Bills which pass through Congress are often misnamed. The Senate failed to pass the USA Freedom Act. Although it would have changed some policies of the NSA, it would also have renewed certain provisions of the Patriot Act until 2017. Both sound as though they would be good for the American people, when in fact they remove freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution in the 4th amendment. One bad law down; the Patriot Act is next.
Former Congressman, now a critic of many of our government actions and inaction, Ron Paul, praised those in the Senate who rejected the Freedom Act. Paul is now 79 years old and remains one of the most consistent opponents of our nation’s policy of spying on its citizens.
Mr. Paul’s libertarian philosophy appears to be extremism at times. However, his supporters tout his anti-war position; his stance on government spending; his strict adherence to the wording of the Constitution; and his devotion to the principles of autonomy and freedom of choice.
Any law passed by Congress which negates a section of our Constitution must be repealed. To take away any of our civil rights for any and all purposes is to deny the efforts and intelligence of our founding fathers.
The Patriot Act and its purpose of removal of an individual’s right to privacy is unconscionable. Because it exists, it has allowed law enforcement agencies to add ensuing illegal action while performing their duties.
All across the nation money and valuables are being seized while officers are executing simple traffic stops. Under the guise of ‘feeling threatened,’ they are stealing from average citizens, and using the value of confiscated items to purchase equipment and weapons.
Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul and the Junior Republican Senator from Kentucky, said he has minor misgivings about not voting for the Freedom Act. He said he realizes that if he voted for it, it may have passed. However, he shares many of his father’s views and extending any provisions of the Patriot Act would result in the continued denial of the civil rights of millions of Americans.
The Patriot Act was a ‘knee jerk’ reaction after the events of 9/11. Fear created it, and attaching the word ‘patriot’ to the bill convinced millions of ill-informed Americans that it was a good idea. The Patriot Act will be reviewed by the 114th Congress, well before its expiration date. The fear of most who believe it is un-Constitutional is that the Republican Congress will uphold this dangerous law.
When Edward Snowden revealed the illegal and immoral practices by the NSA, 536 people in Washington, including the President, denounced him as a traitor. Neither Congress nor the Supreme Court will protect the law of the land. Without whistleblowers such as Snowden, we would not know about the evils our government perpetrates. Without Bradley Manning the evils committed in Iraq would be forever hidden from the American people.
These mostly old white men in Washington remain unaware that social media makes it extremely difficult to act covertly in the 21st century. Although a few high-ranking members of the Bush administration who were guilty regarding the Valerie Plame incident escaped prosecution, we all know what truly happened. Washington was protecting their own. And yes, it’s true, it is us against them.
By James Turnage