From the August 2003 Idaho Observer:

Four reasons to deny feds Patriot Act authority

A three-branch system of government was created with the understanding that the rights of the individual supercede the will of the state. One-branch tyrannies exist to force the will of the state onto an individual who can be killed, injured or imprisoned if he doesn't agree. The former insures that individuals be investigated and indicted before they are killed, injured or imprisoned; the latter provides no such protections. The former implies remedies for unjust actions against innocent individuals; the latter grants immunity to the state for whatever damage it does to person or property as it wields its unchecked authority. The Patriot Act was, by appearances, the result of legislative due process in a three-branch system of government. However, it grants one branch of government the raw police state power of a one-branch tyranny. The proof of the previous statement is found in the stories of a few people who represent untold hundreds who are wrongfully being damaged by this emerging monster that leaves us with no remedies -- and makes no apologies.

by The Idaho Observer

Americans must understand that Patriot Act I, Patriot Act II and any other congressionally-passed act or executive order is merely a coming-out-of-the-closet. The “authorities” are now simply taking advantage of the post-9/11 hysteria to publicly proclaim the dark tactics they have been using for decades to be in the public's best interest.

Ask any of thousands of people who have been wrongfully targeted and dragged through the system how many of their rights government recognized prior to the passage of the Patriot Act(s).

The most dangerous aspect of this police power “coming out of the closet” at the federal level is what is happening at the state and local levels.

With the understanding that the feds have passed laws granting them the authority to detain people and seize their assets and belongings without due process and; understanding that any action taken against them for doing the same will end up in federal court, state and local authorities feel safe to behave in keeping with recently-passed federal police powers.

Dave Burgert

After almost two years of investigating an alleged plot by the members of “Project 7” to kill public officials in Flathead County, Montana, evidence of such a plot does not exist.

The story of Dave Burgert, the supposed ringleader of Project 7, has been unfolding since Thanksgiving, 2001. Burgert had been serving civil process on public officials and investigating their involvement in all types of criminal behavior including drug trafficking, drug use and sexual liberties with minors.

When Sheriff Jim Dupont's ineptitude caused the exposure death of a teenaged boy, Burgert sent an ill-advised email blaming the sheriff for the boy's death. Charges against Burgert were manufactured, he was arrested, tortured and the Project 7 plot was allegedly “uncovered.”

Burgert is still in jail on a firearms charge to which he has pled guilty, but no charges have been filed for the alleged murder plot. Though the FBI is not saying much, there is no indication their investigation revealed the murder plot claimed by Flathead county and the city of Kalispell.

Sami Omar al-Hassayen

Last February 27 al-Hassayen, a Saudi national studying advanced computer security at the University of Idaho in Moscow, was arrested for allegedly designing pro-jihad-type websites calling for violence against Americans.

The characterization was a surprise to everyone who knew him as a nice man who was also the former president of the school's Muslim Student Association.

On the day of al-Hassayen's arrest, KXLY radio in Spokane broadcast press conferences being held in Spokane, Moscow and Boise. The Spokane County and Latah County sheriff's departments, Washington and Idaho state patrols, Moscow city police and the FBI were impressed with how the new Homeland Security provisions aided their ability to work together and share information to capture such an important villain.

This man has been held in Ada County Jail all this time and now it appears the translation of his work from Arabic to English was not very good. This man may not be a villain afterall. His attorney is seeking his immediate release.

Dave Hinkson

This Grangeville resident, mineral supplement producer and Water OZ CEO was arrested last April 4 on charges of conspiracy to kill federal officials who have been investigating him. Two of those officials are being sued by Hinkson for prosecutorial misconduct.

The evidence, the tape of a conversation Hinkson had with federal informant J.C. Harding, reveals that Hinkson did not conspire to kill anyone.

Some 130 motions have been filed by Hinkson's legal team. Federal Judge Lynn Winmill has not heard even one of them.

The U.S. attorneys, in response to a recent motion, claim that Hinkson was not arrested on the murder conspiracy allegation. His attorneys responded with a Writ of Mandamus filed in the Ninth Circuit which has ordered Judge Winmill to make a ruling in Hinkson's case.

We believe Hinkson will be released soon.

Offshore trials, executions

On June 11, the Associated Press released a story that has dire implications for future cases such as those on this page. “Guantanamo team plans court, execution chamber,” was the headline of a June 11, 2003 story by AP reporter Paisley Dodds. “Guantanamo officials are working on a plan to provide a courtroom and an execution chamber if the order comes through to try terror suspects at the base in Cuba, the mission commander said.”

At first blush one might believe the military tribunal/firing squad justice is for foreign nationals. However, “The Pentagon has listed 18 war crimes and eight other offenses, including terrorist acts, that could be tried and has issued rules for tribunals,” wrote Dodds.

The Patriot Act definition of a terrorist could be applied to almost anyone who disagrees with the federal government.

Guantanamo is currently holding some 680 detainees from 42 countries.

“Any further movement in the direction of trying these men in commissions that have the power to carry out death sentences is cause for great concerns,” said Vienna Colucci of Amnesty international.

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