Patriot Act creates new federal police force with broad powers; security force for foreign consulates
Posted Mon, Jan 1, 2006 at 8:10 pm
The Patriot Act creates a "United States Secret Service Uniformed Division" that is "subject to the supervision of the Secretary of Homeland Security."
The new police are 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."And, from this we learn that the USSS has other powers as well:
The new police are assigned a variety of jurisdictions, including "an event designated under section 3056(e) of title 18 as a special event of national significance" (SENS).
"A special event of national significance" is neither defined nor does it require the presence of a "protected person" such as the president in order to trigger it. Thus, the administration, and perhaps the police themselves, can place the SENS designation on any event. Once a SENS designation is placed on an event, the new federal police are empowered to keep out and to arrest people at their discretion...
This DHS/USSS Praetorian Guard also doubles as…a security force for foreign consulates on American soil...UPDATE: Fox has apparently been looking into this, but they don't go into the consulate connection:
...Given the threat of warrantless arrest powers for the new federal police, the DHS/USSS consular guards could quickly be brought in to squash dissent from any pesky but peaceful patriotic protesters who just might happen to show up outside the offices of foreign consulates in the future...
...These facilitators of "tolerance" for foreign meddling, Open Borders and illegal alien amnesty just might be sporting new Secret Service uniforms, serving under the direction of the President of the United States and the Homeland Security Secretary.
So, for all of the peaceful Minuteman Project volunteers out there across this great land, enjoy your First Amendment freedom to assemble peaceably while you still can.
And be advised that the days of anti-Matricula Consular Card demonstrations outside of Mexican Consulates may be numbered...
A new provision tucked into the Patriot Act bill now before Congress would allow authorities to haul demonstrators at any "special event of national significance" away to jail on felony charges if they are caught breaching a security perimeter.The ACLU and Bob Barr are opposed to it; an FPM writer says that's just more Bush-bashing.
Sen. Arlen Specter , R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sponsored the measure, which would extend the authority of the Secret Service to allow agents to arrest people who willingly or knowingly enter a restricted area at an event, even if the president or other official normally protected by the Secret Service isn't in attendance at the time.
Under current law, the Secret Service can arrest anyone for breaching restricted areas where the president or a protected official is or will be visiting, but the new provision would allow such arrests even after those VIPs have left the premises of any designated "special event of national significance." The provision would increase the maximum penalty for such an infraction from six months to one year in jail.There's more at the link.
In a post-Sept. 11 world many non-political events have been designated National Special Security Events and would rise to the higher status. Examples of possible NSSEs are the Olympics or the Super Bowl. In 2004, the presidential inaugural balls and President Ronald Reagan's June funeral procession in Washington, D.C., were designated NSSEs...
A spokesman at Specter's office said the senator was surprised by the clamor over the provision, which merely makes a technical change to clear up legal confusion over who has arresting authority at NSSEs. His office had no further comment on the provision. Committee Ranking Member Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., also declined comment. Republican and Democratic House Judiciary Committee leaders did not return calls for comment.
White House sources say the measure was not instigated by the administration and pointed out that it was a stand-alone bill that was rolled into the Patriot Act by Specter's office during House-Senate conference negotiations. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told FOXNews.com that the White House would not comment on the intent of the measure, but that the president is concerned with preserving individual rights.
"President Bush is committed to protecting the American people's national security as well as their civil liberties," she said.
Secret Service representatives said the agency does not comment on pending legislation...