Ervin SwartwoudtUSA Patriot Act and the Nazi Enabling ActSun Sep 17, 2006 02:17
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Reprint if you dare !!!
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2006 00:00:33 -0500
From: Ervin Swartwoudt
USA Patriot Act and the Nazi Enabling Act
« on: June 03, 2005, 05:29:05 PM »
On March 23, 1933, Adolph Hitler pushed the
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/enabling.htm the Enabling
Act, which provided the newly elected Nazi government with additional powers
to act against enemies of the state. This particular piece of legislation
bears remarkable resemblance to the
http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/U.S.A Patriot Act:
1) How the Patriot Act Compares to Hitler's Ermächtigungsgesetz
On March 23, 1933, the newly elected members of the Reichstag met in
the Kroll Opera House in Berlin to consider passing Hitler's
"Ermächtigungsgesetz". The "Enabling Act" was officially called the 'Law
for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich.'
Opponents to the bill argued that if it was passed, it would end
democracy in Germany and establish a legal dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. To
soften resistance to the passing of the Enabling Act, the Nazis secretly
caused confusion in order to create an atmosphere in which the law seem
necessary to restore order.
On February 27, 1933, Nazis burned the Reichstag building, and a seat
of the German government, causing frenzy and outrage. They successfully
blamed the fire on the Communists, and claimed it marked the beginning of a
widespread terrorism and unrest threatening the safety of the German
"Homeland." On the day of the vote, Nazi storm troopers gathered around the
opera house chanting, "Full powers - or else! We want the bill - or fire and
The Nazis used the opportunity to arrest 4,000 communists. Not only
did the Nazis use the incident as a propaganda against communists but they
also arrested additional 40,000 members of the opposition. Consequently, the
Nazis had achieved their objective of eliminating democracy and ensuring
their majority in the parliament.
After the fire on February 28, 1933, president Hindenburg and Hitler
invoked Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which permitted the
suspension of civil liberties during national emergencies. Some examples of
this Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and
State abrogated the following constitutional protections: Freedom of the
press, free expression of opinion, individual property rights, right of
assembly and association, right to privacy of postal and electronic
communications, states´ rights of self-government, and protection against
unlawful searches and seizures.
Before the vote, Hitler made a speech to the Reichstag in which he
pledged to use restraint. He also promised to end unemployment and promote
multilateral peace with France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union.
In order to accomplish all this, Hitler said, he first needed the
Enabling Act. Since this act would alter the German constitution, a
two-thirds majority was necessary. Hitler needed 31 non-Nazi votes to pass
it. The Center Party provided these votes after Hitler made a false promise
to them. Four hundred and forty votes were registered for the Enabling Act,
while a mere 84 votes were opposed - the social Democrats. In glory the Nazi
Party stood to their feet and sang the Nazi anthem, the Hörst Wessel song.
The German Democratic party had finally been eliminated, and Hitler's dream
for Nazi command became closer to reality.
The Enabling Act granted Hitler the power he craved and could use
without objection from the Reichstag. Shortly after the passing of The
Enabling Act all other political parties were dissolved. Trade unions were
liquidated and opposition clergy were arrested. The Nazi party had, as
Hitler said, become the state. By August 1934, Hitler became
commander-in-chief of the armed forces. This was in addition to being
President and Führer of the German Reich, to whom every individual in the
armed forces pledged unconditional obedience. The Reichstag was no longer a
place for debate, but rather a cheering squad in favor of whatever Hitler
2) A 21st Century Comparison of The Enabling Act and The Patriot Act
Last September, German Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin pointed
out that George Bush is using Iraq to distract the American public from his
failed domestic policies. She capped her statement by reminding her
audience: "That's a popular method. Even Hitler did that." What was lost in
the reactions to Ms. Daeubler-Gmelin's comments was that she wasn't
comparing Bush to the Hitler of the late 1930s and early 1940s; but to the
Hitler of the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Most Americans have forgotten that Hitler came to power legally. He
and the Nazi Party were elected democratically in a time of great national
turmoil and crisis. They themselves had done much to cause the turmoil, of
course, but that's what makes the Bush comparison so compelling.
Similar to the Bush administration, the Nazis were funded and
ultimately ushered into power by wealthy industrialists looking for
government favors in the form of tax breaks, big subsidies, and laws to
weaken the rights of workers. When the Reichstag (Germany's Parliament
building) was set ablaze in 1933 (probably by Nazis), the Nazis framed their
political rivals for it. In the general panic that followed, the German
Parliament was purged of all left-wing representatives who might be soft on
communists and foreigners, and the few who remained then VOTED to grant
Chancellor Hitler dictatorial powers. A long, hideous nightmare had begun.
History teaches us that it is shockingly easy to separate reasonable
and intelligent people from their rights. A legally elected leader and party
can easily manipulate national events to whip up fear, crucify scapegoats,
gag dissenters, and convince the masses that their liberties must be
suspended (temporarily, of course) in the name of restoring order. Consider
the following two statements, and see if you can identify the authors.
Statement Number One: "The people can always be brought to the bidding
of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being
attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the
country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Statement Number Two: "To those who scare peace-loving people with
phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid
terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve."
The first statement is a quote from Hitler's right hand man, Hermann
Goering, explaining at his war crimes trial how easily he and his fellow
Nazis hijacked Germany's democratic government. The second statement is a
quote from Bush's right hand man, John Ashcroft, defending the Patriot Act
and explaining why dissent will no longer be tolerated in the age of
terrorism. If that doesn't send chills down your spine, nothing will.
When the shooting started at Lexington Green in 1775, those calling
themselves patriots were the men and women who refused to yield their rights
to an increasingly oppressive government. Today, according to John Ashcroft
and his Patriot Act of 2001, a patriot is someone who kneels down in fear,
and hands over his or her rights to the government in the name of fighting
terrorism. Isn't the hypocrisy of this all too obvious? The Bush
administration wants us to fight in Afghanistan, to fight in Iraq, and to
fight wherever terrorists may be hiding. And what, pray tell, are we
fighting for? Well, according to the White House, we're fighting for
freedom. Yet freedom is exactly what the White House is demanding that we
now SURRENDER in the name of fighting terrorism.
So what's really going on? Well, it's all a lie, of course. The Bush
administration isn't any more interested in protecting our freedom from
terrorists than Hitler was in protecting Germans from communists, Jews, and
all the other groups he scapegoated. The Bush administration is fighting
only to protect itself and its corporate sponsors. It hides behind a veil of
national security and behind non-stop war headlines of its own creation. And
behind that smokescreen, Bush, Inc. is pursuing Hitler's old agenda from the
1920s and 1930s: serving the interests of the corporate industrialists who
brought it to power.
There is a name for governments that serve the interests of Big
Business at the expense of their own citizens: fascist. Here's a short list
of the rights we've already surrendered since the September 11 attacks. Most
of these abuses are from a single piece of legislation called the Patriot
Act of 2001, which was rushed through Congress with no debate in the
aftermath of the attacks. Many of the Congressmen who voted for it later
admitted that they hadn't even read it at the time.
3) Ten Key Dangers of The Patriot Act
That Every American Should Know
No. 1: The government can conduct "sneak and peek" searches in which
agents enter your home or business and search your belongings without
informing you until long after.
No. 2: Government agents can force libraries and bookstores to hand
over the titles of books that you1ve purchased or borrowed and can demand
the identity of anyone who has purchased or borrowed certain books. The
government can also prosecute libraries and bookstores for informing you
that the search occurred or even for informing you that an inquiry was made.
According to ACLU staff attorney Jameel Jaffer, such "searches could extend
to doctors offices, banks and other institutions which, like libraries, were
previously off-limits under the law." Chris Finan, President of the American
Booksellers group adds: "The refusal of the Justice Department to tell
Congress how many times it has used its powers is even more unsettling
because it naturally leads to the suspicion that it is using them a lot."
No. 3: Federal agents are authorized to use hidden devices to trace
the telephone calls or emails of people who are not even suspected of a
crime. The FBI is also permitted to use its Magic Lantern technology to
monitor everything you do on your computer--recording not just the websites
you visit but EVERY SINGLE KEYSTROKE as well.
No. 4: Government agents are permitted to arrest and detain
individuals "suspected" of terrorist activities and to hold them
INDEFINITELY, WITHOUTCHARGE, and WITHOUT an ATTORNEY. (That could be you or
me for sending or receiving this Email, by the way)
No. 5: Federal agents are permitted to conduct full investigations of
American citizens and permanent legal residents simply because they have
participated in activities protected by the First Amendment, such as writing
a letter to the editor or attending a peaceful rally.
No. 6: Law enforcement agents are permitted to listen in on
discussions between prisoners and their attorneys, thus denying them their
Constitutional right to confidential legal counsel.
No. 7: Terrorism suspects may be tried in secret military tribunals
where defendants have no right to a public trial, no right to trial by jury,
no right to confront the evidence, and no right to appeal to an independent
court. In short, the Constitution does not apply.
No. 8: The CIA is granted authority to spy on American citizens, a
power that has previously been denied to this international espionage
No. 9: In addition to the Patriot Act, the Bush administration has
given us Operations TIPS, a government program that encourages citizens to
spy on each other and to report their neighbors activities to the
authorities. It's EXACLTY the kind of thing for which we used to fault East
Germany and the Soviet Union, and for which we currently fault Red China and
North Korea. Fortunately, Operation TIPS (or AmeriSnitch, as it's known to
its many detractors) seems to have been recalled to the factory--at least
for now. (Incidentally, in a clever variation of "two-can-play-at-that-game",
Brad Templeton has set up a website at
http://www.all-the-other-names-were-taken.com/tipstips.html where you can
report people you suspect of being informants for Operation TIPS. It's an
interesting and amusing site, well worth a look.)
No. 10: In the wake of Operation TIPS came something even worse: Total
Information Awareness. TIA is a program of the Defense Department that when
fully operational will link commercial and government databases so that the
DOD can immediately put its finger on any piece of information about you
that it wants. New York Times columnist William Safire writes: "Every
purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy
and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you
send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you
make, every trip you book and every event you attend all these transactions
and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as a
virtual, centralized grand database." And that's not all. Who did our
president appoint to head the TIA? Who gets to be Big Brother himself? Why
it's none other than John Poindexter, a man convicted in 1990 on five counts
of lying to Congress, destroying official documents, and obstructing
congressional inquiries into the Iran-contra affair. Another Hermann
Goering, if there ever was one.
4) BILL MOYERS' NOW COMMENTS On THE PATRIOT ACT
At the same time the Bush administration is probing into your private
life, it is shielding itself from all public scrutiny. It has shredded the
Freedom of Information Act; it has locked away presidential records not only
of the current administration but of administrations going all the way back
to Reagan as well; and it has even locked up George W. Bush's gubernatorial
records so that the people of Texas can't see what he did to them while
serving as their governor.
Not surprisingly, the Bush administration is also using anti-terror
legislation and executive orders to protect its corporate sponsors from
scrutiny and from prosecution. The drug company Eli Lilly, for instance, was
recently granted immunity from all cases brought against it--even those
initiated long before the war on terrorism--related to a vaccine it
manufactured that turned out to cause autism in many children. (Eli Lilly
contributed over $3 million in the last two election campaigns.) The Bush
administration also protected the Bayer Corporation1s patent on the
antibiotic Cipro throughout the anthrax scare, whereas other countries, such
as Canada, broke that patent so that other companies could make cheaper
versions of the drug in case of emergency.
It is interesting to note that during WWII Bayer was part of the I.G.
Farben conglomerate, the top financial contributor to the Nazi Party. I.G.
Farben produced petrol and rubber for the Nazi war machine and it
manufactured the Zyklon B gas that was used to exterminate millions of Jews
and other "enemies of the state." In exchange for these services, the Nazis
provided Farben (and Bayer) with lucrative government contracts and with
slave labor from concentration camps.
Under George W. Bush's kinder, gentler fascism, U.S. corporations are
now allowed to do business with the Homeland Security Department even if
they cheat the government out of vast amounts of tax revenues by setting up
offshore business fronts in the Caribbean Islands. It used to be that
tax-evaders were tracked down and punished. Now the
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