First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up. – Martin Niemoeller
Not satisfied with ripping the Constitution a new one with the USA PATRIOT Act, Ashcroft and Co. have been hard at work preparing some additional tools in the War On Terror.™ Calling it the “Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003,” a leaked copy of draft legislation to expand the Patriot Act has been posted by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity. Last night it was featured on the PBS show NOW with Bill Moyers.
With thanks to TalkLeft, here are some of the highlights of the proposed extensions:
Keeping arrests secret and ignoring Freedom of Information Act requests
Section 201, “Prohibition of Disclosure of Terrorism Investigation Detainee Information”: Letting people know we’ve arrested someone might alert their coconspirators, so we should make sure to keep that secret and ignore Freedom of Information Act requests as long as possible.
Keeping the public in the dark about dangerous practices of chemical companies
Section 202, “Distribution of ‘Worst Case Scenario’ Information”: As provided for in the Clean Air Act, the EPA requires private companies that use potentially dangerous chemicals must produce a “worst case scenario” report detailing the effect that the release of these controlled substances would have on the surrounding community. The proposed extension says this is a “roadmap for terrorists” and so we shouldn’t require this information to be made public by certain companies
in which the Vice President and his cronies have interest.
Creating another uber-database – this one collecting DNA information