Skip to content

The Patriot Act, Big Brother is Watching You

May 29, 2011
The Patriot Act
The Patriot Act

Generally, I don’t agree with most politicians simply because you can’t trust anything they say, but this week I have to agree with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.  When we hear the word “patriot”, images of our fore father’s struggle to give birth to a new nation come to mind, these images include the ideas of freedom, independence, and basic human rights.  Since 2001, the word “patriot” has been used as an acronym to strip the American people of freedom, independence, and basic human rights.

             The USA PATRIOT Act (more commonly known as the “Patriot Act”) is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the Act is a contrived three letter initialism (USA) preceding a seven letter acronym (PATRIOT), which in combination stand for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.

            Rand Paul wasn’t trying to abolish the Act, he simply wanted it re-written so certain limits would be placed on enforcement agencies abilities to invade the private lives of the average American citizen.  Rand Paul lost his battle to have the Act changed and to protect the privacy of the American people.

            Just before the midnight deadline on May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed a 4-year extension of three key provisions in the USA Patriot Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the “library records provision”), and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves” — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.  Obama “autopens” Patriot Act extension into law – CBS News

            On the surface, this Act sounds good, it’s being used as a tool to fight terrorism and if we could trust our government not to abuse its power then it would be good.  Our government has a long history of not being able to contain its power over its own people.  This Act gives power to too many agencies (CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Treasury Department, State and local law enforcement, and even foreign governments) for it not to be abused somewhere along the line.

            Some provisions of this Act require banks to report to the government if you open or change an account so that it may be monitored for suspicious activity.  Another provision allows the government to monitor which books your children check out at your local library because they may be a domestic terrorist.  This type of information can not only be gathered by our own government, but foreign governments as well. 

            You don’t have to be a terrorist to be monitored, maybe you have a Muslim name, maybe you made the no-fly list by mistake, or maybe you operate a blog speaking out about problems in American government.  All it takes is for someone to suspect you for any reason, the same way that people were indicted by Joseph McCarthy in the 50’s for being suspected of Communism.

            This is the same type of government oppressions that caused our fore fathers to take up arms against their government and give birth to a new nation; a nation where people would be free to live private lives without fear of government intervention.  The idea of terrorism is not to over through a government directly, terrorism is designed to cause fear and panic in people thus forcing a change in the way they live.  Terrorists have succeeded in giving our government an excuse to take away some of our rights; rights that were fought for in the American Revolution and are given to us by the Constitution.  Terrorists hate Americans because we are a free people, they don’t want us to be free, they want us living under the same iron fist they use in controlling people in their own countries and they are succeeding.  They are giving our government the tools to protect us from our own liberty.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

            Be very careful of all that you do because George Orwell’s “1984” is becoming a reality, just thirty years late, and Big Brother is watching you.

Big Brother

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ken H permalink
    May 29, 2011 4:45 PM

    The government can see what books I get from the library?!? Please say it isn’t so!! I learned a lot from this article, though. I was always under the impression that pilgrims came to this country for religious freedom and the revolutonary war was fought because of “taxation without represntation.” Who knew the early patriots were fighting against a government capable of watching them for suspicious activity. Heaven forbid I open a new bank account and the CIA knows about it. I can’t imagine how severely that would impact my life. Oh wait… I really can’t imagine how it would impact my life at all. Oh, I bet the patriot act gives the government agencies the freedom to sieze money from my accounts without my knowledge3 or permission, right? Perhaps not or I’m certain that would have been mentioned in this article. I especially liked the 1984 reference with the picture of Obama… even though the article clearly states that Bush signed the act into existence. I hate big government as much as anyone; but only because it’s expensive and usually borderline socialist. If the CIA wants to see my reading list, they are welcome to it. Those with nothing to hide rarely fear if someone is looking. I say if it makes terrorism more difficult and it doesn’t impact my way of life, let them look. I gladly give anyone full disclosure if they are helping to keep my family safe… by the way, the Harry Potter books aren’t mine…I got them for a friend.

    • May 29, 2011 5:23 PM

      Thanks for the comment, Ken. If they suspect you for any reason, the libary is required to release information on books you have checked out and websites visited if you used their compter (so be careful which sites you visit). They are also required not to tell you if they released that information. There were alot of reasons for the Revolution not just taxes, search and seizure without warrants was a main reason. They certainly can sieze accounts without forehand knowledge, they tell you afterwards and how long will it be until you get that money back even if innocent. Give the government an inch and they will take a mile. I used Obama’s picture because he just signed to extend the Act for another four years instead of requiring any changes. This may not directly affect your life, but if they can pass this Act without your consent, what other Acts will they pass that will affect you, where does it stop? Most Americans do have nothing to fear, yet, but that doesn’t give them the right to start rooting round everyone ass to see if it stinks. Those Harry Potter books are on the banned books watch list for teaching children witchcraft, so they may already be monitoring you and your friend. Thanks again for your comment, I really do appreciate it, it makes the blog more interesting for everyone.

  2. June 13, 2011 10:53 AM

    What I think Ken H doesn’t think of is this scenario: Lets say we have a Democrat lead White House and Congress. The President appoints a progressive left wing Judge to swing the SCOTUS to the left and All major US agencies (FBI, CIA, FEMA, DHLS, etc) is headed by Democrat appointees.

    Now lets say you are a business owner who contributes to a conservative GOP candidate in Nevada to take over a seat held by a high ranking DNC Senator, like Harry Reid. If the government can see that you have been checking out conservative economic books from the library, you have been visiting conservative websites and recently used your credit card to donate money to that conservative candidate and flag you as a domestic terrorist.

    Now they can start questioning those that due business with you, freeze your banking accounts and cause you to default on loans, and then they can track all your banking transactions (thank you Chris Dodd and Barney Frank) to make sure you do not contribute to their competition.

    It may turn out your not a terrorist. They apologize for taking your time up and they leave you alone. But now those your do business with are nervous that the DHLS or FBI has been asking questions about you. Banks won’t loan you money because your credit is in question. Your life would be in turmoil.

    That is the power that the “Patriot Act” gives the government. And don’t get me wrong, this could happen with a GOP majority also.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: