Right after the morning of September 11, 2001 which left Manhattan to deal with its horrors with the nation watching on all channels, including ESPN and Comedy Channel. Bush, after the series of meetings with the U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, proposed the Patriot Act to "protect the Americans" by permitting the government to do what is needed to stop the "terrorism" in the United States.
I can understand. Hell, I don't want another act of terrorism on my country ... ever again. Of course, it is extremely important that we combat the terrorists to ensure that the 9/11 situation will never happen again. But this law is simply wrong, inhumane and a disaster waiting to happen!
But the Patriot Act is John Ashcroft's orgasm. It is no secret that John Ashcroft is pro-Christian, criticized gays, suppressed lots of people who questioned his activities. With the Patriot Act, John Ashcroft reserved the power to do whatever he wanted. The Patriot Act itself goes against the basic principles of our constitution.
To go by each line is impossible since the Patriot Act itself is 347 pages long.
Basically, the Patriot Act authorized the government to monitor what kind of books we read, buy or even signed out of a library or a bookstore. It gives them the right to search our homes and businesses without prior notification, monitor our electronic communications and the worst of all, lock non-citizens to be locked up without charges on the decision of U.S. Attorney General.
Did you know that the government reserved the right to confiscate your property if you engaged in civil disobedience? Did you know that the Act permitted the FBI agents to investigate your background for any criminal matters without a reason? They reserve the right to snoop in and if you object, they will say: "The Patriot Act allowed me to do that."
There was an article in the Gay City News in New York not a long time ago. A gay man in his 50s from Provincetown, Massachusetts went to Montreal (or Toronto?) to visit his old friends and when he rode on the train back to the United States, the customs agent asked him for his identification et al. When the gay man provided the necessary information, few minutes later, the homophobic customs agent bellowed to the gay man in front of everyone, "Did you know that you were arrested in early 1980s for indecent exposure?"
The gay man already paid his dues to the society, but that does not matter to the agent. The gay man was not a terrorist nor an activist by any means, he was simply a man who wanked his dick when he was in early 30s. The agent reserved the powers, thanks to the Patriot Act, to humiliate and berate him on the spot. He filed a complaint, but his lawyers said that the chances to redeem himself is remote because the Patriot Act permitted that.
Did you know that the Patriot Act permitted the Attorney General to lock up the noncitizens for a long period of time without a trial? That is not all. The Attorney General reserved the right not to provide the detainees with counsel or even issue a statement to indicate that one is being detained? Not only that, even as a citizen of this country, if the Attorney General determined that you are a nuisance, he can use this provision to detain you without a counsel or a trial. Just like that. He can accuse you of this, that and there and refuse to provide proof, probably citing the "national security" to mute you of your liberties and rights.
Does this sound like the Gestapo during the Nazi Germany? First, they classified Jews as noncitizens, then swept Jews without trial or a statement. This time, it is not Jews or Americans, it's someone else.
You have to reason a little -- think of the future. If John Ashcroft or his office did not abuse the Act as of now (but he did, anyway), someone will. It is the way it is -- people will use anything to advance their powers. The Patriot Act is a bad omen, one that shall comes with a heavy price with our constitution, someday. Common sense and history indicates that it shall happen.
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry and many others always believed that to be wary of our government is good for the nation, good for the country. So when you see something wrong, it is OK to object. But to Bush and Ashcroft, it is a threat to the national security. They can use this to make you disappear off the map if they wanted to.
That is the key: If.