Wired News reports on draft legislation of the "Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003, or Victory Act."
Authored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Victory isn't just the latest asinine legislative acronym to come down the pike (the USA PATRIOT ACT, you'll recall, stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.) The bill, Wired News points out,
…includes significant portions of the so-called Patriot Act II, which faced broad opposition from conservatives and liberals alike and embarrassed the Justice Department when it was leaked to the press in February.
The Victory Act also seems to be an attempt to merge the war on terrorism and the war on drugs into a single campaign. It includes a raft of provisions increasing the government's ability to investigate, wiretap, prosecute and incarcerate money launderers, fugitives, "narco-terrorists" and nonviolent drug dealers. The bill also outlaws hawalas, the informal and documentless money transferring systems widely used in the Middle East, India and parts of Asia.
Critics say the bill is an opportunistic attempt to link the fight against drugs to the fight against terrorism by creating a new crime called "narco-terrorism." According to the draft, narco-terrorism is the crime of selling, distributing or manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent of helping a terrorist group.
Read the article here.
[Link via Free-Market.Net]