Just Let The Patriot Act Die
Commenting today on the legislative battle in the United States Senate about whether to reinstate provisions of the Patriot Act, the New York Times has published an article with the hadline, In Debate Over Patriot Act, Lawmakers Weigh Risks Vs. Liberty.
It sounds like a legitimate concern: How do we balance our desire for freedom with the need for protection from terrorists?
There’s just one little catch: Reality. Over the fourteen years it has been active, there has been no evidence at all that the Patriot Act has ever prevented any terrorist attacks in the United States. Besides, almost all of the uses of the Patriot Act have been for investigations of crimes that have nothing at all to do with terrorism.
So, the debate of risks versus liberty is a farce. The debate is over imagined risks versus real loss of liberty. The New York Times, by attempting to show that both sides of the debate have equal merit, and that liberty must of course be compromised, is repeating the propaganda of those who want to maintain and grow a totalitarian surveillance state in blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
In the past, U.S. senators have justified legislation like the USA Freedom Act, which maintains gigantic loopholes to enable Big Brother surveillance against Americans to continue, by saying that, although they would like strong reforms of the Patriot Act, that’s just not possible at this time – maybe later. That excuse is no longer valid, however.
The Patriot Act is dead. All U.S. senators have to do to prevent the abuses of the Patriot Act from continuing is to refuse to vote for any bill that reinstates any of the provisions of the Patriot Act. The default now is total reform.
Any supposed “reform” bill will actually make things worse than the status quo, making our private lives vulnerable to government spies for no good reason. The USA Freedom Act is thus a clear step in the wrong direction.
The only vote that can be justified by any politician who claims to support the Constitution and to love freedom is a vote against the USA Freedom Act.
The time has come to let the Patriot Act die, completely and finally.