Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Dark Side of The Patriot Act

The USA Patriot Act is an acronym for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (Public Law Pub.L. 107-56). I believe the USA Patriot Act is both unAmerican and unpatriotic, as it has removed the basic human rights for which our founding fathers, and every generation since, have fought and died.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, November 11, 1755.—The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree, vol. 6, p. 242 (1963).) The following quotation, a paraphrased and more frequently quoted version of Franklin's quote, is inscribed on a plaque in the stairwell of the Statue of Liberty: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, along with Lady Liberty, are respectively, the rule of law and symbol of the United States of America. How dare President Bush and members of Congress, who all swore an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution, so quickly, easily and readily gut the fundamental protection of our rights in our Constitution. Honestly, all who voted for and signed the Patriot Act most certainly did not represent me when they did this, nor did they protect and defend our Constitution.

We've already seen what the lack of oversight and regulation have done to our country's mortgage and financial industries. Ask the millions of unemployed, those whose homes have been foreclosed or whose home values have significantly dropped, and those whose retirement accounts have evaporated down to next to nothing whether or not the Bush Administration's reduced and/or altogether removed oversight policies and regulations have protected them, while the rich and powerful made trillions of dollars.

The USA Patriot Act is the type of ultimate, purposeful removal of oversight and protective regulations for citizens' rights that governments use to get rid of those who oppose them. How easy this can also be for them now, when the media, who are the Fourth Estate, the watchdog over the government, will no longer be granted access to any information about those who are being investigated. The United States of America is not supposed to create the types of laws that can be found in a dictatorship, in which police powers have been augmented, and with which people can be "disappeared," held without charge, representation, or due process. So much for the rights of the 'tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free' who struggled to make it to this country of hope, freedom and opportunity.

Many people are concerned this country is treading on very dangerous ground that may cause some political leaders to slip and fall down the slippery slope of greed and dictatorship. If that doesn't happen, the Uniting and Strengthening America Patriot Act, may very well still be the downfall of our country by creating a rift between citizens who either support or oppose this Act, and by weakening its moral foundation. So now we will wait and see how the results of the current lack of oversight and regulation in our fundamental rules of law will affect American citizens. While we wait, I am one citizen who is on the record to demand that the President and Congress rescind the USA Patriot Act, reinstate our Constitutional rights, and create a new Constitutional amendment that firmly prohibits the removal of our citizens' fundamental rights by anyone in power!

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