Totalitarian USA: Report your family members or go to prison
by : Bill Piper, Alternet
Sunday May 22, 2005 - 21:36
Proposed legislation would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors, forcing all Americans to become foot soldiers in the war on drugs.
Neighbors spying on neighbors? Mothers forced to turn in their sons or daughters? These are images straight out of George Orwell’s 1984, or a remote totalitarian state. We don’t associate them with the land of the free and the home of the brave, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t happen here. A senior congressman, James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), is working quietly but efficiently to turn the entire United States population into informants—by force.
Sensenbrenner, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman, has introduced legislation that would essentially draft every American into the war on drugs. H.R. 1528, cynically named "Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act," would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors, and even go undercover and wear a wire if needed. If a person resisted, he or she would face mandatory incarceration.
Here’s how the "spy" section of the legislation works: If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" about them, you must report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution" of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to police within 24 hours:
You find out that your brother, who has children, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife;
In each of these cases you would have to report the relative to the police within 24 hours. Taking time to talk to your relative about treatment instead of calling the police immediately could land you in jail.
In addition to turning family member against family member, the legislation could also put many Americans in danger by forcing them to go undercover to gain evidence against strangers.
Even if the language that forces every American to become a de facto law enforcement agent is taken out, the bill would still impose draconian sentences on college students, mothers, people in drug treatment and others with substance abuse problems. If enacted, this bill will destroy lives, break up families, and waste millions of taxpayer dollars.
Despite growing opposition to mandatory minimum sentences from civil rights groups to U.S. Supreme Court Justices, the bill eliminates federal judges’ ability to give sentences below the minimum recommended by federal sentencing guidelines. This creates a mandatory minimum sentence for all federal offenses, drug-related or not.
H.R. 1528 also establishes new draconian penalties for a variety of non-violent drug offenses, including:
Five years for anyone who passes a marijuana joint at a party to someone who, at some point in his or her life, has been in drug treatment;
These sentences would put non-violent drug offenders behind bars for as long as rapists, and they include none of the drug treatment touted in the bill’s name.
At a time when everyone from the conservative American Enterprise Institute to the liberal Sentencing Project is slamming the war on drugs as an abject failure, Sensenbrenner is trying to escalate it, and to force all Americans to become its foot soldiers. Instead of enacting new mandatory minimums, federal policymakers should look toward the states. A growing number have reformed their drug sentencing laws, including Arizona, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New Mexico, New York and Texas, and they have proved it is possible to both save money and improve public safety.
Simply put, there is no way H.R. 1528 can be fixed. The only policy proposal in recent years that comes close to being as totalitarian as this bill is Operations TIPS, the Ashcroft initiative that would have encouraged — but not required — citizens to spy on one another. Congress rightfully rejected that initiative and they should do the same with H.R. 1528. Big Brother has no business here in America.
Bill Piper is director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.
ISRAEL’S 1967 ATTACK ON INTELLIGENCE SHIP U.S.S. LIBERTY - THE ONLY MYSTERY
Thursday 20 - 20:06by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Denmark eaten down to the bone, what’s next?
Wednesday 19 - 16:22by Henrik Petersen
A Financial Toll Tax: Transform, Not Reform, the U.S. Tax System
Monday 17 - 22:55by William John Cox
COMPLETE DEGRADATION OF A SELF-STYLED GREAT NATION
Saturday 8 - 16:35by JOHN CHUCKMAN
ATTACKING PEOPLE WITH FLEETS OF MISSILES BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY FACTS
Friday 7 - 20:34by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official
Thursday 6 - 23:09by Shaun Waterman
TRUMP’S FRIGHTENING TURNAROUND ON SYRIA – A STRONG SIGNAL ABOUT WHO REALLY RUNS
Thursday 6 - 17:22by JOHN CHUCKMAN
AMERICA’S POLITICS WITHOUT MEANING - THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COUNTRY
Thursday 30 - 17:37by JOHN CHUCKMAN
ISIS THREATENS IRAN FOR A HILARIOUS REASON – WHAT ISIS AND AL-NUSRA REALLY ARE
Wednesday 29 - 18:56by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Invisible people: cashless societies don’t kill poverty, but the poorest ones
Wednesday 29 - 17:12by Morgan Connors
THE COMING MULTI-POLAR WORLD AND AMERICA’S IMPERIAL DECLINE - A DANGEROUS TIME
Monday 27 - 16:58by JOHN CHUCKMAN
HOW GOVERNMENT EXPLOITS MURDER FOR ITS OWN ENDS - THE TRUTH ABOUT LONDON
Monday 27 - 16:56by JOHN CHUCKMAN
AMERICA’S CIVILIAN SLAUGHTER IN MOSUL - JUST AN AMERICAN BOMBING TRADITION
Monday 27 - 16:53by JOHN CHUCKMAN
WHY DO ONE-THIRD OF ISRAEL’S PEOPLE WANT TO LEAVE AS DISCOVERED IN A RECENT POLL
Monday 27 - 16:51by JOHN CHUCKMAN
THE UNFORGIVABLE EVIL
Saturday 25 - 01:55by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Trump repeal of the Affordable Care Act will kill 43,000 Americans over 8 years
Saturday 18 - 00:32by Dr Gideon Polya
Free university education - tertiary education can and should be free for all
Thursday 9 - 06:29by Dr Gideon Polya
QUOTING AMERICA’S FOUNDING FATHERS ON IMMIGRATION OR ANYTHING
Tuesday 7 - 18:51by JOHN CHUCKMAN
THE POINTLESS ARGUMENT OVER WHO WAS FIRST IN THE HOLY LAND
Tuesday 7 - 18:49by JOHN CHUCKMAN
YES OBAMA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIMEA AND THE MESS IN UKRAINE
Tuesday 7 - 18:48by JOHN CHUCKMAN
8th. March -----The Modi-fied International Women’s Day In Gujarat
Tuesday 7 - 15:20by Dwarika Nath Rath
ON THE GREAT MYSTERY OF INTENSE HOSTILITY TOWARDS LIBERALS IN AMERICA - OBAMA
Monday 6 - 19:30by JOHN CHUCKMAN
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESS BIAS, FAKE NEWS, DISHONEST JOURNALISM
Sunday 26 - 17:52by JOHN CHUCKMAN
TWO STATES OR ONE STATE? THE STARK REALITY IS THAT BOTH SOLUTIONS ARE IMPOSSIBL
Wednesday 22 - 18:16by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Open Letter to Australian MPs re Apartheid Israel PM Netanyahu’s Australia visit
Tuesday 21 - 00:18by Dr Gideon Polya
How Eric Arnoux and Fabrice Molinaro target the First Ammendment
Thursday 9 - 18:40by Billy1975
THE CHANCE FOR GREATNESS, BUT IT IS SO EASILY LOST
Saturday 28 - 20:19by JOHN CHUCKMAN
TRUMP: AMERICA’S HITLER
Saturday 28 - 04:07by David R. Hoffman
LUNATIC EXCESSES IN THE WASHINGTON MARCH - WHILE IGNORING MASS MURDER
Monday 23 - 19:19by JOHN CHUCKMAN
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SO-CALLED DOSSIER
Monday 16 - 15:08by JOHN CHUCKMAN
The Rotten Apple in The Prince’s Crown
Friday 13 - 18:44by RegisFranck
Christophe Mazurier takes part in the Hero World Challenge
Friday 13 - 11:43
OF WIZARDS AND WASHINGTON AND THE DREARY, UNRELENTING REALITY OF AMERICAN POLITI
Thursday 12 - 15:01by JOHN CHUCKMAN
A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY
Monday 9 - 06:23by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Judah Ben Hur, Amb. Republican Candidate for President 2020
Sunday 8 - 15:00by Judah Ben Hur, Amb. Republican Candidate for President 2020
DARK DAY DEMOCRACY: THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT
Saturday 7 - 21:41by JACK RANDOM
President Donald Trump and Ambassador Judah Ben Hur
Saturday 7 - 15:04by President Donald Trump and Ambassador Judah Ben Hur
THE INSANE CIRCUS NOW GOING ON IN WASHINGTON – A SAD PARODY OF JOSEPH MCCARTHY
Friday 6 - 17:15by JOHN CHUCKMAN
The New Cultural Frontier as shown by Christophe Mazurier
Tuesday 27 - 14:29
UN Security Council Resolution 2334 – Beginning Of The End For Apartheid Israel?
Monday 26 - 23:37by Dr Gideon Polya