download/text/e-texts/tbbom/.

The rec.pyrotechnics usenet group also has tons of info on this type of stuff... although I haven't lurked there for many years.

23 posted on 10/02/2002 8:35:58 PM PDT by killjoy
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To: killjoy; SLB; Squantos
Hey, the professor is a registered Republican so it's okay.

BTW, many GIs have field manuals that publish methods and techniques at taxpayer expense. But I threw all my FMs away of course.
24 posted on 10/02/2002 8:36:28 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: Freedom4USA
If a government is worried about its subjects knowing how to blow up its officials, the solution is not to put the genie back in the bottle, but to obey the Constitution.

A fearful government is a good government.
25 posted on 10/02/2002 8:50:49 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
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To: killjoy
Thanks - I now have it bookmarked
26 posted on 10/02/2002 8:56:25 PM PDT by Ford Fairlane
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To: Freedom4USA
Hmmm. Interesting. The Feds were after Sherman Austin for quite a while.

He was calling for armed overthrow of the USA. He actually at one time had plotted to get loads of military uniforms so his band of rebels would be properly clothed for a fight when they took it to the street and assault weapons for them to use. He had also been trying to get a pilot to join up with them or raise enough cash to train a pilot so they could use a plane to assault major targets in the USA- like Washington DC. Some of his bomb making instructions (when I read his sight many months ago) stressed that you wanted to make sure to just "blow up the cop" not any innocent bystanders.

I suppose it wasn't really the content that set the feds off- it was what he was wanting to do- IMHO.

27 posted on 10/02/2002 9:12:32 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Prodigal Son
"I suppose it wasn't really the content that set the feds off- it was what he was wanting to do"

So, why isn't he being charged with something else? Why did the Feds offer him a 1 month plea bargain, if they actually thought he was, say, an "enemy combatant?"

The Prof's page at

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/raisethefist/

Has lots of interesting links, such as to the availability of bomb-making books at Amazon. He makes the interesting point: "Public libraries are also much better sources of explosives information than the pathetic Reclaim Guide. This does not mean the above statute has no use, however. It can be used to pile additional charges on someone whom the government wants to prosecute for other reasons. Whether that is a legitimate purpose for a statute is, I think, worthy of public debate."

On the original web site, Austin complained about undercover cops coming to demonstrations and taking pictures of the participants. It sounded like they were after him for a long time, and just wanted to get him for something.

29 posted on 10/02/2002 9:43:07 PM PDT by BiffSchneider
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To: BiffSchneider
So, why isn't he being charged with something else?

Hey, don't ask me. I'm just an average Joe. But I would postulate if Sherman had been carrying a passport from Yemen or Saudi Arabia and been up to the same thing, loads of people on this forum would have criticised the feds for not arresting him.

I don't think the guy was up to any good personally, but I also believe the feds are trumping up the charges to get him. He's not an easy person to have any sympathy for. In a nutshell, he picked an awfully bad time to be talking the "I'm a wannabe American Terrorist" line.

30 posted on 10/02/2002 10:06:26 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Freedom4USA
I'm another one who owns most of the books listed in this article. I've had them since I was a teenager, even before the federal government spent money explicitely teaching me how to kill people ;)

They can take away guns, but it's much harder to take away knowledge.

31 posted on 10/02/2002 10:17:02 PM PDT by Britton J Wingfield
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To: Freedom4USA
College Professor Puts up Federally Funded Website that Teaches How to Kill

Oh, < < yaAAWWWwwwnnn...... > >

The learned professor has now proven himself to be an overgrown adolescent. I just hope the FBI has enough brains (yeah, I know) to just laugh at him.

I also hope lots of idiots try making everything in all of his references, especially the heavily nitrated stuff. That ought to improve the gene pool a whole bunch.

32 posted on 10/02/2002 10:52:29 PM PDT by fire_eye
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To: Freedom4USA

 

 

Dave Touretzky's Page

Who, what, where?

I'm a Principal Scientist in the Computer Science Department and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Research interests: Neural representation of space in rodents (e.g., hippocampus), and in robots. Computational neuroscience. Animal learning.

 


Personal: Commercial pilot and certified flight instructor. I own a twin-engine Piper Seneca II, nicknamed "The Beast". As a volunteer pilot I occasionally transport organs or patients for local hospitals. Fly acrobatics when an acro plane is available. I'm also a parrot lover, and currently live with a yellownape amazon and a cockatiel.

Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at CMU

The DMCA and other First Amendment Issues

Research Projects

NIPS and CNS Conferences

I was the local arrangements chair for CNS*99, held in Pittsburgh. Visit the CNS 2002 Home Page. I was also the Program Chair of NIPS*94 and General Chair of NIPS*95, and presently serve on the board of directors of the NIPS Foundation. Visit the NIPS web site for information about this and past years' NIPS conferences.

Lisp-Related Stuff

Ethics, Aviation, and Other Stuff

The Church of Scientology's Wacky Secrets

Sure, Scientology is a rich and vengeful religious cult based on a bizarre form of psychotherapy and a belief in reincarnated space aliens. But that doesn't mean we can't have fun with them.



SpamCop.net

David S. Touretzky Computer Science Department & Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891 dst+@cs.cmu.edu
 
 
 
 

33 posted on 10/02/2002 10:58:30 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: Freedom4USA
Linked from the professor's university-based website:

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/raisethefist/

What the FBI Doesn't Want You to See at RaisetheFist.com

News reports about the raisethefist.com case:

Search Warrant and
Affidavit of Special Agent John I. Pi

This is the search warrant and affidavit filed by the FBI prior to the raid on Sherman Austin's home in Sherman Oaks, California. (Document provided by cryptome.org.)

Second Affidavit from John I. Pi

This second affidavit from FBI special agent John I. Pi, dated February 5, 2002, contains information from his interview of Sherman Austin during the January 24 raid. (Document provided by cryptome.org.)

Plea Agreement

Sherman Austin signed this plea agreement in preparation for his guilty plea on September 30, 2002. But the judge rejected the plea agreement.

On January 24, 2002, the FBI raided the home of Sherman Martin Austin, the 18 year old owner/operator of the anarchist web site RaisetheFist.com. A few days later, Mark Burdett published an email interview in which Austin stated:

"They [the FBI] told me the main reason for the raid was because of the content on the site, and they wanted to see who was looking at it. This was not the main reason. It was an excuse. The alledged content which they claim they were so concerned about is from the Reclaim Guide."

I have mirrored the Reclaim Guide at Carnegie Mellon.

The search warrant does refer to the file reclaim.html and several associated files. But it also cites evidence that Austin has hacked into computer systems, defaced web sites, launched denial-of-service attacks against other computer systems, and operated a web site for selling stolen stereos. A subsequent Newsbytes article revealed that Austin has admitted to defacing web sites in order to spread his political message. That alone seems adequate reason to arrest and charge him.

I'm a registered Republican, so needless to say, I don't agree with Sherman Austin's politics, much less his actions. But I'm curious why the FBI would include this Reclaim Guide as part of their justification for raiding a private citizen's home and carting off all his computers and political literature. Since when is it illegal to write about explosives? According to the search warrant, Austin was violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 842(p), which makes it unlawful to:

A well-written government report on the constitutionality of this statute has been made available by Cryptome, along with some background information on how Senators Feinstein and Biden got the statute passed back in 1997.

Since I personally do not advocate any type of violent behavior, and my intent in mirroring the Reclaim Guide is not to facilitate such behavior, but rather to encourage public scrutiny of the government's application of the statute, my mirror does not appear to violate the statute.

The public scrutiny I desire has in fact occurred, as can be seen in discussion board postings at Slashdot and Cryptome, for example.

I think the statute is silly. It cannot be an effective deterrent to dissemination of information about explosives, because you can purchase plenty of good info at Amazon.com, such as Home Workshop Explosives, or Improvised Munitions Black Book. And don't forget William Powell's 30+ year old Anarchist Cookbook; be sure to read the this Salon article and the author's own comments posted on the Amazon page. For weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological), Amazon offers Silent Death, Second Edition, the reference supposedly used by the Aum cult.

Public libraries are also much better sources of explosives information than the pathetic Reclaim Guide. This does not mean the above statute has no use, however. It can be used to pile additional charges on someone whom the government wants to prosecute for other reasons. Whether that is a legitimate purpose for a statute is, I think, worthy of public debate.

Austin's crucial mistake would seem to be putting the explosives information on the same web site as his anarchist protest rhetoric. Publishing the same information on a different site would apparently have shielded him from prosecution.

An interesting feature of the seizure procedure described in the search warrant, pointed out by John Young at Cryptome, is this wording:

iii. Any data that is encrypted and unreadable will not be returned unless law enforcement personnel have determined that the data is not (1) an instrumentality of the offense, (2) a fruit of the criminal activity, (3) contraband, (4) otherwise unlawfully possessed, or (5) evidence of the offense specified above.
On what legal basis can the government refuse to return a private citizen's files merely because they are encrypted?
Besides the Reclaim Guide, an additional file from the same exit directory on Sherman Austin's site can be found here. Some files that I was not able to find in Google's cache or at www.archive.org are www.raisethefist.com/exit/1.html through 7.html. If you have these files, I'd appreciate a copy. Email preferred, but hardcopy can be mailed to:

Dr. David S. Touretzky
Computer Science Department Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891

Visit my other free speech projects: Secrets of Scientology, Gallery of CSS Descramblers, Gallery of Adobe Remedies, and Amway/Alticor/Quixtar Sucks!


Court Stuff, from Cryptome

Court Docket

2-7-2002: Detention Hearing Transcript


Dave Touretzky
Last modified: Tue Oct 1 22:53:56 EDT 2002
34 posted on 10/02/2002 11:17:15 PM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
What a peach of a guy.

{/sarcasm}
35 posted on 10/02/2002 11:52:05 PM PDT by Big Dan
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To: Prodigal Son
If he actually plotted to do any of these things then his a$$ should be gra$$. But why didn't the feds bust him on THAT.
36 posted on 10/03/2002 12:24:48 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Like I told somebody else- don't ask me. The Feds aren't in the habit of calling me to tell me why they're doing A or B. I'm not certain, but I think after the Patriot Act was passed, they had much more leeway to go after him. Who knows? Check out IndyMedia- they had been covering this story, I suspect they still are.
37 posted on 10/03/2002 12:44:10 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Fred Mertz
Lets wait until the next Democrat President takes the helm and see how many Freepers get bent on these Patriot Act laws comming home to bite the right. I think it is a great exercise whenever you give the government more power to ask yourself if you would trust Bill, Hillary and Reno with that power. I assume most Freepers would not.
38 posted on 10/03/2002 7:54:09 PM PDT by Sawdring
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