Guest Editorial on the Patriot Act

I recently attended an ACLU sponsored event (within the land of Blue and White) that educated students on the components of the Patriot Act that are egregious (abominable) in comparison to what our Founding Fathers had envisioned for the citizens of the United States.  Hell, under USPA Section 802 Definition of Domestic Terrorism, domestic terrorism can be defined as: (A)” involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended-- (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping;” Doesn’t that basically make all of our Founding Fathers terrorists?  Did they not conduct a war against the British? Did they not intimidate those against breaking away from “the homeland”? Did they not dump tea during the Boston Tea Party to dispute tea taxes?  Did they not “affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction of British goods? kill British troops? kidnap any British officials?  Well in my opinion, as well as just about every history book I have ever read, our Founding Fathers did engage in these activities, so are they not terrorists by the statutes of the Patriot Act?

 I feel George Orwell has the best reasoning behind why the Patriot Act was passed, which states "…the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.”  It seems no truer words have been spoken in regards to the ease that the Patriot Act had been passed following the tragedy of September 11th, but should we really be surprised?  History has once again repeated itself, as the events that are occurring today are perfect parallels relating to the events of February 27th, 1933, which for those unfamiliar with modern history, should note that this was the day that the Reichstag went ablaze, allowing Adolph Hitler to convince President Hindenburg that the German nation was under attack by the communists, thus suspending the German citizens’ basic civil rights.  Well, we all know how that turned out, as one can venture to the Holocaust Monuments and see the following: "When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn't a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak."

Now before I get slammed by the masses for comparing the US to Nazi Germany, I would like to note that I personally do not sympathize with Hitler in the persecution of millions, nor do I think that President Bush is following a Nazi-like doctrine at present, but I would like the reader to ponder how both events were strong catalysts in the passing of very repressive statutes and laws restricting both personal freedoms, and civil liberties.  On another note, I would also like to state that I feel the whole Patriot Act issue is not a Conservative vs. Liberal issue in the means that the Bush propaganda machine through the mouth of Ashcroft has tried to instill it to be.  As George Bush said, “You are either for us or against us,” a statement that basically perpetuates the notion that opponents of the Patriot Act are either “for terrorism, or against terrorism…” Now how much harder does that make opposition?  Its kind of like the Drugs and Terrorism campaign, that in my opinion mimics tactics used by the Committee on Public Information spearheaded by George Creel during WWI, making Americans feel that if they oppose something, they are unpatriotic, or traitors to their country; In the case of the Drug War, opponents of the current drug stance “fuel terrorists (Osama Bin Laden) through purchases of marijuana,” as well as other absurd statements.  Now I don’t know about you folks, but does this not create a black and white environment that doesn’t allow a “gray” opinion meshing the black with the white?  Its either you support the terrorists by buying drugs, or you support the government attempts to erase terrorism by abstaining from drugs; The same rings true with notion of the Patriot Act, as one can either be for protecting the USA from terrorism, or support terrorism by opposing the act.

On a newsworthy note, USATODAY published a Gallup Poll on their website asking the following question: “One provision in the Patriot Act allows federal agents to secretly search a U.S. citizen’s home without informing the person of that search for an unspecified period of time.  Do you approve or disapprove of this provision?”  Well folks the results were pretty interesting, as 71% of the respondents were disapproving of that measure, which coincidently does not have a sunset clause. .

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