Politics Magazine

Government Is Abusing The Patriot Act

Posted on the 07 June 2013 by Jobsanger
Government Is Abusing The Patriot Act Right after the 9/11 attacks on this country, Americans were terrified of terrorists. And the Bush administration used that fear to gain far-reaching new powers for the federal government by passing the Patriot Act. Bush, and the supporters of that bill in Congress (of both parties), assured Americans that the government needed the new powers to curb terrorism -- and that the government would never abuse those new powers.
There were many of us, especially those of us who had seen the government abuses against the anti-war and pro-civil rights movements, who didn't believe those assurances. We warned that the government would abuse the new law to violate the privacy rights of American citizens, and urged that the new law be repealed because it was a violation of constitutional rights -- but we were ignored. The new bogeyman (terrorism) was just too scary.
Now (and I say this with no joy) it turns out we were right. The government, under both the Bush and Obama administrations has been engaging in a massive abuse of the Patriot Act. We now know that the government has not just been receiving information of phone calls of terrorist suspects, or even just those calls being made to people outside of this country. Evidence has been verified that shows the government, by using a secret order, has been receiving ALL of the phone calls made by American citizens through Verizon. And you know, if they are doing this with Verizon, they are doing it with all of the other telecommunications companies also.
The sad fact is that the government doesn't understand the concept of "limited use" of any law or power. If you give them a new power, they will stretch that power to the point of abuse every time -- and it doesn't matter if a Republican or Democrat is in power. Americans today don't seem to understand what our Founding Fathers knew beyond doubt -- that government simply cannot be trusted. That's why they included a "Bill of Rights" in the Constitution. They wanted the powers of government to be limited -- so that it served the people, and not vice versa.
Unfortunately, fear allowed the government to abridge many of those constitutional rights by passing, and then abusing, the Patriot Act. The government does not need, and should not have, this kind of unbridled power -- and the Patriot Act should be repealed in its entirety as soon as possible. Giving our government this kind of unconstitutional power is far more dangerous to our freedoms than any terrorist ever could be.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has spoken out on this newly revealed abuse of the Patriot Act, and he makes a lot of sense. Here is what he says:
“As one of the few members of Congress who consistently voted against the Patriot Act, I expressed concern at the time of passage that it gave the government far too much power to spy on innocent United State citizens and provided for very little oversight or disclosure.  Unfortunately, what I said turned out to be exactly true. “The United States should not be accumulating phone records on tens of millions of innocent Americans. That is not what democracy is about. That is not what freedom is about. Congress must address this issue and protect the constitutional rights of the American people.”  “While we must aggressively pursue international terrorists and all of those who would do us harm, we must do it in a way that protects the Constitution and the civil liberties which make us proud to be Americans.” 

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