June 15, 2005 – The House of Representatives voted 238-187 to block part of the anti-terrorism that seriously infringes on the freedom of its citizens. The parts in question, if passed, would allow the government to check out the library book reading and Internet surfing habits, along with bookstore receipts of suspected terrorists. The decision to give the label of ‘terrorist’ would be pretty much up to the CIA, coincidentally the same people who would be investigating those same freshly-labeled ‘terrorists.’ They have the ability to issue their own warrant, not going to any judge or grand jury to prove their case, and Section 213 allows them to “sneak-n-peek” suspects homes’, take anything they please, without contacting you first as it might have an “adverse effect” on their investigation. They can delay contacting you up to 90 days after the incident. They also only have to meet the lower legal standard of “reasonable cause” instead of the more stringent “probable cause” mentioned in the 4th Amendment.
The PATRIOT ACT completely reverses many protections originally placed BECAUSE of government overstepping its bounds with monitoring its citizenry. This act was hastily passed by Congressmen who either didn’t read it before its passages, or were alledgedly threatened to pass it WITHOUT reading it. We have been fortunate to have the opportunity to end some of the abuses or prevent future ones by having some of these provisions end automatically by Dec. 31, 2005. Comparing that it originally passed in the House Of Representatives with a 357–66 vote, it looks like that more people have decided that the PATRIOT ACT isn’t what this country needs.
The bottom line is that our government got caught with its protective pants down, and in its embarrassment, has decided to confuse motion with action. Pouring large sums of money into the problem, having a long drawn out investigation, and ultimately find no one source of the problem; they topped it off with taking away protections we, as Americans, had in place because our government is too lazy to try to be more efficient with its efforts. The Bush Administration has complicated the entire issue by choosing which political direction it wants to go on a whim, then make all their facts fit the scenario. Bush has been documented to not want to hear bad news given to him by underlings (a Nelson Review memo), and his Administration is also hindered by its inability to self-reflect and evaluate past decisions, dashing any hope we have to improve our circumstances. Bush’s only diplomatic strategy is to go to war, and his only economic strategy is to repeat the phrase “Buy more things.”
Ask any tough questions or comment on his Administration screwing up, and suddenly you are not Patriotic…or are anti-American……or the king of all labels, “enemy combatant.” When you are stomping out the competition, it helps to form your own reality. Remember, even if your family or legal counsel don’ t know where you are being detained; it’s not technically torture unless you suffer organ failure or die.
May the PATRIOT ACT fade into the “sunset”