SPECIAL ALERT- 9/11 BILL may be MUCH worse than Patriot Act II !





In late July the 9/11 Commission published 41 recommendations for sweeping change in the structure of the federal government, empowering the Executive Branch in a way never before seen in our history.

At first it looked like just another report to be shelved like all the rest. Then in an unusual turn of events, members of Congressional committees began returning from their summer vacations and began holding hearing after hearing with the idea of drafting legislation based on the
9/11 Commission's recommendations and legislating those changes before the end of 2004. Both President Bush and Candidate Kerry endorsed the 9/11 recommendations in whole or part. Now the rush is to on legislate before the end of the year.

What's in the 41 recommendations of vital interest to you and me:

Biometric identifiers for you and me and probably, in the end a national ID card as well:

Congressional hearings this month and last make it all too plain. They intend to legislate biometric standards for drivers' licenses and birth certificates. Eventually those biometric identifier documents will probably be replaced by a national ID card committee after committee has been told. How can they presume to legislate an idea resoundingly rejected by Americans the last time they tried this 8 years ago? "The American public is becoming more and more agreeable to intrusiveness," said 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton at a recent hearing.

Data mining to a degree beyond your wildest imagination:

We are exploring the limits of data mining a federal expert told the Congress. "We are trying to identify the universe of information that has any relevance," said John Brennan, director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. "122 data mining projects are ongoing in our federal government," said John Marsh, Defense Department Technology and Advisory Committee member.

And what are they mining for? Your financial, travel and possibly health information and scariest of all, what you think. "As to US citizens, we are dealing with their belief system. That's what is difficult. We need to understand their actions and their views and ideas and to deal with
them," said General Patrick Hughes of the Department of Homeland Security.

No fly/ no travel based on expanded lists:

And what are they planning to do with all this data? Expand the no fly/the no travel lists. They are growing now and will get even larger when the TSA takes control, "when the government owns the lists," said Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary of Homeland Security.

Massive Power Shift to the Executive Branch:

Our government was founded with due consideration for the old adage that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Founders built three precautionary ideas into the very foundation of the government. One was that there be a division of power between the states and the federal government. A second was that there be limits on the power of the
government over the average citizen. Those are embodied in the Bill of Rights. And a third, at the federal level, was that powers be divided among three branches of government so that the three Executive, Legislative and Judicial be engaged in a constant struggle for power
among themselves thus checking or diluting the power of each through the actions of the others.

The power of the states has been under attack for some time. That's old news. The Bill of Rights has been under attack for some time too. Most recently quite ferociously in things like the USA Patriot Act and in the more subtle removal of powers from the reach of the courts to review. The balance of power among the three federal branches has been hit hard through consolidation of power within the Executive Branch in the Department of Homeland Security. Now the doctrine of balance of power is
to be dealt a death blow by bloating and expanding the powers of the Executive Branch over American citizens through creation of the National Counter Terrorism Center and the new post of National Intelligence Director. "We have recommended strengthening government power over individual lives," said 9/11 Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton.

What the 9/11 advocates are hoping you won't notice is that the new NID will have a lot more powers than just fighting the war on terrorism. He or she will hold power over a data collection and an analysis system that
merges domestic and foreign data and foreign and domestic intelligence gathering, that mines data on issues far, far afield from terrorism or even intelligence and counterintelligence, that supervisory powers will
include criminal and narcotics supervision and all "the rest" as well. [See page 412 of the report.] The NID would have budget authority, hire and fire authority as well as planning authority.

Never in human history has such a potent mix of powers coupled with new technologies for surveillance and data analysis been proposed. All of the powers accumulated in a few hands by the totalitarian states in the past look weak when compared to this new model. They all turned out badly for the average citizen even without modern technology and data mining. We can only assume that current proposal will create the worst, the most
repressive regime in human history making the abuses of the past pale by comparison.

Advocating ineffectual pseudo-protections for civil liberties in the form of a Civil Liberties Board within the Executive Branch:

The 9/11 Commission report contains a brief and vague recommendation that a civil liberties board be created within the Executive Branch as a 'defense' of civil liberty. [See page 395]

This idea is ludicrous for several reasons. First, this Executive Board if created will exist within a classified system. Data will go in but it won't come out. Indeed, experts believe that under the Need-to-Share
system of classification recommended by the 9/11 Commission and the secure data network that is to be created, we will have even less access to government data, even data about ourselves, than we have now.

Right now FOIA is a flop. Expert testimony this week from within the government said appeals of FOIA rulings to the judicial system no longer work. Judges just presume the Executive Branch is right. Yet no reinvigoration of FOIA has been recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

Searches against Americans will be handled through the FISA court, that is the secret judicial body that deals solely in classified data and requests. No relief for the ordinary American here either.

Congressman Kucinich pointed out in this week's hearings that American citizens and their attorneys are getting blind-sided in regular courts too, as government attorneys claim a National Security defense for their
information thus guaranteeing that neither the victim nor his attorney will ever see the information upon which the government's case is based.

Nowhere in the 9/11 recommendations are these civil liberties problems addressed nor are any real solutions proposed.

Why the rush in Congress? To look good, to look like they have done something before the next terrorist attack:

Congress was told last December to expect a terrorist hijack of an aircraft returning from Europe with possible use of dirty weapons. Now, this summer they are being told that another attack is imminent. Expect one before the November election.

They all know that nothing they do now can cause the slightest benefit in preventing such an attack. That's because effectuating major legislative changes on the ground takes 10 to 20 years.

In an unusually frank exchange this week, Congress talked about why they must act now - to protect their jobs not our lives and liberty. "It will be awfully hard to stop the blame game, if we have done nothing, said 9/11 Commission member Slade Gorton. "Very insightful," replied Rep. Chris Cannon. "[We must] not look like we are dragging out feet."

Oh, but isn't it better to face the terror of a runaway government than to face the terror of the terrorists, you may ask?

Ironically expert witness after expert witness appearing before Congress this week and last has said the 9/11 recommendations will make us less secure in the face of terrorist and other national security threats, not more secure. " Confusion, ambiguity and fragmentation", that's what the 9/11 recommendations will bring said Lt. General William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency who was joined by a chorus of experts who said essentially the same thing. "In all candor, you have made a
powerful case against the proposal" commented Senator Jim Talent, R- Missouri.

When must we act? Why haven't we heard this before? What must we do? Will it do any good?

Time is short here. We must act now before it is too late. Legislation is being written now. If all goes according to plan, it will be enacted into law before the end of the year.

Although the press has covered some of the Congressional hearings discussing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, ironically in each day's reporting they seem to focus on the least informative ones. Instead
attention is diverted in a variety of directions like "the swift boat affair."

Will it really matter who is elected president after the foundations of our government have been destroyed?

This information black-out whether accidental or intentional, makes it all the more important for you and your friends to act now. Spread the word before it is too late.

While no one can promise you that acting now will do any good, not acting now guarantees that our liberties will be lost. A mass public campaign launched and executed by ordinary citizens may stop this juggernaut since it is premised on the assumptions that: we don't really know what is happening in Washington and will just assume that what they are doing now is for our own good, we will not resist the loss of our liberties, we will just buy into the idea that loosing them is the price we have to pay to be safe, and that those of us who care about liberty will buy into the
deception that a civil liberties board will protect us from abuses of power and that we don't realize that nothing they legislate now can protect us in the short term.

What we must do now:

Write to both of your senators and to your representative. A short post card or e-mail is best. Take any part of the points raised here and put those points into your own words in a short message.

Call the local office of your congressman and tell him that what they are selling you are not buying.

And thank the few members of Congress who are standing up for the Constitution. It's a short list. Here are a few names:

It's important to make the few members of Congress who are standing up for the Constitution know that you have heard them. Sometimes members of Congress give up when they think no one is listening. Conversely, they
can gain converts to their positions if they can show other members that their positions are gaining support among the American people.

Rep. Paul Kanjorski
D - Pennsylvania

*Compared the powers that would be conferred on the NID under the 9/11 recommendations to the powers of Lavrenty Beria in the Soviet Secret Police (NKVD) in the 1930s.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich
D - Ohio

*Asked if anybody in Congress remembered that they had taken an oath to defend the Constitution; pointed out the dangers inherent in a classification system

Rep. Ron Paul
R - Texas

*Told Congress we are giving up our liberties too easily.

Rep. Christopher Shays
R - Connecticut

*Told two cautionary tales about the dangers of over classification, how it endangers the lives of ordinary Americans and wrecks Congressional oversight.

Senator Jim Talent
R - Missouri

*Reminded Congress of the intelligence abuses of the 1970s.

Rep. John Tierney
D - Massachusetts

*Told two cautionary tales on the dangers of over classification especially after-the-fact classification of data already in the public domain and how it wrecks Congressional oversight; criticized Congress for abdicating its oversight powers.

For Health Freedom,
John C. Hammell, President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
556 Boundary Bay Road
Point Roberts, WA 98281-8702 USA
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