Patriot Act: House Reauthorization Includes New "Narcoterrorism" Offense 8/5/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/398/patriot1.shtml

The House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act July 28. While debate focused on the larger issues of whether the act is necessary to defend freedom or an erosion of it, the House reauthorization also included a provision approved on a voice vote that would create the new offense of "narco-terrorism."

Offered by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), the successful amendment would make manufacture, sale, possession with the intent to sell Schedule I and II drugs, or conspiracy to do any of the above "narco-terrorism" if it "directly or indirectly, aids, or provides support, resources or anything of value to: (a) a foreign terrorist organization; or (b) any person or group involved in the planning, preparation for, or carrying out of a terrorist offense."

A "narco-terrorism" conviction would draw a mandatory minimum 20-year prison sentence, with the possibility of a life sentence. Under the provision, "the government need not prove that the defendant knew that an organization is a designated foreign terrorist organization,'" according to the House floor summary.

Under this wording, the statute's reach is unclear. Could the urban teenager selling $10 rocks of crack on the street be charged as a "narco-terrorist" if the cocaine he was retailing was proven to come from a shipment ultimately controlled by the Colombian paramiliaries or the FARC, both of which reportedly earn fortunes in the business? Whether the crack seller is transformed into a "narco-terrorist" could depend on nothing more than the ambition and ruthlessness of a young Assistant US Attorney somewhere.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has already passed a version of the Patriot Act reauthorization that does not include "narco-terrorism." The full Senate is scheduled to vote on reauthorization after this month's congressional recess.

The original Patriot Act was passed in great haste after the 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. It allowed expanded surveillance of "terrorist suspects" and loosened restrictions on government snooping, much to the concern of civil libertarians. This year's reauthorization would make the act permanent, but some of the most contentious provisions -- including roving wiretaps and spying on library records -- would have to be renewed after ten years.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #398 -- 8/5/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Feature: Marc Emery Busted -- Canada's Leading Marijuana Activist Facing Life in American Prison Over Seed Sales | Feature: The Methamphetamine Epidemic -- Less Than Meets the Eye | Feature: Prison Protest Aiming for DC in Eight Days | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Patriot Act: House Reauthorization Includes New "Narcoterrorism" Offense | Patriot Act: Sold as Fighting Terrorists, Act is Used in Marijuana-Smuggling Investigation | Search and Seizure: New Jersey Police Looking for Marijuana Growers Must Have Warrant to See Utility Records, Appeals Court Holds | Treatment: Congress Lifts 30-Patient Limit for Buprenorphine Treatment | Marijuana: Denver SAFER Initiative Headed for November Ballot | New Zealand: Parliament Reclassifies Speed and Ecstasy, Stiffer Penalties Coming | Treatment: New Web Site Provides Resources on Opiate Agonist Therapy | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Opportunity: Prevention Point Pittsburgh | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]