The “Change We Can Believe In” sure keeps looking like more of the same.
EDITORIAL – In the aftermath of the September 11th Attacks, the United States Congress hurriedly passed, without reading, and the President signed, the three hundred and forty-two page behemoth known as the USA PATRIOT ACT. Thereby legislatively gutting any remnant of our inherent right to privacy as outlined in the fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Politicians, such as Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) sought to calm the fears of civil libertarians by attaching a ‘sunset’ clause so as to require the act’s repeal unless extended by the congress.
Provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act first came up for review in 2005, a time in which the great color-guide of terror still readily flashed across television screens helping to keep the specter of terrorism at the forefront of the American psyche. Thus with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq entering their fourth and second years respectively, coupled with the security provided by term-limits, the 43rd Executive, George W. Bush, upped the paranoia level with forecasts of bad ‘gut’ feelings and propagandized news headlines in order to further secure the central authority’s new “legalized” tools of tyranny.
At the conclusion of the tireless fear mongering, the USA PATRIOT Act’s sunset portion was extended until December of this year. Thus, with the act set to expire yet again, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, who originally sought to counter worries over the act, opted to author S. 1629 the “USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2009”, thereby pushing any hope of legitimate legislative relief out past 2013, conveniently also just beyond the 44th Executive, Barrack Obama’s reelection bid.
In addition, it is possible that the Congress may opt to deflect additional criticisms in whole by resorting to one of the most tired political maneuvers on the hill, renaming the PATRIOT Act entirely. One proposed alternative; “The JUSTICE Act”, extending even further a truly demented sense of irony embraced exclusively by the plutocratic oligarchs who delight in seemingly sex-like gratification by exerting control over the lives of others.
S. 1629 seeks to extend some of the most controversial of the act’s powers, among which are domestic warrantless wiretapping in conjunction with ‘National Security Letters’. The latter provides the ability to snoop through an individual’s home, bank, medical, and/or telephone records, ergo LIFE, without probable cause, notice, or permission. Once again, like ‘political manna from heaven’ old-media evening news headlines flash and proclaim the latest terrorist arrests, coincidentally providing a national pedestal for police-state plutocrats of ‘either’ party to claim a necessity in curtailing Constitutional restraints on the federal government in favor of catching vaguely defined ‘evildoers’.
More so, the reality of the matter is that with all the ballyhoo of “needing” these essential “tools” in order to win the ‘War on Terror’, the USA PATRIOT ACT has yielded few legitimate results. To the contrary, the powers granted to the Central Authority’s varied intelligence/police apparatuses have largely resulted in repeated and continued abuses of power.
Of the several hundred “sneak and peak” warrants executed under power decreed from the USA PATRIOT Act, only three were related at all to terrorism. The majority were used in investigations of illegal narcotics, to which, Assistant Attorney General David Kris, flippantly replied during testimony:
“I guess it’s not surprising to me that it applies in drug cases.”
Assistant Attorney General
Department of Justice
Fellow readers, it is very alarming indeed that a piece of legislation sold and hence foisted upon us out of necessity in ‘combating terrorism’ elicits no surprise in its misapplication and utter violation of inherent liberties. Are we to now believe that the “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror” are one in the same; liberty be damned across the board?
This is just the latest example of the audacious and contemptuous behavior displayed by the wretches who clutch the reins of power. A power, which as expected and as we were warned, has like a cancer, spread throughout the seats of our government, and the American Republic.
Moreover, for those whom profess to cherish liberty, it must surely incite nausea to realize that many who were apprehended and branded as “persons of interest” or “terrorists” were quietly let go after the Central Authority failed to find any evidence of criminal activity; terrorism, drugs, or otherwise. Nevertheless, lives and reputations ruined wholly by mere suspicion/retribution by the state, i.e. Terrorism Theater.
It should also be noted that some of the innocent and unfortunate souls who fell victim to these wanton abuses of power were released with far less fanfare than the fist pumping “chicken-hawk”, tough on terror machismo displayed upon their capture. The ruined reputations viewed merely as “collateral damage” by a Central Authority who used the fallacious arrests like pawns in a chess match solely as a means to retain their pornographic lust of power over the common person.
It is most aptly apparent, that the representatives who inhabit the halls of our American government have failed to listen to our repeated injuries endured under such a repugnant “Act”. Let fall on deaf ear, our disdain over banker and auto manufacturer bailouts, continued torture through “Executive Order” vis-à-vis Rendition, and health care.
Instead, the banker beholden plutocrats attempt to label ‘We the People’ and our dissent as “un-American”, “Nazi”, “racist”. Let it be known that they shall disregard Liberty’s demands to repeal in its entirety, the USA PATRIOT Act at their own peril.
It may yet take actual Patriots to show these tyrants how to Act appropriately.