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February 01, 2006

Patriot Act

Congress will soon debate and vote on reauthorization of the so-called Patriot Act. Please tell your representative you do not trust the government to pry into citizens’ affairs without judicial oversight to determine whether there is good cause to do so.

The Patriot Act was originally passed by a frightened Congress without adequate review and debate, right after Sept. 11. Congress must now carefully study what is in the act and not be frightened into renewal. And as citizens of the greatest democratic country, we must not be frightened into giving up our constitutional rights.

In America, it is the citizen, alone and collectively, who is sovereign. We are the fourth branch of government. We limit the power of government over our lives by the Constitution, the most liberating document in history.

Those who rely excessively upon militarism are the cause of terrorism, not the cure. They are also the ones who tell us we must give up our constitutional rights in order to be safe. That is not the path to peace and security.

Fred Slough
Kansas City

Comments

Engineer

jack
As I recall there was a great deal of legal manoeuvering to try to get some of Rush's medical records and that the prosecutors were finally turned down. They had to return other records they had seized. However, obviously you know a great deal more about the general subject than I do.

jack

engineer:
I testified in court several times as a drug abuse counselor. I had to be: A) Supeonaed; B) When I got to court I had to state that under State and Federal Law I was not allowed to disclose any information without prior written consent, and C) The Judge then had to issue a written order requiring me to provide the information.

And I was only covered under the laws of "confidentiality". Drs, Lawyers and Preachers were covered under the Laws of "Priviledged Information". This is much stricter, requiring PROOF of one of the three categories I listed in the previous post to be broken.

Under virtually no circumstances were the Drs records allowed to be supeonaed. And the belief, or even knowledge and proof that a patient had been "Doctor shopping" (as apparently Rush was) for prescriptions, was NEVER enough to get into an individual Dr's records.

jack

Nope, it was specifically a Patriot Act provision that allowed them to go fishing in his Drs records.

I spent 20 years in the drug abuse feild. There was no ability to fish a Drs records prior to the Patriot Act. It was "Priviledged Information" and could ONLY be accessed with the express, written, agreement of the patient.

The only exclusions were information regarding: 1) Sexual abuse of a child; 2) Physical abuse of a child or; 3) Eminent commission of a crime. And the "crime" category was so narrowly defined that it basically had to be a murder threat to qualify.

Those were the rules. I presented the disclaimer to literally thousands of patients. They no longer apply. They are gone. The Patriot Act gives the Feds the ability to mount a fishing expedition into medical records virtually any time they want to.

Engineer

jack
Predating the Patriot Act, drug enforcement agents had many of the powers granted to our counter-terrorism efforts. Anything that happened to Rush was under the cover of acts pretaining to "The Drug War".

jack

My Doctor now shreds her written notes and keeps all patient records on floppy discs only. Nothing goes on the hard drive. Yet she STILL requires all patients to sign a document that they understand there is no longer any such thing as "priviledged" communication.

And then there is that great terrorist Rush Limbaugh. Remember how the A.G. told all us citizens that the Feds would ONLY use the Patriot Act against "terrorists". Well, they used it against Rush. He must be a terrorist.

I wrote my Congressman and Senators on 9/12 and asked that they do nothing without slowing down the process and deliberating any measures related to the attacks. Now they have a second chance to actually go through the thing and debate it. Should have been done to begin with. Hope they have the guts to do it now.

JUNGLEJACK

I, for one am sick and tired of watching my precious rights dissapear! The Patriot Act has changed my life for the worse in so many ways! Because of the Patriot Act I can no longer... uh... well... uh.. they.. uh.. shouldn't be listening to me call in my pizza order!

Engineer

"Those who rely excessively on militarism are the cause of terrorism, not the cure." Could some one explain this statement to me? Prior to 9/11 we had allowed the terrorists to attack Navy ships, blow up Embassies and in general wreak havoc without any reaction or reprisal. The less we oppose terrorism the more of it we will see.

M. L. Stein

Bravo. Well written.

If Americans really believe in freedom and the sacrifice of our soldiers and sailors for freedom, they will refuse to allow any of their Constitutional rights to be eroded or withdrawn.

Fear should not make us cowards and slaves.

Ray Seay

The first paragraph is good but the letter goes downhill fast after that.
I do agree that the patriot act should not be renewed.

 
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