Unfortunately, the EFF and ACLU are still laboring under the false assumption that the the U.S. government is going to restrict itself to using purely legal means to eliminate Wikileaks. Or that it will consent to have its actions on this matter be subject to censure (or even review) by its own judicial branch.
I'm not American. I am Canadian. But I have a very deep respect for how the USA was founded and those principles.
You are perfectly correct. The unfortunate thing is that we've seen that happen before.
I hate to invoke Godwin's Law, but it's true.
The NSDAP did the exact same thing. It's no different. I really mean that. See here
On 27 February 1933, the Reichstag building was set on fire (possibly deliberately started by Nazi agents under Göring's orders and control to further the Party's own ends, or by communist agents). Whatever the case, this Reichstag fire was conveniently blamed on a communist conspiracy: One Marinus Van der Lubbe was summarily blamed, arrested, convicted and executed; the KPD's offices were closed, its press banned, and leaders arrested. The fire also gave Hitler the perfect excuse to persuade and convince President von Hindenburg to sign the "Reichstag Fire Decree", suspending most of the human rights provided for by the 1919 constitution of the Weimar Republic. A further decree enabled preventive detention of all communist leaders, amongst many thousands of others.
The only difference is that human rights were suspended BEFORE any events with the Patriot Act
The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies' ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.
i.e. Human rights only exist when they are "convenient".
When dealing with legal issues surrounding actions that fall under the heading of "national security," U.S. courts seldom do more than act as a rubber stamp for executive decisions. And on those rare occasions when they do refuse to go along, the executive branch simply ignores their rulings. Check any history book for numerous examples.
Sadly, you are right. It just about brings me to tears. Literally.
In a way it's rather ironic. The 9/11 attacks were intended to destroy the so-called American Way of Life. Considering how much this country has abandoned its principles and beliefs in the wake of that, I'm inclined to think they succeeded.
Sad truth: despite the fact it may fly the same flag, the country that now calls itself The United States of America is not the same nation that existed before the passage of the Patriot Act, .
And the whole world is much poorer for it. 9/11 destroyed much more than just the "American way of life".
The world follows the American example, and this is simply the foreboding of an ominous and dark future for us all.
I can't begin to express my sadness over this.
This has been considered in the news as a "tech" issue by in large. However, it isn't. It's an issue that affects us all and our freedom to speak what we wish.
I know that there's a "no politics" rule here, but I can't help but feel that it can't apply when our basic right to talk about what we want to, political or otherwise, is being threatened.
I apologize if I am over-stepping my bounds in bringing this up, but it's just a core value that I feel too many of us share.
I do not care if anyone disagrees with me -- I only care that they are free to disagree and voice that disagreement.
At the moment I am very scared. Very, very scared.