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Ron Paul on the renewal of Patriot Act

ComengetitComengetit Member Posts: 1,170 ✭✭✭✭✭
Reconsidering the Patriot Act

May 2, 2005

When Congress passed the Patriot Act in the emotional aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, a sunset provision was inserted in the bill that causes certain sections to expire at the end of 2005. But this begs the question: If these provisions are critical tools in the fight against terrorism, why revoke them after five years? Conversely, if these provisions violate civil liberties, why is it acceptable to suspend the Constitution for any amount of time?

Congress is scheduled to review those sections this year, but there is little chance any portion of the Act will be allowed to lapse. If anything, many members of Congress are eager to expand federal police powers.

Supporters of the Patriot Act argue that its provisions have not been abused since its passage in 2001. In essence, Justice Department officials are claiming, "Trust us-- we're the government and we say the Patriot Act does not threaten civil liberties."

But this argument misses the point. Government assurances simply are not good enough in a free society. The overwhelming burden always must be placed on government to justify any new encroachment on our liberty. Now that the emotions of September 11th have cooled, the American people are less willing to blindly accept terrorism as an excuse for expanding federal surveillance powers.

Many of the most constitutionally offensive measures in the Act are not limited to terrorist offenses, but apply to any criminal activity. In fact, some of the new police powers could be applied even to those engaging in peaceful protest against government policies. The bill as written defines terrorism as acts intended "to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion." Under this broad definition, a scuffle at an otherwise peaceful pro-life demonstration might subject attendees to a federal investigation. We have seen abuses of law enforcement authority in the past to harass individuals or organizations with unpopular political views. Congress has given future administrations a tool to investigate pro-life or gun rights organizations on the grounds that fringe members of such groups advocate violence.

The Patriot Act waters down the Fourth amendment by expanding the federal government's ability to use wiretaps without judicial oversight. The requirement of a search warrant and probable cause strikes a balance between effective law enforcement and civil liberties. Any attempt to dilute the warrant requirement threatens innocent citizens with a loss of their liberty. This is particularly true of provisions that allow for issuance of nationwide search warrants that are not specific to any given location, nor subject to any local judicial oversight.

The Act makes it far easier for the government to monitor your internet usage by adopting a lower standard than probable cause for intercepting e-mails and internet communications. I wonder how my congressional colleagues would feel if all of their e-mail headings and the names of the web sites they visited were available to law enforcement upon a showing of mere "relevance."

It's easy for elected officials in Washington to tell the American people that government will do whatever it takes to defeat terrorism. Such assurances inevitably are followed by proposals either to restrict the constitutional liberties of the American people or spend vast sums from the federal treasury. We must understand that politicians and bureaucrats always seek to expand their power, without regard to the long-term consequences. If you believe in smaller government, ask yourself one simple question: Does the Patriot Act increase or decrease the power of the federal government over your life? The answer is obvious to those who understand that freedom cannot be exchanged for security.

I don't know about you guys but this is just downright wrong, I won't even bother to ask how they do this, but I would like to know why it is that we let them. I guess that answer is obvious too, so when does it become too much? Is there a mythical line somewhere out there that they must cross? If so, what is it? I am completely baffled as to when will enough be enough. You know, the majority of us were born in a really messed up time, meaning it puts us here and now.

You'd think that after all of the horrifying news broadcasts and books about tyranny and despotism that this country would be better qualified to identify it. But, either we, as a whole, don't see it or we refuse to acknowledge it. I'm tending to believe the latter, people in general are pretty stupid and because of this they tend to fall for this type of slow methodical depletion of rights until it is too late. Everyone is guarding the guns thinking that that is the mythical line, it is not. They do not even have to address the gun issues, they just keep on passing laws and we just keep on letting them. Why should they worry about our guns, ain't nobody gonna' use 'em. They know that or by the time people are ready to fight back it will be impossible. It may already be. How are you supposed to mount any kind of response if you are not allowed to train, assemble, speak out against, recruit, educate, and generally inform your brothers and sisters of the state of affairs currently tearing at the core of our existence when every time something is put together they tear it down under the guisse of law?

Those in government are people too, they go home to their families just like I do, why then are they fascilitating this undermining of our civil rights and, quite frankly, our transversal into the inevitable police state that awaits us. Will they be able to enforce these laws when those who are assigned the task of upholding these laws see them for what they really are? Will those who refuse be shot? Where am I? This is surreal. This ain't my Grandfathers' America, no sir. My grandfather is kicking and screaming trying to get out of his burial plot so he can come kick someones *. That, I honestly believe.

So, I guess we can't talk about what we should do, for fear that they are watching us and would surely conjure up some fictitious charges to jail us on, or worse, we have an "accident". It truly is a shame, we were once a proud and free nation, now, we are no more than serfs in this mans' working force. Are you aware that income taxes are illegal, there is no law that dictates we must pay income tax as individuals. Income tax applies to corporations not the individual. This was the main reason we left England some 250 years ago.


There are two kinds of people in this World....Those who lead....and those who get the hell out of the way...GUT CHECK!...Which one are you?

Comments

  • HighballHighball Member Posts: 15,755
    edited November -1
    There is no comfort for you, my friend...nothing to aleviate that great aching primal scream lurking deep within your soul.

    I can do nothing save urge you to have patience. Take your nourishment for your soul from the few people that you can reach.Know that every person you educate..you diminish the beast.

    Know that your are RIGHT..and allow the garbage flung at your head by the minions of the beast..(and their handmaidens, the Compromisers) to merely drop off you as rain off a duck.

    I remain CONVINCED that the best course is to allow/urge the slimy politicians to enact the gun ban...NOTHING ELSE will rouse enough people in time.
  • shootstrightshootstright Member Posts: 342 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Reconsidering the Patriot Act

    This Patriot act may be a good thing now but what
    if say a democRAT like Hilary Clinton was to get in
    office the next time.[8D][:(][:(][:(][:(][:(]
  • pickenuppickenup Member Posts: 22,845 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    shootstright,k
    The UN-patriot act is NOT a good thing now, or EVER.

    The gene pool needs chlorine.
  • salzosalzo Member Posts: 6,837
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by shootstright
    This Patriot act may be a good thing now but what
    if say a democRAT like Hilary Clinton was to get in
    office the next time

    The Patriot act is not a "good thing" now, and it wont be in the future, no matter who is president.
    I luv Republicans-they think all is well because their perception of the "good guys" are in office, and the good guys wouldnt screw americans.
    As Mr. Paul said:
    Supporters of the Patriot Act argue that its provisions have not been abused since its passage in 2001. In essence, Justice Department officials are claiming, "Trust us-- we're the government and we say the Patriot Act does not threaten civil liberties."

    But this argument misses the point. Government assurances simply are not good enough in a free society. The overwhelming burden always must be placed on government to justify any new encroachment on our liberty.

    "Waiting tables is what you know, making cheese is what I know-lets stick with what we know!"
    -Jimmy the cheese man
  • KYfatboyKYfatboy Member Posts: 859 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    you are all correct. the patriot act is not a good thing. it's bad enough now, just think of it when hillary gets in. [}:)]

    parabellem
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