America is supposedly the world’s standard for freedom and democracy. If you were to play a drinking game where you had to take a shot every time Bush said “freedom” or “democracy” during this upcoming State of the Union address you’d be on the floor by the end of the first sentence. Well, if you were to actually read the various laws already on the books you’d know that the federal government could care less about freedom or democracy for the most part.
There are two bills right now that are pretty upsetting to me. One called USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act Of 2005 and the other Secret Service Authorization and Technical Modification Act of 2005. A few excerpts from these two bills.
There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to be known as the `United States Secret Service Uniformed Division’.
… make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony …
willfully and knowingly to enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance
by inserting `willfully, knowingly, and’ before `with intent to impede or disrupt’;
The first one, from what I can tell, basically creates a uniformed federal police force that can arrest anyone at events of “national significance” on suspicion of committing a felony. The second one appears to make it illegal to “impede or disrupt” events of “national significance” if you’re within a posted/cordoned off/restricted area. Okay, I get the cordoned off and restricted areas as I assume this is where significant targets are, but what are “posted” areas? What would stop them from making the entire venue a posted area and then arresting anyone who shouted “Fuck off Mr. Cheney!”?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
It’s time we quit worring about the terrorists and start worrying about our own government. If you think they aren’t creating laws like this just so they can exploit them in the way I’ve described you’re insane.
Update: Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush’s State of the Union address.