I call it a two-week old pile of dog shit. The kind that looks benign
but when you poke it with a stick, it stinks up the neighborhood.
Patriot Act: US version of democracy, Hmmm hmm...
Just a few hours before the midnight deadline of May 26, 2011, the US
President Barack Obama signed a 4-year extension of the controversial
USA Patriot Act to prove that his strategic plans are not
significantly different from those of his hawkish predecessor, George
W. Bush, who showed to the international community the real face of
the American democracy with his warmongering policies.
Patriot Act is an Act of the US Congress which allows private security
firms under the supervision of the government to monitor and search
American citizens' phone conversations, email communications, medical,
financial and official records to discover potential terrorism-related
threats and foil the probable plots which can jeopardize the country's
Some certain provisions of the Patriot Act also deal with the foreign
immigrants suspected of terrorism-related activities and facilitate
their deportation or incarceration under the US law.
The renewed extension of the Patriot Act involves three main
stipulations including roving wiretaps, court-ordered searches of
business records and conducting surveillance of the individuals
engaged in terrorism-related activities without being linked to
renowned terrorist organizations.
By signing into law the 4-year extension of the Patriot Act, President
Obama once again confirmed that his appealing slogan of change and
alluring gestures and promises to the American nation were essentially
futile and unfounded.
The US Senate passed the bill with a wide margin of 72-23, permitting
the government to adopt all the necessary measures to ensure the
domestic security of the United States, despite the argumentations of
the opponents of the law who believed the Patriot Act violates the
privacy of the citizens and is contrary to their civil liberties.
The House of Representatives also voted 250-153 and endorsed the
extension, signed into law while President Obama was in France,
attending the summit of the G8 leaders in Paris.
The Republican leader of the US Senate Mitch McConnell jubilantly
hailed the extension, calling the Patriot Act "an invaluable
terror-fighting tool" which helps the US stay ahead of the terrorists
who want to attack Washington.
However, there were also rational and sane people in the US Senate and
House of Representatives who realized the evil nature of the law and
warned their government against the terrible consequences of passing
such a controversial bill. They have come to the conclusion that
passing a bill which allows the government to eavesdrop the telephone
conversations and email communications of its citizens are far beyond
the so-called values of a country which calls itself a "beacon of
freedom" and "cradle of democracy."
The Oregon's democrat senator Ron Wyden was among those who warned
against passing the bill, saying that "I believe that when more of my
colleagues and the American public come to understand how the Patriot
Act has actually been interpreted in secret, they will insist on
significant reforms too."
According to CNET News columnist Declan McCullagh, among the three
sections of the Patriot Act which were renewed on May 26, the
Democratic senators are mainly concerned with Section 215 which
enables FBI agents to obtain any tangible item, "including "books,
records, papers, documents, and other items" from the citizens in
cases which the possibility of a terrorism-related act is felt. This
is in fact a flagrant violation of the personal freedom of the
American citizens and an indelible blot on the reputation of the
United States as a political entity which has always advocated itself
as the number one defender of democracy and democratic values.
As said by McCullagh, the US Justice Department confirmed in March
that Section 215 of the Patriot Act "has been used to obtain driver's
license records, hotel records, car rental records, apartment leasing
records, credit card records, and the like."
Now, the extension of Patriot Act has stirred up widespread
controversy in the United States. Democratic senators and
anti-capitalist activists and journalists who constitute the vocal
critics of the Patriot Act have stepped up pressures on the White
House to abort the law or at least modify parts of it which are in
clear infringement of the individual freedom of the American citizens.
The opponents of the law say that since the 9/11 attacks which some
authentic personalities believe was a false flag operation carried out
with the complicity of Mossad and CIA, the US government waged two
unjustifiable wars in the Middle East and took unreasonable steps to
build up pressure on its own citizens while it knew well that no
terrorist organization had threatened its security.
They say that the United States developed some kind of conspiracy
theory following the 9/11 attacks and turned into the adversary of its
own people and the people of the world by throwing accusations of
terrorism at everybody; however, this is an undeniable fact that the
US government has been constantly the big supporter and sponsor of
terrorism and terrorist organizations all around the world. Some good
examples can be the US government's support for Saddam Hussein during
the 8-year war with Iran and its close links with Osama bin Laden and
backing him during the Afghan-Soviet war.
Lo and behold, the Patriot Act is a clear instance of how the United
States regularly fails to practice what it preaches. Patriot Act
unveils that the United States cannot continue to champion itself as
the number one defender of freedom and democracy, even if its powerful
propaganda machinery continues to advertise this claim. The Patriot
Act demonstrates that the United States cannot even provide its own
citizens with freedom and democratic values, let alone the other
nations of the world to whim the United States wants to export
democracy and freedom through wars and military expeditions.