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has been added to the list of terms defined in the federal criminal code. It is defined as activities that

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended




(i) to intimidate

civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and


(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United


This broad definition of domestic terrorism could be used

to deter the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and

freedom of association. Because the terms of this definition are

"vague and broad," political dissent could be criminalized. This

definition of domestic terrorism might encourage "federal law

enforcement agencies to investigate and conduct surveillance of

various organizations based on their opposition to official


With the Patriot Act on the books, the Attorney General

now has the power to place noncitizens in detention during

removal proceedings as long as he "has reasonable grounds to

believe" that they are involved in terrorist activities. These

aliens can be detained up to seven days without any charges

being filed. As soon as the Attorney General "certifsies)" an

individual as a suspected terrorist, the individual may be

indefinitely detained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration

Services, with limitation on indefinite detention only if "removal

is unlikely in the reasonably foreseeable future."

Mr. Chairman, while this body has exercised oversight on

the provisions that are up for reauthorization, I feel that, given

their continued and increasing contentiousness, we must further

analyze the possibly negative impact that they will have on our civil rights, civil liberties, and other guarantees under the U.S.


For these reasons, I strongly object to the

reauthorization and join my colleagues in advocating the same.



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Thank you inviting Amnesty International to testity before the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 10.2005 regarding re authorzing or amending the USA PATRIOT Act On behalf of Amnesty Intemational, I write in response to your request for additional materials

The Committee requested information on librarians who have received law enforcement requests. Amnesty International USA and other organizations have organized joint forums across the country at which citizens have come forward with concerns about the PATRIOT Act. Among those who have come forward are librarians who have expressed concerns about their obligations in current law. These citizens have shown courage by conuing forward. In particular they have mised questions and concems about section 215 of the PATRIOT Act which makes it a crime to reveal specific orders received from law enforcement.

This is why it is why the mere existence of such provisions in the PATRIOT Act have the effect of preventing enjoyment of basic human rights, such as freedom of expression, conscience, assembly, press, and religion so vital to preserving truth and security. Abridging such freedoms prevents the informed citizensy that Thomas Jefferson and others have poiired out is so essential to effective democracy. Because the PATRIOT Act cloaks lau enforcement orders in secrecy, it is difficult to measure the true impact of this provision. The University of Illinois Library Research Center has conducted research that is publicly available and indicates that librarians have received fonnal orders under section 215.

In addition to the chilling effect referenced above, such expansions of government pouer have made it unnecessary to invoke formally provisions such as section 215. Many librarians are keenly aware of the government's new powers to request records on patrons and of their criminal liability either for failing to respond or for disclosing the request Section 215. These expanded powers inake it much more difficult to resist even “informal" requests from law enforcement to "voluntarily” turn over information on patrons. Security is not enhanced when the US. government is in an adversarial relationship with either the nation's librarians or library patrons. As FBI Director Mueller's own statements indicate, librarians work with law enforcement to protect their communities, but they also have a professional and legal obligation to protect the privacy of their patrons. The prohibitions placed on librarians to report requests and the secrecy imposed by the PATRIOT Act, make it impossible to estimate how many requests are occurring and whether they are justified. The law also makes it extremely difficult for Congress to exercise meaningful oversight in this area. As indicated hy the House 's bipartisan passage of Rep. Sanders' Freedom to Read amendment, such overbroad provisions of the PATRIOT Aci are increasingly seen as such and should be sunsetted or anended to be realigned with common sense security requirements and rights otherwise protected in the U.S. Constitution and interational law.


Chip Pitts

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On behalf of Amnesty International, thank you for the invitation to testify before the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 10, 2005, on “Oversight of the USA Patriot Act." I appreciate the opportunity to clarify an issue raised during the question and answer session of the hearing.

Congressman Pence questioned Mr. Chip Pitts, who serves as the current Chair of the Board for Amnesty International USA, regarding Amnesty International's characterization of the mistreatment of detainees. Mr. Pitts made the point that Amnesty International is concerned about the pattern of mistreatment of detainees held not only in Guantanamo but also in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Mr. Pitts referenced some of the controversial interrogation techniques that Secretary Rumsfeld approved, which we now know included stripping, isolation, hooding, stress positions, sensory deprivation, and use of dogs. Mr. Pitts cited, as an example of the consequences of these US policies, the death of “ghost detainee" Manadel al-Jamadi, a case listed among many of concem in Amnesty International's recent report "Guantanamo and Beyond: The continuing pursuit of unchecked power."

According to Amnesty International reports, the information on this case is as follows: Manadel al-Jamadi died in Abu Ghraib prison on November 4, 2003. The autopsy report concluded that his "external injuries are consistent with injuries sustained during apprehension. Ligature injuries are present on the wrists and ankles. Fractures of the ribs and a contusion of the left lung imply significant blunt force injuries of the thorax and likely resulted in impaired respiration. According to investigative agents, interviews taken from individuals present at the prison during the interrogation indicate that a hood made of synthetic material was placed over the head and neck of the detainee. This likely resulted in further compromise of effective respiration.... The cause of death is blunt force injuries of the torso complicated by compromised respiration. The manner of death is homicide." He was a "ghost detainee" brought into the prison by the CIA and left unregistered and untreated for injuries sustained on arrest. Seven Navy Seals confessed to assaulting the detainee. The anny investigation was closed and referred to the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Several Navy personnel have been charged.

Amnesty International believes that this and other cases point to the need for an independent investigation. Thank you for the opportunity to provide Amnesty International's information on this case. We welcome the opportunity to work with you further.

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Alexandra Arriaga
Associate Deputy Executive Director
and Director of Government Relations

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