The Patriot Act was meant to be short term but looks to become permanent. Does it go to far? Does it really violate our privacy rights?
Absolutely. It's totally invasive, and justified on debatable grounds. With the Patriot Act used as a buffer zone to penetrate the acceptance of deteriorating civil liberties, President Obama has furthered Executive power with the NDAA, supporting the Presidents power to indefinitely detain. In addition to that, the President has drastically upped the use of drone strikes which kill dozens of Paki and Yemeni children and women each month, and has assumed the authority to kill both domestic and foreign [suspected] "terrorists" without trial or due process. So although this rant was not expressly about the Patriot Act, the Patriot Act was the first step (that I'm aware of) in a long list of advances against our civil liberties, making it just as dangerous as it is invasive (it completely nullifies the fourth amendment).
Also, relevant quote.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
If one read it they will find they were the laws Hitler used to govern Germany by,. did he go to far?
We are at war with a faceless enemy which has infiltrated our society and would not hesitate to take innocent American lives. Our founding fathers did not have to worry about terrorism, terrorists, or terrorist cells. Furthermore, these terror cells are actively attempting to get their hands on CBRN weapons. I, for one, am willing to sacrifice my civil liberties in the name of security.
I had a great reply but for some reason it didn't post, so if this seems less than eloquently put, it's because I'm quickly trying to recall what I had previously.
The Founders themselves were faceless infiltrators plotting against the British. They met in secret, they converted others into followers, they plotted in secret, and they essentially terrorized the British. They tarred and feathered tax collectors, and held the Boston Tea Party. Like radical muslim terrorists, they tried to instill fear in their enemy using their anonymity.
Of course, I'm not suggesting the Founding Fathers and terrorists of today were equally evil, because obviously they weren't. However, the Founding Fathers did use the same tactics, and for that reason, I HIGHLY doubt that the Founders would have overlooked a supposed need for the Patriot Act. They knew that to keep the government in check, they would need to prevent something like the Patriot Act, and for that reason, they ensured in the Constitution the right to assemble and protection from undue search and seizure, two things that the Patriot Act violates.
Again, the Founders would not have agreed with terrorists doctrine of killing, but with regards to an invasive government capable of violating every kind of privacy, the Founders would surely have opposed the Patriot Act, no matter the grounds.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
I don't recollect the Founding Fathers flying jets into buildings or strapping bombs to children, I must have been absent from my American History class on that day. The cornerstones of our Constitution are freedom, democracy, free speech, and free religion. The fourth amendment does protect against warrantless search and seizure and if you are accused of a crime, the authorities do need to secure a search warrant based upon probable cause, even federal authorities. However, the PATRIOT ACT, Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, does just that - obstructs terrorism. Does the federal government have roving wiretaps and monitor internet activity? Yes. Do they use key loggers and scrutinize key word searches such as bomb, Anthrax, and jihad? Yes. Does this effect me in the slightest bit? Nope. There aren't many people who are more patriotic than myself and I took your position long ago. I support the preservation of the U.S. Constitution and ALL amendments. Contrarily, if the NSA, FBI, DIA, or DOD wants to look at my Facebook activity and read my e-mails because they feel that doing so will protect the lives of innocents, then they have my permission. If you think that the PATRIOT ACT is the only measure of domestic surveillance than you are mistaken. The DOD and DOJ have been utilizing satellite surveillance technology, and programs such as Carnivore and Eschelon for decades. They have programs which we don't even know about. Big Brother is watching whether there is a PATRIOT ACT or not. It is the age that we live in.
If the Patriot Act does indeed violate our constitutional rights, then it cannot exist, regardless of its necessity, which we could argue pro or con for ever. The larger and most pertinent question is whether it does indeed violate our rights.
Here is an article by the ACLU which pertains to specific provisions of the Patriot Act. As you will see, the Patriot Act is geared towards the surveillance of foreigners. Regardless of the Constitutional validity of ANY U.S. program, Big Brother is Watching. Sorry, that is just the way that it is. Utilize caution when trending such topics. Good luck.
What it's geared toward doesn't matter. Intentions are usually good. What can be done with it is what's worrisome. Just look at what people use the 14th Amendment for! Completely invasive and ridiculous legislation is justified by perverting interpretations of it. Look at the Interstate Commerce Clause, same deal. Government always finds a way to warp laws to grant them power, and something as terrifying as this is inexcusable.
Again, the Founding Fathers did not fly jets into buildings, and I didn't say they did. What I did say was that they agreed with meeting privately without fear of the government. That is a fact.
Now, the Patriot Act allows government to do exactly that - encroach on our expressly determined freedom. It's a gross abuse of power. In addition, if Big Brother were watching us without the Patriot Act, then the government is already acting out of line. I understand that people are in danger, but if we give up our freedom now, it will be us in danger. There are countless laws made in good faith overextending the reach of the federal government that have resulted in abuses 50, 25, 10, 5, even 1 year later. I understand the need for security, but going into it by giving government unlimited power is not the way of doing it.
It is the way of the world of which we live. Apparently, our policy makers feel that National Security supersedes our Constitution. 'Tis not only the United States which infringes upon your privacy, you must consider INTERPOL, and the United Nations as well. Your privacy is limited if you utilize the internet and it is as simple as that. Even corporations infringe upon your privacy by placing cookies on your computer when you visit their websites. Do you think that the government doesn't have a file on you? Don't be naive. The Intelligence Community of the United States and the Intelligence Community of the International Community utilize the best information collection techniques, technologies and databases available in the World. Nearly every community is under video surveillance. NYC to mention one. There are cameras everywhere! What about these recent technologies and social media sites? Do you think that the government doesn't monitor who is associated with whom? In a sense, we are doing their jobs for them by having such accounts. There are articles on the internet which accuse Russia and China with utilizing webcams and iphones for domestic spying purposes. Do you think that they don't have the capability to tap into your phone or computer? They have satellites which can pick up a paper clip on a desk. What can you do? Realistically? Not only are you dealing with the DOJ, but you're dealing with Military Intelligence. Again, we are at war! Do you think that the DOJ and DOD are going to shut down their National Security programs because of a few complaints which pertain to civil liberties when we are engaged within a global conflict, when our enemy resides on our soil? Can you realistically organize a Coup? Such actions are not viable options. If you think that you don't have any privacy now, just think of what it is going to be like 20 years from now. I appreciate your perspective and your desire to protect the Constitution and everything that it stands for. Unfortunately, this is the way that it is and unless there is a mighty revolution, or a coup, there is nothing that you can do about it. Due to the integrated politics of the International Community, I don't think that even the most strategically planned revolution would be successful due to the fact that the international community has an interest in "domestic tranquility" here within the U.S. And yes, Big Brother is watching and has been watching for decades! Cameras on buses? Taxis? Subways? These are Anti-terrorism and Counter-terrorism measures. Should we just allow these individuals to kill innocent civilians in the name of civil liberties? We still have many freedoms which many people wished that they had. We are still the Land of the Free. It is not as if the Patriot Act has been resulting in the illegal incarceration and oppression of those who dissent because that is not the American way. If you were in a foreign land and talked poorly about a program during a time of war you would most likely be thrown in prison and charged with treason and possibly executed. We still have free speech, due process protections, freedom of religion, and many, many others.
Utilize your credit card to buy the equipment needed to create a hydroponic system, grow some plants, and allow your electric bill to increase significantly over the course of a year. You will get a knock at your door. These people have all of your information at their fingertips! Or, go to a store and start buying the ingredients that you need to make a bomb or methamphetamine. You will get a knock at your door. Privacy doesn't exist anymore.
When you use the internet, you agree with corporations to allow them to track data on you. The internet is somewhat different. But there is not contract you sign with phone companies (at least, there wasn't) that says you give the government full rights to tap your phones unknowingly. The internet is one thing, as cookies are completely legal and not really an issue. But the government covertly invading your privacy is totally another.
And I'm not advocating a revolution. I'm advocating that the people don't stand for the federal government, especially the Executive branch, and even more especially the President to invade such privacies.
Credit cards and the internet are different in that you agree when using it for certain informations to be tracked. Through legal means (though I would argue corporations have a right to deny it) your information is tracked. If you don't want anyone to know you're buying ingredients for a bomb, use cash. If you want to look up a bomb recipe, use a book. Don't forget, banking and the internet are services that you give up certain privacies to use. That doesn't give the government the right to come into your house unknowingly or against your will.
Very valid points. The federal government grew by 6% since Obama took office and the Department of Defense is the number one employer in the United States and I think that you will see a further expansion in the years to come. Although the fourth amendment guarantees a right of privacy and requires a warrant to conduct a search, there are numerous Supreme Court decisions throughout the years which said that "reasonable suspicion", and "exigent circumstance" are valid reasons for a warrantless searchs. You have even fewer rights when you are driving in a car or walking on the street, although the "stop and frisk" procedure was ruled a violation of privacy without suspicion or probable cause. I agree with you about the Executive branch overstepping boundaries. There is a Presidential Executive Order which prohibits the U.S. utilization of assassins but you and I both know that this order isn't upheld. They do seem to have "unlimited power", they're even immune from prosecution from the International Criminal Court. That, my friend, is some serious power. When Bush was in office he had federal prosecutors fired for their investigations into corruption. George Bush Sr. was the director of the CIA at one point in his career. WMD were never found in Iraq. I could go on and on. We are living within a "police state", if you will. Shall there ever be a revolution, FEMA and DOD takes over and Marshall Law is declared. So much for the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. 'Just powers are to come from the governed'
'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,'
Unfortunately, the only way to change the policies of the Government is to organize a successful Coup. Throughout history the most successful Coup's were Military Coup's. It is highly unlikely that any potential revolutionary would receive support of military generals based upon civil liberty infringements when you take into consideration that the DOD is responsible for these infringements.
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