City Should Consider Patriot Act Resolution “Thank You for Ignoring Our last Patriot Act Resolution!”

I know…Wishful thinking!

But in light of the recent discovery of a terrorist sleeper cell in the Sacramento suburb of Lodi, I hope that this incident has woken up all those folks who crowded the Sacramento City Council chambers a few years ago to decry the Patriot Act.

On November 14, 2003 the Sacramento Bee reported:

With the Sacramento City Council chambers packed to capacity by opponents of the USA Patriot Act, council members voted 8-1 Thursday to approve a resolution against the controversial anti-terrorism law.

The vote came after two hours of comment, mostly from groups opposed to the Patriot Act, and makes Sacramento the 209th community nationwide to approve a resolution against the law, which passed in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

I was there. The discussion was passionate and civil. However, there was very little discussion of the policing powers granted under the Patriot Act.

It was not mentioned that most of the powers granted in the act were already available to law enforcement to investigate organized crime. This legislation only expanded their ability to use them in investigation of terrorism. There was also little discussion of the fact that of 21,000 reported potential abuses of these powers, not one could be substantiated by the bipartisan congressional panel assigned to investigate them.

Robbie Waters was the only member of the council to speak against the resolution, saying that he had been given no evidence to show that the act has been used improperly or has infringed on anyone’s civil liberties.

“In two years, there’s not been a single court case holding where the act has been abused,” Waters said

And for those of you who are unaware, the Patriot Act expires at the end of this year and must be renewed. I hope that those who opposed it’s passage a few years ago will keep in mind what could have happened here in Sacramento, had it not been for the Patriot Act.

Craig DeLuz

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