The patriot act. Another government power over us that circumvents the constitution and the liberties we enjoy. Employing high tech surveillance of domestic citizens with the hope that we can stop terrorists attacks. Yet it doesn’t work. As evidenced by the Boston Marathon bombing. Terrorists know where we are looking and learn to avoid methods. Electronic surveillance is not helpful enough, given the tremendous amount of data that is available. Historically governments can not be trusted with unlimited power. Yet because of fear over 9/11 people willingly surrendered their privacy in the hope that we would be protected. A flawed concept and the wrong answer.
The patriot act is an excuse to be able to oversee someone’s every move. Ostensibly to “protect us”. We are expected to believe that the government will be able to restrain themselves and not abuse that power. History says impossible. Worse surrendering our privacy is based on a flawed concept. If we give law enforcement and intelligence bureaus unlimited data we will be safer. Wrong, and not supported by historical precedents. Think about this. Prisons in the US are the most monitored restricted section of our society. Yet we can appreciably stop anything from happening there? Humans are inventive destructive creatures. If you tighten the surveillance you naturally select for “the best of the best” they get better at hiding. In my opinion the stated goal of catching terrorist cells in the US is impossible. No matter how much data they have someone will find a way. How well did the US do in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In the 90’s they bombed the world trade center still we had no idea they would attack it again. Ridiculous to think that personal privacy was the major barrier to protection. Russia has oppressive surveillance compared to US. Still Chechen rebels attack all the time. It is a flawed premise that just doesn’t work. Except as a tool of intimidation and information gathering for your own law abiding populace. That has a direct negative effect on freedom. Have I brought unwanted attention just by writing this. Maybe I could end up being an FBI focus. Just by exercising my freedom of speech.
Somehow we are supposed to believe that FBI will be able to pull produce terrorists out of an even bigger pile of data, everyone’s phone records. I call BS on this. Yes, if you want to catch someone and you have a idea who it is and what they want this would be helpful. Why not make them get a warrant instead of fishing. If you assume guilt then the patriot act makes sense. That is the opposite of the US justice system that I was taught.
Ok surrender my freedom, but does it work? I am not an expert but look at the record. How many big cells in the US have been caught? They roll out examples of terrorist idiots with x-ray machines as examples of “50” plots thwarted. Yet two kids detonated two bombs in the middle of Boston. They were caught in 72 hours because of the video from the phones they were monitoring. How helpful is that?
It sounds good to law enforcement and government agencies. It is not worth the loss of privacy. We are but a few steps away from what the founding fathers feared most monolithic government oppression.
I am of the opinion that fear is what drives this. Not reality. We are afraid so we give up freedoms. One little bit at a time. We keep letting people in power get more and more power. All in the name of “Terrorism”, “health” “the children”. For a concept, not an enemy. You will never stop terrorism, just individual terrorists. Each small liberty surrendered is 10 times the effort to regain. Historically can people in power be trusted? NO. Should we stop this march towards Orwellian dystopia? YES.
With each small link the chain is forged, until we wake up in irons. That is the nature of power and people. It must be stopped. People need to wake up. Make your outrage heard. Stop this before we lose the ability to challenge those in power.
Did medieval serfs know that by working for landowner they would eventually end up virtual slaves? Probably not. We should. The federal government becomes more and more monolithic everyday. They dictate healthcare, education, the military, and money. How far are we away from serfdom? Some would say we are there now. You don’t own your home you rent it from the state. They take it away if you don’t pay your taxes. That is not ownership, it is serfdom to the state.
Forced DNA test and checks are now law of the land thanks to the Supreme court. The federal government can essentially track your every move. All in the name our safety. It is an illusion. Surrendering you freedom to feel safer is not a fair trade. Well fed complacency and fear is ending liberty. One little bit at a time so we don’t feel it and don’t complain. All in the name of the common good. Which history teaches us is “their” good and our common toil.
What can you do? Well if enough people; write, email, and call enough of their representatives then this can end. Either that or let your children have to deal with a country that mouths words like “land of the free” with irony rather than pride.