By Frank Schier
Editor & Publisher
I am amazed at the United States citizens’ full-fledged apathy towards the USA Patriot Act passed in 2001 by President George W. Bush and extended in 2011 by President Obama.
This privacy destroyer is now up for further extension, which is being sold as a revision.
As the latest sunset deadline of June 1st approaches, National Public Radio, particularly The Diane Rehm Show, is one of the few national media outlets to address this crucial issue in a balanced manner.
A shining example of Orwellian “Newspeak,” the full title of the USA Patriot Act acronym is: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”.
For those who haven’t met our Animal Farm friend George Orwell, let us turn to everyone’s internet familiar, Wikipedia for this fine introduction: “Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell.
“It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as ‘thoughtcrime.’”
A new example of “thoughtcrime” might be: “Suggesting letting the USA Patriot Act expire, in these days of Terrorism, ISIS and the re-emergence of the Cold War with Russia.”
Commit a thoughtcrime. Reject the Bush and now the Obama administrations, as well as the Republican and Democratic parties’ construct of fear-mongering, to enable the violation of our basic rights.
The windows and doors for abuse are wide open. The electronic surveillance may be applied to “suspected terrorists.” That could be you. A file could be opened on you tomorrow. It might be open now.
Talk about outside looking in.
The “sneak and peak warrants” also apply to any federal crime, so your phones and computers can be tapped and your home broken into and searched without the normal warrant process, and you will never be notified.
The mass data sweeps revealed by Edward Snowden would supposedly stop under this revision as well as the roving searches formerly allowed. The supposed revisions supposedly provide for a court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to review of these warrants with the input of a citizen advocate.
As Snowden revealed, your government cannot be trusted in these matters. This Anti-Patriot Act needs to be revoked.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) reportedly supports renewing the Patriot Act without changes. He may be bowing to pressure provided by Kentucky Senator and Presidential Candidate Rand Paul’s threat filibuster the bill.
But as noted, a recent appeals federal court ruling rejecting the routine government sweep of U.S. phone records contributes to the revision effort, but does not eliminate the basic Bill of Rights violations.
This legislation effectively destroys the Bill of Rights—Amendment IV: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Do you associate with the “wrong” people? You or they could join the new Orwellian “unpersons” not “secure in the persons, etc…”
We fought a revolution against England to resist this unallowable intrusion. But who cares about that now-a-days? I’d add a new Orwellian term for those who don’t care about their basic rights, “Apathycrats.” Like many federal intelligence bureaucrats, Apathycrats institutionalize the steady destruction of our Constitution.
For more about speaking about receiving Patriot Act supoenas, providing information about lawyers, and what you library has to do under the Patriot Act, plus great pros and cons, go to: npr.org/news/specials/patriotact/patriotactprovisions.html.
Consider your “Ownlife”, everyone’s property, personal and privacy rights; they are at stake. Call your U.S. Senators—TODAY! The vote may happen tomorrow.
711 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
524 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510