John Kerry Likes The Patriot Act
Kerry would keep 95% of the Patriot Act, and stregnthen the rest!
The Patriot Act is considered by civil rights groups a violation of the US constitution. But the Patriot Act did not begin with Bush/Ashcroft, infact the groundwork was laid by the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton - this was the 1996 antiterrorism bill that included the secret evidence rule.
Kerry not only voted for the Bush Patriot Act, he also voted for the Clinton Act - and, as the ACLU has pointed out:
Virtually every recent secret evidence case that has come to public attention involves a Muslim or an Arab.
The ACLU document includes examples of how innocent Muslims and Arabs were kept in solitary confinement for years.
There is some talk amongst civil libertarians that Kerry will allow some “provisions to sunset.” But this is totally contrary to Kerry’s own campaign literature (pdf) that states:KEEP 95 PERCENT OF PROVISIONS. Kerry supports and would retain over 95% of the approximately 140 provisions in the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act gave law enforcement some important new tools after 9/11, and John Kerry believes we must keep over 95 percent of the provisions. And the 5%? Well, these deal with library record searches, and “real proof” before doing sneak and peek searches (the literature does not talk about court orders being required before these searches, only "real proof")! But Kerry would not allow these provisions to "sunset" rather, he would "stregnthen them"we should preserve over 95 percent of the Act and make improvements on the rest to strengthen the war on terrorism. The CRITICAL issue of concern for Muslims and Arabs with regards to the Patriot act is that people can be jailed on mere suspicion, denied readmission to the US - if they’ve engaged in free speech. And “suspects” can be detained indefinitely, again, on mere suspicion. These provisions of the Patriot Act are not going to be allowed to sunset under Kerry. It is interesting to note that this particular piece was made in response to the Republicans charging that Kerry is soft - so, he comes out with a Me Too statement - I’m as tough as you guys, only tougher!
The Nader/Camejo campaign has an excellent policy statement titled Civil Rights for Muslims and Arabs and includes:Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, championed by Congressman John Conyers, Jr. in the House and Senator Russell Feingold in the Senate, that would dissuade law enforcement from engaging in profiling by requiring collection of race data, and providing legal options to victims of racial profiling. ANDOppose the extension of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act that are set to expire in 2005.Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo are the ones calling for the Patriot Act to sunset - NOT Kerry!