Thursday, January 26, 2006


New Federal Police Force?

I just found this in my in-box. I’m hesitant to even look at the source. Anybody want to check this out?

It scares the be-Jesus out of me.

Pedro Romero wrote:
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 15:22:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Pedro Romero
Subject: Patriot Act authorizes new federal domestic police force

January 24, 2006
Unfathomed Dangers in PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
by Paul Craig Roberts

A provision in the "PATRIOT Act" creates a new federal
police force with the power to violate the Bill of
Rights. You might think that this cannot be true, as
you have not read about it in newspapers or heard it
discussed by talking heads on TV.

Go to House Report 109-333 USA PATRIOT Improvement and
Reauthorization Act of 2005 and check it out for
yourself. Sec. 605 reads:

"There is hereby created and established a permanent
police force, to be known as the 'United States Secret
Service Uniformed Division.'"

This new federal police force is "subject to the
supervision of the Secretary of Homeland Security."

The new police are empowered to "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

The new police are assigned a variety of
jurisdictions, including "an event designated under
section 3056(e) of title 18 as a special event of
national significance" (SENS).

"A special event of national significance" is neither
defined nor does it require the presence of a
"protected person" such as the president in order to
trigger it. Thus, the administration, and perhaps the
police themselves, can place the SENS designation on
any event. Once a SENS designation is placed on an
event, the new federal police are empowered to keep
out and arrest people at their discretion.

The language conveys enormous discretionary and
arbitrary powers. What is "an offense against the
United States"? What are "reasonable grounds"?

You can bet the Alito/Roberts court will rule that it
is whatever the executive branch says.

The obvious purpose of the act is to prevent
demonstrations at Bush/Cheney events. However, nothing
in the language limits the police powers from being
used only in this way. Like every law in the U.S.,
this law also will be expansively interpreted and
abused. It has dire implications for freedom of
association and First Amendment rights. We can take
for granted that the new federal police will be used
to suppress dissent and to break up opposition. The
Brownshirts are now arming themselves with a Gestapo.

Many naïve Americans will write to me to explain that
this new provision in the reauthorization of the
"PATRIOT Act" is necessary to protect the president
and other high officials from terrorists or from harm
at the hands of angry demonstrators: "No one else will
have anything to fear." Some will accuse me of being
an alarmist, and others will say that it is
unpatriotic to doubt the law's good intentions.

Americans will write such nonsense despite the fact
that the president and foreign dignitaries are already
provided superb protection by the Secret Service. The
naïve will not comprehend that the president cannot be
endangered by demonstrators at SENS at which the
president is not present. For many Americans, the
light refuses to turn on.

In Nazi Germany, did no one but Jews have anything to
fear from the Gestapo?

By Stalin's time, Lenin and Trotsky had eliminated all
members of the "oppressor class," but that did not
stop Stalin from sending millions of "enemies of the
people" to the Gulag.

It is extremely difficult to hold even local police
forces accountable. Who is going to hold accountable a
federal police protected by Homeland Security and the


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