None of the powers created by the Patriot Act would have prevented the events of 9/11, because everything that the government needed to know to prevent 9/11 was known. No new intelligence powers were needed. These new Patriot Act powers are used against people like you -- who have no rational connection to terrorism.
Not a single person who signed the Declaration of Independence would have voted for the Patriot Act. Go to Downsize DC to learn the following about the Patriot Act, and send a letter to your "elected representatives" to repeal it because:
First, The Patriot Act attacks the First Amendment:
- Americans can be investigated for what they read and write, and what websites they've visited
- The Feds can "gag" my bank, my librarian, and my Internet Service Provider, preventing them from telling me if I'm under investigation
- The Feds do not even have to show "reasonable suspicion," let alone "probable cause," to gain access to my records
- Because I can be investigated without my knowledge, I have no means to challenge illegitimate searches
- If the law was used to foil terrorist plots, the Administration would boast about such instances
- Instead, foiled terrorist plots are frequently sting operations using undercover operatives and informants
- Expanded wiretap and search authority are used in ordinary domestic criminal investigations, not just in terror cases
- The Executive branch has a "secret" interpretation of the Patriot Act that is inconsistent with a plain reading of it
- Meanwhile, the FBI continues to collect data collection through National Security Letters -- some 40-50 thousand are issued per year: http://tinyurl.com/3varjc9
Shouldn't citizens of a Republic be ASHAMED of this behavior by their "government?"
The Patriot Act promotes secrecy and prevents accountability in our federal government. It has fostered a Big Brother culture throughout Washington DC that led to similarly egregious legislation like REAL ID and the FISA Amendments Act.
The government consistently trumpets the claim that the Patriot Act is needed to protect our freedoms and our way of life. Actually, laws like the Patriot Act are destroying America.
Consider this alternative history:
One year before 9/11, in the Fall of 2000, "Ayatollah Dagwood," an American-born convert to Islamic Jihadism, was running for President against George W. Bush and Al Gore. His platform called for the abolition of the Constitution, the three branches of government, the FBI, the CIA, and everything else in Washington D.C., and the initiation of the rule of Sharia Law to be carried out by "the Ayatollah" and his supporters.
Of course, that must have been a virtual army of jihadists, to be able to successfully attack the greatest nation on earth on 9/11. Right?
As it turns out, the Ayatollah Dagwood lost the election. The only real support "the Ayatollah" had was from the dozens of 9/11 hijackers and everyone who played a part in the conspiracy that unfolded a year later, on 9/11/2001, which was the act of his supporters in retaliation for this defeat of their candidate.
But suppose he had won the election.
Suppose he abolished the United States. (I have proposed precisely this.) Suppose he abolished:
Department of Education - savings: $72 billion
Department of Energy - savings: $30.8 billion
Department of Agriculture - savings: $131 billion
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - savings: $901 billion
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - savings: $43 billion
Department of Transportation (DOT) - savings: $79.8 Billion
Department of Commerce - savings: $9.2 billion
Department of Labor (DOL) - savings: $116 billion
Department of the Interior (DOI) - savings: $13 billion
Department of Veterans Affairs - savings: $123.7 billion
Department of Justice (DOJ) - Attorney General - savings: $31.3 billion
Department of State (DOS) - savings: $53.8 billion
Department of Defense - savings: $719 billion
Department of the Treasury - savings: $93.94 billion
All the office buildings for these bureaucracies were sold to Apple, Exxon, IBM, Ben & Jerry's, or other corporations. All the federal bureaucrats got jobs with these or other businesses, doing something consumers were willing to pay for voluntarily. All the weapons of mass destruction built and owned by the federal government and ready for deployment on innocent, non-combatant civilians or ready for sale to "allies" like Saudi Arabia were dismantled.
You no longer pay income taxes. Corporate taxes are no longer added to your bill at the checkstand. Your disposable income doubles. Education businesses are promising you kids who are smarter and better-behaved if you enroll them in their schools (which, unlike federally-controlled schools, teach children that the Declaration of Independence is really true). Government roads and government-subsidized petroleum-burning automobiles are being replaced by magnetic hovercraft. Welfare bureaucrats get jobs with churches and non-profits who find jobs for the poor (because federal pro-union labor laws have been abolished) and put an end to perpetual government-subsidized intergenerational poverty.
Now suppose the Ayatollah Dagwood and his jihadist thugs have declared themselves to be the rulers of America, and have decided to impose Sharia Law on America. An America free of the federal government.
Who would carry out the Ayatollah's orders? Who would operate the webcams in every American's bedroom to see if adultery or some other offense against Sharia Law were being committed?
If the federal government were abolished, Sharia Law would be no threat. If the federal government did not have hundreds of military bases around the world, and had not killed a million muslims, terrorist recruiters would not find recruits to threaten retaliation against Americans.
But if the federal government still existed, and still had the power to tax you or print up money to steal purchasing power from your savings, then the federal government could purchase loyalty and promise cushy jobs to those who "just want to feed my family." The federal government could hire these people to open your luggage at airports, read your email, snoop in your medical records, spy on your financial transactions, read the titles of books you check out at the library, and lock the door of your prison cell if you violate Sharia Law and insist on your unalienable rights in the Constitution.
It is U.S government laws like the Patriot Act that are destroying our freedoms and the American way of life. Islamic terrorists are no threat to America. The real enemy of America is the United States.