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The PATRIOT Act, the much reviled law that was rammed through after 9/11, has been the source of much angst in the progressive community since it passed. Most of us believe it was a huge overreach that violated liberties and common sense.

For example, here is the definition of Domestic Terrorism that it amended (from 18 USC 2331)

(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Hmm, that sounds so eerily familiar!  Let's parse that definition a little bit.
"acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;"
Hmm, isn't this government shutdown and the threatened default on the debt limit a violation of the constitution?  The shutdown has certainly proven to be dangerous, especially the food supplements that are being cut off and food inspections that are stopping, not to mention the intelligence organizations that are no longer on the job protecting us.

Ah, I'm just over-reacting, right?  Let's look at the second part again...

(B) appear to be intended—

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

Oh no, that's a slam dunk.  The government shutdown and possible default on the debt are both very clearly intended to (B)(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.  Heck, they're trying to (B)(i) coerce a civilian population and (B)(iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction.  What can be more massively destructive to the economy than shutting the government and undermining global currencies?

The more I think about it, the more angry I get and the more certain I am that the GOP radicals' actions meet the definition of domestic terrorism to a T.

So, let me throw out this quick idea on this saucy and sassy short diary....  A new option for the executive... If the Speaker of the House refuses to bring a clean bill up to reopen the government and raise the debt limit, it's time for the Justice Department to step in and throw his ass in jail.  And if the next speaker does the same, arrest her or him too.  And so on.

Let's see how patriotic these Tea Party House folks are when we use the PATRIOT act to stop them from destroying the Union.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    ~ Nothing insightful to say ~

    by EagleOfFreedom on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:06:53 AM PDT

  •  It's a novel idea (4+ / 0-)

    but (a) it's a Pandora's box and (b) anything that prolongs the life of the PATRIOT Act is bad by definition.

    Now RICO on the other hand...

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:13:46 AM PDT

    •  well (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think we have to actually do this, but I do think we need to create narrative that the GOP behavior needs to be looked at through the lens of this definition. Just like the trillion dollar coin, no one needs to ever do this because it would be risky.  But just talking about it changes the debate.

      ~ Nothing insightful to say ~

      by EagleOfFreedom on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:23:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's already happening (0+ / 0-)

        When words like "extortionists" and "hostage takers" and yes, even "saboteurs" are being tossed around the prism is already there for those who will look through it.  But I agree that it needs to be in front of people 100% of the time.  And it needs to be tied to the tail of the House GOP like a tin can they can't shake off.

        As for changing the debate, we've yet to HAVE a debate... just a shouting match in the press.

        I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

        by mojo11 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:36:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You can be assured... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EagleOfFreedom, Cinnamon

    if it were the Dems that were doing this, the rethugs would use these same laws in a heartbeat. As much as I like to the DOJ step in, it isn't going to happen.

  •  Lots of ways to rein this thing in. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rdbaker43, OHdog

    President Obama could invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
    The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), Title II of Pub.L. 95–223, 91 Stat. 1626, enacted October 28, 1977, is a United States federal law authorizing the President to regulate commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to any unusual and extraordinary threat to the United States which has a foreign source.
    What would be the external threat in the event of a default?
    China, our largest creditor, which is not to say they would even need to threaten us, just that they could provide the basis for invoking this law.

  •  Love the fantasy, but Constitution sez (0+ / 0-)

    we can't arrest the little buggers while they are in session.  

    Wait a minute.   If they take a recess they can be jailed.  
    Sooooooooooooo, maybe if they were stuck in DC to avoid arrest ------ maybe they'd have time and motivation to actually do their jobs for a change?          

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:19:51 AM PDT

  •  I wouldn't recommend drone strikes on the Tea (0+ / 0-)

    Bag representative's cars or houses but how many would have to be waterboarded (a practice which most of them have defended) before they all would see the light. As long as we start with Ted Cruz.

    Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

    by OHdog on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 10:18:28 AM PDT

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