Those crafty people who dislike the constitution weren’t going to stop when the Patriot Act II had to be shelved because of massive backlash. Hidden within an intelligence spending bill, a provision that expands the original patriot act was just passed.
The new provision expands the definition of a financial institution to allow the CIA and FBI to subpoena information from many more types of institutions.
Does anyone else find it alarming that, aside from the power to obtain this information without a judges approval, the people giving the information are put under a gag order so they can’t talk about it? The FBI claims it can’t disclose how many times it has done this because of national security reasons.
Let’s take a look at what the Patriot Act does:
1. The power to collect private information on it’s citizens
2. The power to detain it’s citizens without declared reasons and without access to an attorney, for an indefinite amount of time
3. The power to force those involved in collecting this information to not ever disclose that the activities took place
4. The right to keep secret the frequency of use of the above powers to it’s citizens
I know this parellel has been drawn a lot, but taking a look at the above items can you honestly say this isn’t eerily similar to the powers used by the Nazis on their own citizens? I guess the only thing missing is killing millions of their own people. Doesn’t the fact that the terrorists have forced the US to become a drastically less free society mean they’ve already won? And it’s scary that this is exactly what Bush and Ashcroft want! They want more power over their citizens. They’ve never said “We don’t like this — but it’s at least a temporary reality until we defeat the terrorists.” This is the NEW reality.
The funny thing is that I’m not a US citizen, but I do live in the US, and I’m much more alarmed by this than anyone else I talk to. Most people will just say “Yeah, I don’t like it…” and that’s it. Throw the undemocratic asshole who did this out of office! Do something about it! Tell other people!
I don’t feel so alarmed by this becuase I currently live in the US. I am only here temporarily and I think freedoms here will erode much more over the next few years if Bush is still in office. The reason I’m alarmed is that it scares the crap out of me that the most powerful country on this planet is becoming less free. I think US foreign policy is horrible already, and I can’t image how much worse it’ll be if hard-line right-wingers keep running the show.
Anyways, here’s a link to explain the expansion to the Patriot Act.