America: Land of the Free?
A senior congressman, James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), is working quietly but efficiently to turn the entire United States population into informants--by force.
Sensenbrenner, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman, has introduced legislation that would essentially draft every American into the war on drugs. H.R. 1528, cynically named "Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act," would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors, and even go undercover and wear a wire if needed. If a person resisted, he or she would face mandatory incarceration.
Here's how the "spy" section of the legislation works: If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" about them, you must report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution" of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Interesting fellow, this Sensenbrenner:
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner III, R-Wis., told cable industry executives attending the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. conference here on Monday that criminal prosecution would be a more efficient way to enforce the indecency regulations.
"I'd prefer using the criminal process rather than the regulatory process," Sensenbrenner told the executives.
Mr Sensenbrenner also brought us the Real ID Act- at least the proposal creating immigration enforcement private bounty hunters was removed before it was tacked onto $82 billion appropriations bill to further fund Mr Bush's war on Iraq.
“Democrats have been completely shut out of the backroom negotiations
that I understand have taken place this week about the REAL ID Act,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said.
Hiding the Act in a bill concerning appropriations supporting our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan forced the Democrats hand, "not supporting our troops" financially would be spun hard in the next elections. I'm disappointed that "We the People" seem to lack the faculties of critical reasoning to question both the Real ID Act and the why it was slipped into the "emergency" appropriation bill, avoiding debate in the Senate.
Before we can escape from prison, we must know we are in one.
edited, material added 5.24.05