Assault begins on the Patriot Act

Wired reports that Friday of last week a Federal Judge has declared unconstitutional portions of the USA Patriot Act that ban providing "expert assistance" to groups declared as terrorist organizations.

The provision was struck down as being too vague and flying in the face of the First and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution, which provide for freedom of assembly and speech and the right to a jury trial, respectively.

The case itself concerned a group of people who were providing support on nonviolent issues to a group of Kurdish separatists in Turkey who had been deemed terrorists.

This raises the issue once again of what constitutes aid and who is really non-violent. This decision puts the issue back into the hands of the court, instead of the Justice Department.