Civil Liberties

Happy Birthday, PATRIOT Act!


On this day in 2001, President Bush signed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act into law.

Celebrate the anniversary by enjoying reason's past coverage:

Read about civil liberties Chicken Littles here and here.

Read "what happens when patriots dissent" here.

Read about "rosy visions of the PATRIOT Act here.

Read about the PATRIOT Act and meth here.

Read about PATRIOT Agonistes here.

Read (tonight's speaker at Reason In DC) Judge Andrew Napolitano's thoughts on the PATRIOT Act here.

NEXT: Snopes.con

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  1. hier’s for a retroactive abortion for this bill. drag it behind the barn, hit it with an ax, and give it to the prom queen to deposit it in the next-best dumpster.

  2. And today is also Hillary Clinton’s birthday.

    What a nice present George II gave his (probable) successor.

  3. Katherine, I was really enjoying H&R today. A laid back, rainy Friday, with good jokes, good cheer, and even some good news on the tubes. Then you bring this abomination up.

    Downer Ma’am. A real downer. Thanks a lot! 🙁

    I’d do the links but I’m already riled up enough.

  4. Wanna hear a story about the USA PATRIOT Act?

    I have a bank account that allows me to pay bills online, and that has overdraft protection into my savings account. Can anyone guess where this is going yet?

    A couple weeks ago, I got a letter from my bank – not even on their letterhead, they were so ashamed to be sending it – informing me that I’d had too many electronic transfers out of my savings account in a one-month period, and if I didn’t it again, they would be required by federal law to take away my internet-banking and overdraft protection.

    I made a transfer to checking at the beginning of the month, another at the end, and ended up using the overdraft protection 2 or 3 times when a check took longer to clear than I expected.

    What am I, funding an embassy bombing with my four-digit savings account?

    I think I’ll go buy some allergy medicine and try to get rid of this headache. Or not.

    Grumble grumble friggin frackin…

  5. Damn, joe. That friggin’ sucks. All I can say is look up who voted for it. Remember for the primaries and next November.

  6. HAPP…..oh….you weren’t serious.

  7. Now joe sees the violence inherent in the system!

  8. How do they know you aren’t in the IRA, joe? They have to protect us from Irish terrorists.

  9. Almost everyone went completely fucking crackhead crazy after 9/11. God bless Feingold and the Nays in this link. When Wellstone voted for it I thought I was going to throw up.

  10. joe, maybe they read some of your H&R posts…

  11. Wasn’t it supposed to be temporary?

  12. joe, my dear. Your problem has nothing to do with the PATRIOT act. You’ve run afoul of Federal Reserve Regulation D – that’s been around for a much longer time.

    Of course, you should agree that the federal government knows best how many savings account transactions are permissible in a month, so I don’t know why you’re grumbling.

  13. Regulation D: “D 12 CFR 204
    Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions
    Sets uniform requirements for all depository institutions to maintain reserve balances either with their Federal Reserve Bank or as cash”

    You might mean E: “E 12 CFR 205
    Electronic Fund Transfers
    Establishes the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of parties in electronic funds transfers and protects consumers when they use such systems”

    Fed rulez.

    and joe has been against PATRIOT from the get go, IIRC, so why would you make that suggestion?

  14. Hunter Yea
    McCain Yea
    Tancredo Yea
    Thompson Yea

    Paul Nay

  15. Of the current declared candidates the two who voted against the Patriot Act are Paul and Kucinich.

  16. Now joe sees the violence inherent in the system!

    Help! Help! I’m being oppressed!

  17. Nope, I mean Reg D:

    2) The term savings deposit also means: A deposit or account, such as an account commonly known as a passbook savings account, a statement savings account, or as a money market deposit account ( MMDA ), that otherwise meets the requirements of ?204.2(d)(1) and from which, under the terms of the deposit contract or by practice of the depository institution, the depositor is permitted or authorized to make no more than six transfers and withdrawals, or a combination of such transfers and withdrawals, per calendar month or statement cycle …

    Emphasis mine.

    And while joe has indeed consistently been opposed to the PATRIOT act, he has also consistently supported many other government regulations and interferences. I’m highly amused to see one of the more petty ones come back to bite him in the ass.

  18. CRAP!
    REpressed! Help! Help! I’m being REpressed!


  19. de stijl , thanks for the link. My rep didn’t bother to vote on it. She’ll get re-elected anyway.

  20. oh. in other words, “no reason”.

    but thanx 4 the reg d info!

  21. Just in case it’s not clear:

    I’m mocking joe’s (real) statist streak, not his (nonexistent) support of the PATRIOT act.

  22. *light goes on in brain*

  23. under the terms of the deposit contract or by practice of the depository institution, the depositor is permitted or authorized to make no more than six transfers and withdrawals, or a combination of such transfers and withdrawals, per calendar month or statement cycle …

    Yup. I’ve been screwed by this regulation, too. Checked my balance from work, noticed the funds were short in the checking account and tried to transfer from savings but had already used my allotted 6 EFTs for the month. Bounced the check and they banged me for $30 for Insufficient Funds. I’ll be damned if I can think of a rationale that makes 6 transactions a month permissable and the 7th excessive.

  24. sixstring,

    Because I said so. Duh.

  25. Thanks, Ben. I feel more secure.

  26. sixstring, joe: the issue is the already-toppling house of cards that is the world monetary system. Checking accounts have greater (that is to say, some) reserve requirement. Savings accounts do not.

    So if everyone only keeps as much money in his or her checking account as is needed for exactly as much value in outstanding checks as they have, a cascading default would be almost inevitable.

    The Fed encourages you not to contribute to this problem by limiting the number of EFT’s you can make in one month.

    Welcome to the world of play money, where counterfeiting is possible but allowed for only a privileged few, and where active coercion is needed to keep the system from falling apart.


  27. 3 out of 211 for the GOP…Not that the Dems come out much better here, but 3 out of 211, I wonder how SIV rationalizes that one?

  28. joe and VM,

    Dr. K not only has a great fast ball, he’s also dead on about Regulation D. I should know as a recovering ex-bank lawyer.

    joe, you can get around that by making some of your transfers in person–at the bank or by ATM. Legally speaking, that is. Your bank may impose its own caps. Also, the restriction only applies to things like savings and money market accounts.

    Reg. D has nothing to do with USA Patriot, and there are plenty of people who’d like to get rid of the rule. My expertise is fading into nothingness in this area of the law, but, as I recall, the rationale for this is for safety and soundness reasons and to minimize the volatility of the money supply and has nothing to do with the depositor himself.

  29. pro libertate,
    just curious, what kind of law do you do now? or did you give that whole game up?

  30. I do transactional work now in an undisclosed industry.

  31. undisclosed = PR0N!!!!

  32. psst

    Nah. He’s buying inland California real estate for Luthorcorp Realty Inc.

  33. Of the current declared candidates the two who voted against the Patriot Act are Paul and Kucinich.

    Didn’t Mike Gravel vote against it, too?

  34. Does anybody know who came up with the name, USA PATRIOT Act? I remember the first time I heard that name, I felt like we had all been given the finger.

  35. Trying to answer my own question, the closest I could get is that the earliest use of “Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” was in H.R. 2975 introduced by perennial fuckhead, James Sensenbrenner. But it may have been primary author, Viet Dinh, who came up with the name.

    Sensenbrenner is also the guy we can thank for REAL ID. I’ll bet it was him. Notice the propensity for clever names.

    It’s just very bizarre that apparently no reporter has ever asked who came up with one of the most infamous names ever given to a law.

  36. “That vindicated my concerns over that provision of the PATRIOT Act,” says Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican who had joined Sununu and most Democrats in the 2005 filibuster. “Not because I have reason to believe that FBI agents were acting with ill intent, but it does show that we shouldn’t create shortcuts when it comes to civil rights. Mistakes will, and did, happen.”

    Maybe, just maybe, Senator Craig doesn’t deserve to be the laughingstock he has become in these corners.

  37. Gravel wasn’t in Congress to vote for PATRIOT

  38. J sub D,

    Have they cloned Russ Feingold yet?


    joe, maybe they read some of your H&R posts… You know, I have been known to be in communication with extremists, some of them armed…

    Dr. K,

    Your use of the the term “statist streak” doesn’t actually make me support policies I oppose. I hear you support the use of police to enforce laws – shall I start assigning you the position of supporting the drug war?

    All, thanks for clearing up the source of this particular headache.

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