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Everybody cheered former Speaker Newt Gingrich when he said, “Timothy McVeigh succeeded,” as justification for the Patriot Act in Tuesday’s debate on national security and foreign policy.  Although Ron Paul’s answer was great – we can fight crime if we have a police state but it is not worth it.  Alas, few will remember Paul’s response.  What Paul should have done was cite several provisions of the Patriot Act and show people how odious this law is.

I know something about the USA Patriot Act.  I co-authored what some say (even George Soros’ Open Society!  Here’s the article!  [Look at note 61 of Section II] I might get kicked off this blog for this!) is a leading law journal article on the effect of the USA Patriot Act on money laundering and currency transactions laws.  Ron Paul is right but should have had specific examples.

Section 215 is cited in the Sanders article:

Section 215 of the Patriot Act has engendered much controversy.  However, the statute is fairly simple.  in sum, the act authorizes the issuance of an administrative order for “any tangible things [including books, records, papers, documents, and other items] for an investigation to protect against international terrorism to clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”  There also is a secrecy requirement as to the subject of the investigation or anyone else not “necessary to produce the tangible things.  The court “shall” issue the order as modified if the application is legal under this act.  (footnotes omitted)

But the real harm of the PA (I hate calling it the “Patriot” Act as any true patriot should oppose it) is the regulation on money and currency transactions.  Virtually any bank has to “know your customer” now and thus spy on its depositors (no disclaimer of that sort in any bank) and thus your money and financial transactions are not private.  It was a Congressman named Paul that, along with others, stopped the first attempt by Treasury to enact “Know Your Customer” regs in 1999.

In the face of overwhelming opposition from the American people, the FDIC withdrew its proposed “Know Your Customer” (KYC) rule, which would have forced banks to “monitor” customers’ accounts, develop customer “profiles” and report any “unusual” transactionsto federal investigators.  *  *  *  Congressman Ron Paul has introduced The Know Your Customer Sunset Act (HR 516) and The Bank Secrecy Sunset Act (HR 518) that together will repeal existing Know Your Customer reporting requirements and prevent new KYC rules from being implemented.

There is thus no financial privacy.  All this is a legacy of the income tax.  The thesis of the income tax is to enforce the tax, the government has the right to know everything about our finances.  Another reason why it should be abolished.  But, the other GOP candidates can say what they want (including the canard that non-citizens have few if any rights under the Constitution repeated against last evening.) they were not right about the PA.

By the way, this is how I found about about Ron Paul!  I was researching (probably for this article) and discovered the good doctor!  I also found out he was against the war against Serbia, too!  Dr. Paul quickly cured my apathy!


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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