Thomas Jefferson said it best, “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” Sadly the people weren’t able to ‘chain’ down the government; instead the government is in the process of chaining us down. Fear is the number one tool used to oppress the people and strip them of their liberty. Fear has led to the rise of fascist states, such as Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and the blind following of thousands to commit atrocities against ones fellow man. Today our beloved country is headed on the path so many great and extinct nations have headed down before. With the seemingly perpetual wars in the Middle East to the constant fear instilled on us by our government, the time of a free and prosperous America is limited.
9/11 is a day which will be stamped in the minds of all people who have lived through it. From the harrowing efforts of our fellow man sacrificing life and limb to save one another to the horrific live scenes of the eventual collapse of the former most iconic buildings in the New York skyline. We will never forget, but what most people do forget, or never even knew about, is that a law called the PATRIOT Act was passed by our congress and signed into law shortly following the attacks that gave the government immense power over the people. This law was passed due to one thing and one thing only, fear. The government exploited the fear of the people, the fear of more attacks, to partake in one of the greatest power grabs of all time. Here is a short list of some of the constitutional rights the PATRIOT Act killed:
-Freedom of Association – Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.
- Freedom of Information – Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.
-Freedom of Speech – Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
-Right to Legal Representation – Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
-Freedom from Unreasonable Searches – Government may search and seize Americans’ papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
-Right to a Speedy and Public Trial – Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
-Right to Liberty – Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.
That is a lot of rights we no longer have. No matter what your opinion is on our wars, economy, and whatever else may be wrong with this nation, you cannot ignore the fact that our constitution is what reigns supreme in this country, and when is is trampled upon like it has been, things need to change! Sadly, the PATRIOT Act isn’t the only thing that is killing our liberty, another more recent law signed by President Obama just last year called the NDAA of 2012 is just as bad, if not, worse than the PATRIOT Act.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 completely legalizes the indefinite detention of American citizens by our very own government! Say goodby to trials, because that’s a thing of the past. If the government doesn’t like you then all they have to do is lock you up and throw away the key then look away, it is that easy. One great example of this is the Bradley Manning incident. Manning leaked thousands of classified documents the the whistle blower site, Wiki leaks. Since he was caught, in 2010, he has been detained without a trial way past the 120 day limit the military sets at the time frame a trial must take place. But, due to our ignorance and fear, this is very much legal. It is a sad day when our right are openly exploited.
Regardless of one’s political association there is no denying the fact that are liberties are being destroyed more and more by the day. When the people are able to wake up and see this, real change can be enacted. We will no longer have to choose our presidents based on choosing between the lesser of two evils, but we will be able to choose based on our beliefs in liberty and the democratic way. One day, and one day soon, our country will revert to the envisoned republic of our forefathers, or else our children and their children will be growing up in a very different America. In closing I will leave you with yet another Thomas Jefferson quote, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”