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VICTORY Act

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The VICTORY Act ("Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations Act of 2003") was introduced in the 108th Congress, 1st Session, by Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and co-sponsored by Senators Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Jon Kyl (R-Arizona). DRAFT June 27, 2003/DRAFT July 30, 2003/[1].

The act "creates the new category of crime called narco-terrorism": [2]

The purpose of the bill is "To combat narco-terrorism, to dismantle narco-terrorist criminal enterprises, to disrupt narco-terrorist financing and money laundering schemes, to enact national drug sentencing reform, to prevent drug trafficking to children, to deter drug-related violence, to provide law enforcement with the tools needed to win the war against narco-terrorists and major drug traffickers, and for other purposes." [3]

Reaction

Rachel, posted September 25, 2003, on AlterNet:

"Just as the Patriot Act doesn't have anything to do with real patriotism, a new bill in congress, the Victory Act, has nothing to do with victory."

The Victory Act is, perhaps, a watered-down version of The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 or Patriot Act II. Full Text of the DRAFT Act, January 9, 2003. [4]

According to Warblogging.com, "it may be a little tamer than the DSEA '03. [but what] we do know, however, is extremely troubling."

James Gordon Meek, in the August 6, 2003, New York Daily News article "Ashcroft tour to plug terror bill" announced that Attorney General John Ashcroft was "hitting the road to rally support for the Victory Act, which would further expand his powers to go after Al Qaeda and narcoterrorists ... If passed, the feds would be allowed to:

  • Clamp down on Arab hawala transactions, where cash exchanged in an honor system has been funneled to terrorists.
  • Get business records without a court order in terrorism probes and delay notification.
  • Track wireless communications with a roving warrant.
  • Increase sentences for drug kingpins to 40 years in prison and $4 million in fines." [5]

The National Consumer Coalition Privacy Group called the Victory Act "a grab-bag of enhanced police-state powers."

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