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Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Federal Police Force

Thanks to Suburban Guerilla, Mark Crispin Miller and Save the USA for pointing out Section 605 of the House version of the Patriot Act renewal legislation. It calls for the creation of a Federal Police Force. Your imperial presidency at work.

"A permanent police force, to be known as the 'United States Secret Service Uniformed Division,'" empowered to "make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence" ... "or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony."

Here is the text to Sec. 605, Creation of the Uniformed Division, United States Secret Service. [hat tip Patriot Daily.]

Also say hello to the new blog, Against the War on Terror.

The war on terror is more than just another public policy. It is an attempt to make security the highest goal of American life. Our leaders have reduced politics to questions of mere survival, in which even the smallest risks are viewed as overriding threats to national existence. We at Against the War on Terror aim to challenge this view and the apparent need to eliminate fear itself. The preservation of bare life cannot and should not guide our political activity and dominate our public culture. We reject the very premise of the war on terror.

Against the War on Terror is a collectively authored blog. The editors are a group of young activists, students and writers living in the New York Area. They are: Nick Frayn, Alex Gourevitch, Forrest Heidel, Aziz Rana, and Ian Zuckerman.

Update: Received from a knowledgeable reader:

For those us that practice criminal law in DC we are well aware of the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service. This Division has been around for quite a while. It used to be known as the Executive Protection Service, protecting embassies and the like. The Uniformed Division still protects embassies, but they do have general police powers here in DC. I guess the amendment intends to make the Uniformed Division national in scope. The cops that make up the Uniformed Division are the ones that didnt make the cut to be a regular Secret Service agent. Many go the Uniformed route to get their foot in the door. At least here they can effect traffic stops, make warrantless arrests for any crime occuring within eyeshot. They often handle the credit card frauds and the like. So its not a novel idea, just an expansion of a force already in place.

[Graphic created exclusively for TalkLeft by CL]

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  • Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 01:54:38 PM EST
    Oh boy...that's not good for freedom.

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#3)
    by Pete Guither on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 02:24:07 PM EST
    While most of the powers are specifically related to Presidential and Embassy protection (along with arresting anyone for anything they wish at any of those events), the one that I couldn't get a handle on was:
    (11) An event designated under section 3056(e) of title 18 as a special event of national significance.
    So I looked up Title 18 and found:
    (e)(1) When directed by the President, the United States Secret Service is authorized to participate, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, in the planning, coordination, and implementation of security operations at special events of national significance, as determined by the President.
    (2) At the end of each fiscal year, the President through such agency or office as the President may designate, shall report to the Congress--
    (A) what events, if any, were designated special events of national significance for security purposes under paragraph (1); and
    (B) the criteria and information used in making each designation.
    Ah, well that sure clears it up. In other words, the President can, at his own choosing designate something a special event and use the federal police.

    Re. my earlier post. Would anybody care to take a moment to further my education and tell me by what process a posting here on TalkLeft finds its way on to Google. Have mercy please, plain speak. Thank you.

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#5)
    by Johnny on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 02:41:43 PM EST
    Black uniforms?

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#6)
    by roy on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 03:01:16 PM EST
    Looking for pre-amendment law is hard, but as best I can tell, this is over-blown. The "United States Secret Service Uniformed Division" was always a federal police force, though originally it was conveniently called the "White House Police Force". It's not just a name though: Here's a pre-Patriot, pre-9/11 look at Section 202:
    There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to be known as the ''United States Secret Service Uniformed Division''. Subject to the supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury...
    Read through the names changes and amendment notes on that page first if you want to read up on the SS's history. It'll save a lot of confusion. And the Secret Service, if not the Secret Service Uniformed Division (confused yet? I am), has had broad arrest authority for a long time. Section 3056 from the same time gives the "United States Secret Service", under the Treasury department, the authority to:
    make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony;
    I don't know when the text above took effect, btw, just that it was pre-Patriot, pre-9/11, and pre-Bush. As best I can tell, the Patriot Act and/or its renewal act don't create any new agencies or powers. They just blur the line between the Secret Service and its sub-set Uniformed Division. And expand the venues where the SS's "protect" mandate kicks in, like Pete Guither pointed out. And put the whole mess under Homeland Security authority.

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#7)
    by roy on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 03:06:29 PM EST
    Nuts. I didn't see TL's update before posting my screed. Sorry for the redundancy. The notion that it's just taking the Uniformed Division national sounds about right to me, but I still think the regular SS already had the nation-wide powers they're giving to the SSUD.

    Whats your problem? New federal force indeed, huh, this is the way to do it. Would you credit it, I googled for the new powers of arrest here in the UK, and this was it. TL fame!

    For oscar, concerning how Google works: If you google wikipedia search engine you will get back a link to a full description, with related pages about Google, Yahoo, etc. If that is just too much information, google define: search engine and you will get a collection of shorter definitions that, between them, should explain it. If you still have questions, post them again here in a current thread, and I'm sure to see them eventually.

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#9)
    by scarshapedstar on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 06:49:05 PM EST
    It's all good, cuz ya see, it's the freedom Gestapo.

    Cymro. Thank you, I'm a bit neare understanding it. Doh!

    To follow up on roy's post, it appears that they've added: (10) Former Presidents and their spouses, as provided in section 3056(a)(3) of title 18. (11) An event designated under section 3056(e) of title 18 as a special event of national significance. (12) Major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and, within 120 days of the general Presidential election, the spouses of such candidates, as provided in section 3056(a)(7) of title 18. Why? (10) provides for King George's safety post 2008. (12) provides for Prince Jeb's safety during the 2008 campaign. And (11)? Just a guess, but I'd bet that from now on, all GOP gatherings, fund raisiers, etc. will henceforth be "special event[s] of national significance". Remember the Denver Three incident of March 2005, where fake Secret Service guys were doing the security? From now on, the GOP will use the real thing, at public expense. Gotta protect the GOP royalty from the riff-raff. And make sure that the riff-raff pays for it.

    WorldCantWait.org is protesting Chimpy in DC on February 4th. How convenient, Chimpy can call up his private secret police and bust heads. Nixon started the White House police and his uniform designs caused an uproar because they looked like palace guards. Welcome to the New World Order. Please leave your rights at the door.

    I remeber those uniforms...they were so ridiculed...they looked like palace guards from "The Student Prince" of "the Prisoner of Zenda"...that they were finally donated to a high school marching band. This move is not silly like those uniforms were.

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#14)
    by roy on Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 09:00:23 AM EST
    SJ, (10) and (12) are new for the SSUD, but the regular SS has had those mandates for a long time. If Bush was worried about his own skin, wouldn't he expand regular SS protection rather than adding second-stringers from the SSUD? (11) is new for both, but not all that new. The regular SS could already go anywhere in the world, if one of its protectees was there, to investigate certain crimes, or to arrest somebody for any crime if directed to by the DHS (or Treasury pre-Patriot). The "event of national significance" thing extends the idea to the SSUD, and adds venues, but their powers and priviledges are still in line with those of any cop. I think we're trying too hard to find something to be afraid of here. Tom3,
    Nixon started the White House police and his uniform designs caused an uproar because they looked like palace guards.
    The White House Police Force was created in 1922 by President Harding, when Nixon was just a wee little b*stard.

    make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States ... or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony;
    Anybody know the difference between "reasonable grounds" and "probable cause"?

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#16)
    by Johnny on Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 04:16:46 PM EST
    Anybody know the difference between "reasonable grounds" and "probable cause"?
    Reasonable grounds is a brown person, probable cause is a brown person with a hand-bag.

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#17)
    by Sailor on Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    Anybody know the difference between "reasonable grounds" and "probable cause"?
    Yes, "probable cause" is in the Constitution, "reasonable grounds" are a fiction and an anathema to freedom.

    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 05:52:32 PM EST
    make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States ... or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States
    Am I missing something here? Is there any police force in the country that cannot make arrests without warrant now:
    if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony;


    Re: Patriot Act Renewal Includes Creation of a Fed (none / 0) (#19)
    by chris on Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 10:53:58 PM EST
    edger:
    Am I missing something here?
    In short, yes. The new provision simply mirrors the language of existing law. It does not create a new standard. See, e.g. 18 USC 3056(c)(1)
    (c) (1) Under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security, officers and agents of the Secret Service are authorized to-- (A) execute warrants issued under the laws of the United States; (B) carry firearms; (C) make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony;
    Of course, you can argue that the language of the existing law is unconstitutional, but that's for another day (and in any event, the legal principles there are well settled). There's no there there. Outside of creating yet another federal police force, I'm really not seeing the purpose of this law. There are many things to be outraged about and struggle against... this law is not one of them, however.

    Yet another great excuse to IMPEACH the emporer, now. and IT ONLY TAKES ONE STATE! Simple instructions, a template, and a pair of scissors, at IT ONLY TAKES ONE STATE! Spread it around like snowflakes. We have to stop these people. peace, arbortender

    Secret Service = SS hmmm, that sounds familiar... Where have I heard that before? I remember it was a bad place.... Wait it's coming back to me... It was a Facist regime... almost have it.... / / - - / / Yeah, they had little lighting bolts for the S's Oh I remember... Nazi Germany!

    The language as Interpreted by Bush A new force to be named Stormtroopers