Since last week when we ran the story about Paris returning to the Hip Hop scene, there have been thousands of emails from all over the world coming through. Most have been encouraging with people emphatically welcoming his return. There are also those who have laid out some hard questions for Paris to answer especially since he has voiced some strong opinions on the War on Terrorism. Paris pointed out that was to be expected.
If people recall 10 years ago when Paris released the album 'The Devil Made Me Do It', he included some indepth information that he penned about the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam. It was a wonderful break down and it provided listners with important back ground material so they could better understand where he was coming from.
This time around Paris responded to a number of questions posed by an FNV Newsletter reader named TX about his stance on the War on Terrorism and some of the issues he brought up in his new song 'What Would You Do'. Paris responded eloquently and provided supporting material. We decided to share those questions and responses so folks can have a serious break down on this current firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace for now
TX: A few weeks ago, I posed a question to you about what specific provisions in the Patriot Act destroy our 4th Amendment protections. I've read it and I don't see it.
Paris:If you've really read it and still don't see it, then allow me to spell it out for you because it's all-too-clear to me that the Patriot Act violates so much more than just the 4th Amendment. Its signing has effectively nullified at least six amendments of the Bill of Rights addendum to the U.S. Constitution. As a result of this, America has become nothing short of a Police State. The Patriot Act is, in fact, a massive violation of the Constitution it purports to uphold and improve. Among other things, it mandates that judges give police search warrants when they ask for them, for any reason. In fact, judges can't deny these warrants to police, because police don't need a stated reason to ask for them.
The Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of American freedom. During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution in the 1790s, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Many states would not have signed the original Constitution without knowing that these amendments would be added. These amendments became known as the Bill of Rights, which Americans have cherished, protected and fought for for over 200 years.
The Patriot Act rushed through Congress and signed by President George W. Bush is a major step toward a totalitarian state in which individual liberty is crushed by the whim of police and corporate demagogues masquerading as patriots.
The Patriot Act:
* Violates the First Amendment freedom of speech guarantee, the provision allowing the right to peaceably assemble, and the provision allowing the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
* Violates the Fourth Amendment guarantee of probable cause in astonishingly major and repeated ways. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons of things to be seized." The Patriot Act, now passed and the law of the land, has revoked the necessity for probable cause, and now allows the police, at any time and for any reason, to enter and search your house. Under the act they are not required to even tell you why.
* Violates the Fifth Amendment by allowing for indefinite incarceration without trial for those deemed by the Attorney General to be threats to national security. The Fifth Amendment guarantees that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and the Patriot Act does away with due process. It even allows people to be kept in prison for life without even a trial.
* Violates the Sixth Amendment guarantee of the right to a speedy and public trial. Now you may get no trial at all, ever.
* Violates the Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment).
* Violates the 13th Amendment (punishment without conviction).
From the ACLU's objections:
* It minimizes judicial supervision of telephone and Internet surveillance by law enforcement authorities in anti-terrorism investigations and in routine criminal investigations unrelated to terrorism. (Unrelated to terrorism? WTF? That means anything. Maybe surveillance of those expressing political dissent? Ya think?)
* It expands the ability of the government to conduct secret searches in anti-terrorism investigations and in routine criminal investigations unrelated to terrorism. (Again - unrelated to terrorism? That means anything. If you disagree with the government's policies publically then this applies to you).
* It gives the Attorney General and the Secretary of State the power to designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations and block any non-citizen who belongs to them from entering the country. Under this provision the payment of membership dues is a deportable offense. (That means, among other things, that Bush and Ashcroft can decide that even obviously peaceful organizations are terrorists, and under this law, can put them in jail).
* It grants the FBI broad access to sensitive medical, financial, mental health, and educational records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime and without a court order. (I can't help you if you don't see the danger in this).
* It could lead to large-scale investigations of American citizens for "intelligence" purposes and use of intelligence authorities to bypass probable cause requirements in criminal cases. (This could apply to anyone).
* It puts the CIA and other intelligence agencies back in the business of spying on Americans by giving the Director of Central Intelligence the authority to identify priority targets for intelligence surveillance in the United States.
* It allows searches of highly personal financial records without notice and without judicial review based on a very low standard that does not require probable cause of a crime or even relevancy to an ongoing terrorism investigation. (They can do any of this without any reason whatsoever. This is the kind of freedom fascists have always wanted - freedom to put everyone who disagrees with them in jail).
* It creates a broad new definition of "domestic terrorism" that could sweep in people who engage in acts of political protest and subject them to wiretapping and enhanced penalties. (This means they can jail anyone who disagrees with them, and keep them in jail for life without a trial).
The implications for immigration are equally as disturbing, but I won't go into them here.
Download the Paris track "What Would You Do?" for free here:
Look for the LP, Sonic Jihad, later this year.
Email Paris directly at email@example.com
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