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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Painful Irony of the PATRIOT Act

Yesterday evening, Congress extended the PATRIOT Act to 2015 and President Obama signed it (sort of). But why? Supposedly it is to protect our rights and freedoms from being taken away. This is a very noble cause, indeed. In fact, I completely agree that nobody should be able to take away our freedoms. That's right, NOBODY. Not even the American government.

So why does the government continue violating our First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights all in the name of "protecting our freedoms"? That, my friends, is a prime example of what we call "irony".

Ryan Safner, who graduated UConn earlier this month and was in UConn Students for Liberty with me for the past few months before that, expressed his opinion (and mine) quite brilliantly on his blog.

So Osama bin Laden is dead.  After 10 years, 2 wars, 919,967 deaths, and $1,188,263,000,000 spent, we managed to kill one man. Does this mean we can finally ... remove the full-body scanners and patdowns at our airports [and] restore our civil liberties stolen through warrantless wiretapping, illegal indefinite detentions, and torture?

And that was before Congress renewed this atrocious and unconstitutional Act. If we don't want the terrorists to take away our rights and freedoms, we should hold our own government to the same standard. Congress should never have extended this atrocity, and it should be repealed, or, barring that, declared unconstitutional.

There is no excuse to let this behavior by the federal government continue. It's common sense - in your attempt to prevent other people from committing a certain act, you should not commit said act yourself. It defeats the purpose of your efforts. I'd chalk this up to the Law of Unintended Consequences, but the government clearly knows what it's doing. And once you understand what the consequences of your actions are, it ceases to become "unintended". If we don't like our freedoms taken away, we should deal with the government first, not the terrorists. Repeal the PATRIOT Act, because it is anything but patriotic.

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