The Patriot Act and all executive orders associated with it should be repealed and replaced with something more limiting. I recall listening to a lawyer from Virginia on Coast to Coast AM. Now I know Art Bell and company had a lot of characters on their show, but this guy was speaking on Executive Orders. I want to say this was back in 1999. I taped it, but I doubt I could find that tape, as it was in my car for a few years and probably was ruined.
In any case, the guy argued about how the President didn't need mother may I from Congress to do anything, merely pass executive orders associated with some problem and they would usually stand. The 2 that didn't were the Youngstown Steel case during the late 1940's, when Truman tried to nationalize the Youngstown Steel Company and some end run the Clintons tried to do on health care when they came into office in 1993. Clinton passed some orders on wetlands (the story was they could declare almost the entire country wetlands and rule over us with an iron fist, destroying farming and limiting construction on a sizable amount of the country. Around that time, a friend of mine told me he was arrested once for urinating on a public watershed, because they deemed where he stopped along the side of the road as such and there wasn't a lake or river within site). The guy said that had been challenged by a few in Congress, including Helen Chenowith of Idaho. The court ruled they had no standing to challenge, because they were in Congress.
The real point here is the guy brought up the most recent executive order at the time. Clinton had declared a state of emergency on something Bin Laden's group had done, I believe in Thailand and basically declared war on him. The fucker had been around for awhile. It might have been the embassy in Africa. I have no way of knowing what the administration might have done there.
In any case, since Pearl Harbor, there hasn't been an official declaration of war by the US Congress. Yet we spent a decade in Viet Nam, several years at war in Korea, where the threat of war has been continual for longer than I have been alive, 2 invasions of Iraq (one partial and one full), Afghanistan, and smaller police actions in various countries around Africa and Europe. Congress hasn't declared war, but they evidently agree to these war under some other kind of nonsense. I have yet to see Congress get us out of one of these conflicts or refuse to fund them, no matter how popular or unpopular the conflict might be. Are we stuck once these actions start?
It is my understanding that Abraham Lincoln issued the first executive order, basically prosecuting the Civil War without Congress. To the thinking of the South and most likely most, if not all of the States at the time, they were sovereign states and were acting within their rights. I would have thought there would have been more orders of that sort issued prior, like in the War of 1812, which was a real emergency and a war I understand to have been declared by Congress. Lincoln took actions to silence dissent that developed over the time the war was going on. Texas was let into the union under a Constitution that allowed the people to dissolve their government and wasn't annexed, because John Q. Adams ruled that a sovereign state couldn't be annexed. It was brought in under a joint resolution of Congress, akin to the declaration it is National Secretaries Day, with the understanding Texas would fulfill various requirements, one of which was to enact an approvable Constitution. By popular vote, Texas withdrew from the Union under that Constitution. I know nothing about the other States. I do know Texas and Alabama were the last given full representation back into the union, I believe in 1878.
KD mentioned the draft and registering for the draft in the last ticker on this subject. Mohammed Ali, aka Cassius Clay, successfully avoided the draft, under the term conscientious objector. I would suspect you can refuse to volunteer, but is not the filing of a draft card offering to volunteer? If it is, why are there penalties for not filing? The fact that there hasn't been a draft since the early 1970's (I missed the war and the draft), doesn't outweigh the requirement to register.
The point here is there any greater act of terrorism than to require people to go to war for some action the government chooses to get involved. The US screwed up World War I, getting in to lend money to Britain and France, actions which created great resentment when we actually wanted our money back. They took the tact they fought the war for us, which was a bunch of bullshit. National Security was never an issue in World War I. FDR staged our entry into WWII. Should we have been in that war? There were some bad actors, notably the Germans, Russians and to some extent the Japanese. My suspicion is that Hitler opened a can of worms when he attacked Russia, thus exposing Europe to eventual occupation by the communists. This is a coin flip call, but there were more Americans killed in that war than the terrorist have killed to date. Ditto Viet Nam and Korea.
Then there is the refused for reasons of National Security. I have heard enough stories and seen enough official letters on this subject to realize that the main security they are concerned with is covering up the crimes of various government agencies. Here is one such paper that was covered up by national security for decades, in the files of Georgetown University. It was a plan to incite a war against Cuba after Castro took over, staging events to appear we were attacked by Cuba. This was in the 1960's. Think the power grab of the US government has gone backwards over the past 50 years?
What is the response to the release of the news that our communications are being tracked? The government is denying its use and they are charging the guy who released the news with a crime, likely violating National Security. The government is waging war against us, so how is the disclosure of a war against us a breach of national security? Obama is merely the end of a long line of lying bastards we call Presidents. How much of the national security restrictions apply to dirty deeds run under executive order?
It is much preferable, in my opinion, to be conquered from without than to be conquered from within. The current government is too interested in making us do something, like buy health care, what would appear to be a good cause, enforced by NAZI tactics, than letting us be free. Sure someone getting sick without insurance affects all of us. So does the appropriation of our labor under force of law. I think in the past, this was called slavery. Maybe we should us 18USC1581 as an attack, when this is enforced. They are also interested in raising a revenue against the population. This was one of the main protests in the founding protest documents of the nation.
There is no justification for the gathering of information about the general population. As Karl states, this is a clear violation of the Bill of Rights, not just 4 & 5, but all 10 and some of the others. Theses amendments stand together or they hang separately. 99% of the phones in the USA can probably be linked into a chain of calls that touch the phone of a terrorist. Think the terrorist is going to use a phone registered in his name? Think we aren't going to have to provide passport, birth certificate, Drivers license and other ID to get a phone soon?
There is an authorizing act in Congress that is vague or broad enough that allows these bastards to do anything they wish. Note the administration pretty much refused to say they wouldn't kill Americans with drones. Think they are going to get impeached when they do? No, they will hide behind national security. I recall the basis and purpose statement on the Patriot Act that I saw read, for defense against terrorism and other purposes (paraphrased). What are other purposes? What are terrorists?
America had better get a handle on the concept of executive order. Obama supposedly has or will attempt to enforce his gun laws through executive order. Whether you believe it or not, the government will attempt to act under these orders, until challenged. I believe they become effective 30 days after publishing. It matters not what Hitler did was against the law. He did it anyhow. I do know that executive orders will cite an authority, usually a statute.