Ed Team

"If that is the law, then the law is a ass!"

Filed By Ed Team | July 19, 2005 9:29 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics

You can argue the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act. [BTW, did you know that it is actually entitled: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism"? Them Warshington boys is so clever!] You can debate its effectiveness, the need for it, its civil liberties implications, etc. At least one truth about it, however, is not arguable: It has, as do most laws, perfectly asinine provisions.

To wit: The act requires organizations like the United Way to institute a compliance program to ensure that they are not providing "material support or resources" to terrorists or terrorist organizations. What does this entail? It's called USA Patriot Act Anti-terrorism Certification.

501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations like The Damien Center that receive United Way funds must certify that they are not terrorist organizations or aiding such organizations. How? By saying so!!

For example: We must answer questions such as these by checking "Comply" or "Do Not Comply":

"This organization is not on any federal terrorism 'watch list'". [We comply!]

"This organization does not, will not and has not knowingly provided financial, technical, or in-kind or other material support or resources to any individual or entity that is a terrorist or terrorist organization, or that supports or funds terrorism." [Again, we comply!]

There are several other similar questions.


To my knowledge, terrorists embedded in the USA are trying to HIDE!! It seems downright unneighborly to expect them to confess so easily. Where's the fun in that? That totally negates the need for wiretaps and opening people's mail and all that neat spy stuff.

So now that we've established that The Damien Center and The Julian Center and the MLK Community Center are not hotbeds of terrorist activity (although I've heard rumors about a cell of pre-schoolers at St. Christopher Center conspiring to bomb the merry-go-round with water balloons), we can all sleep peacefully knowing the brilliant boys and girls who wrote this law are in charge.

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