Thursday, January 26, 2006

A permanent police force: United States Secret Service Uniformed Division

Those are not words that I created. They are from Section 605 of the USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization conference report. The jurisdiction of this crew would be the major players in the executive branch,foreign diplomats, and "a special event of national significance" (The World Series of Poker?).

Here's my favorite part:
(b)(1) Under the direction of the Director of the Secret Service, members of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division are authorized to--
...(B) make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence

Paul Craig Roberts had this to say:
The language conveys enormous discretionary and arbitrary powers. What is "an offense against the United States"? What are "reasonable grounds"?

You can bet that the Alito/Roberts court will rule that it is whatever the executive branch says.

The obvious purpose of the act is to prevent demonstrations at Bush/Cheney events. However, nothing in the language limits the police powers from being used only in this way. Like every law in the US, this law also will be expansively interpreted and abused. It has dire implications for freedom of association and First Amendment rights.

Unfathomed dangers in Patriot Act reauthorization

Andy in the HBG


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are worried about a national police force, go to the following:

Then go to the last page of this file and check out item XII, "Consolidation of Federal Police Forces".

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey you D.A.! The Secret Service UD has been around since Pres. Truman. They were absorbed into the Secret Service in 1970 and were given their current title. The section that you are referring to is the Patriot Act transferring the Secret Service from the Treasury Department to the Department of Homeland Security. The only duty station for the UD is in Washington, D.C. not nation wide. Do a little research before you start maouthing off about something you don't understand.

11:25 PM  

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