Monday, April 20, 2009

The PATRIOT Act Rears its Ugly Head

I said it before and I'll say it again: The scariest part about the recent Department of Homeland Security memo for me is that it abuses the system set into place to protect us.

An obnoxious side note to this is that many who cried foul on the left that the Bush administration would abuse the measures which were set in place during the "War on Terror" and use them against American citizens in a Big Brother-like manner are now stonily silent as the head of the Department of Homeland security raises the alarm that millions of regular Americans are terror threats. Those described in the DHS Report's only crime is serving their country in the military, holding supposed "Right-wing Extremist" viewpoints and/or exercising their constitutionally protected rights to question their government and gather in groups of protest in order to do so.

The recent infamous anti-Right Wing, anti-military report was a rude awakening for many of us. Now that we've seen the Department of Homeland security abusing this system, I ask you: What's stopping them from using the Patriot Act in the same manner?

This is what the Patriot Act is, and allows the government to do:

The PATRIOT Act, which is an acronym for Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, permits the following:

-Secret FBI and Police searches of homes and offices.

-Secret government wiretaps on phones, computers and/or Internet activity.

-Secret investigations of bank records, credit cards and other financial records.

-Secret investigations of library and book activities.

-Secret examinations of medical records.

-The freezing of funds and assests without prior notice or appeal.

And, many of us, myself included, thought that this patriot act would probably only be used on those who were suspected of Terrorism. Namely, involved in Islamofascist terror groups.

And now, the system which is meant to warn American citizens of actual terrorist actions similar to the 9/11 attacks is being used against many of those same Americans to declare them as being dangerous.

Since the new Department of Homeland Security seems not to care about releasing publicly the measures set in place by the Bush administration that are meant to be seen publicly, I wonder, what would stop them from spying on our internet activities, our emails and phone lines, and conduct searches of our homes and offices, merely because we are, Pro-Life, Anti-Illegal Immigration, or have any number of the many ideals one could hold under the broad umbrella of the "Right-Wing?"

And according to a recent Northeast Intelligence Network report, the FBI has been doing just that. They had cameras and surveillance of the events, specifically targeting TEA party participants. One heroic FBI agent risked his livelihood in order to make this information known. According to him, “The implications to the citizens of the U.S. are ominous. It seems that there is a hostile political agenda coming from Washington that characterizes the supporters of our constitutional freedoms as threats to our domestic security, which is totally absurd. The redirection, the refocusing of domestic threats from al Qaeda cells to ‘flag waving right-wingers’ is something that has gone from a murmur a few years ago to a roar today.”

Scary, scary stuff. Which leads me to mournfully ask why?
Man oh man, Bush administration, man oh man congress, why did you ever pass that darn Patriot act? Can't you see that even if your intents were noble, that even if you were going to use the measures toward fighting the War on Terror, that future administrations could come along and use the system differently than you intended it to be used? All my paranoid Libertarian friends' words are coming back to haunt me, and they just won't quit!


TimothyKB said...

That is scary stuff, and it's more than a little hypocritical.

myabominableforcefield said...

I agree.

Purple Crayon said...

You make an excellent point when you say that when we give government power, we have no idea how FUTURE administrations will use that power. I think a lot of us were sleeping during the enactment of the Patriot Act. We really did not think forward to the time when a more sinister person, or group of thugs, might be in power.

But I know of a very smart group of people who DID foresee this.....and they blessed us with documents designed to protect us from this very thing. Thank the Lord for our Founding Fathers! May wake up in greater and greater numbers and do them proud as we stand up against the encroachment of government over the next four years and beyond.