POLL: The PATRIOT Act Turns 10

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of President George W. Bush signing The PATRIOT Act into law.

It's hard to imagine it's already been a decade, but 10 years ago today, in the wake of , President George W. Bush signed The PATRIOT Act into law.

"Today, we take an essential step in defeating terrorism, while protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans," President Bush said while signing the law. "With my signature, this law will give intelligence and law enforcement officials important new tools to fight a present danger."

The law passed the House by a vote of 357 to 66 and passed the Senate by a vote of 98 to 1.

According to politifact.com, then-candidate Barack Obama ran on the platform that as president, he "would revisit the PATRIOT Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision."

But in May of this year, minutes before some provisions of the act were set to expire, President Obama signed a four-year extension into law, according to The Huffington Post.

"It's an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat," Obama said at the time.

The act is not without its opponents.

Congressmen Ron Paul (R-TX), himself a candidate for the Republican nomination to run for the President of the United States, voted against the act in 2001 and has been against it since.

"The 4th Amendment is rather clear, it says that we should be secure in our papers, our person, our homes and our effects," Paul said in February, voicing opposition to extending the act. "But let's say a law makes us somewhat safer. Is that a justification for the government to do anything they want? For instance, if you want to be perfectly safe from child abuse and wife beating, the government could put a camera in every one of our houses and our bedrooms and maybe there would be somebody made safer this way. But what would you be giving up?"

Patch asked State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) her thoughts on the act.

"It is unfortunate that the realities of today’s dangerous world have led to a bipartisan endorsement and continuation of the PATRIOT. Those of us that remember the world as it was before September 11 long for the privacy and ease of travel that as taken for granted," she said. "This measure has been an enormous intrusion in our daily lives and has had enormous societal costs, both financially and to our collective sense of security. As long as there are those that wish to destroy our way of life, however, a return to the past may not be possible in the short term."

Bill October 26, 2011 at 02:30 PM
The Patriot Act has turned our country into a police state. We are no longer free to travel as we now have to go through an invasive exam before boarding a plane. The new "IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING", encourages to report on your neigbors and our every key stroke on the computer is presently monitered. And so are our phone calls. The late Director, Aaron Russo, asked what I thought, were a few really good questions regarding Airport Security. Question: Our borders are wide open for foreigners to invade our country, yet Americans within our country are interrogated and humiliated at the airports. Question: Both the underwear bomber and the shoe bomber lit their fuses in their respective seats. Wouldn't you think at least one of them would have thought to go into the bathroom to conduct such a nefarious act, or were they both morons? Question: Couldn't a purported terrorist light their fuses in line, waiting to go through the human radiating machine? Recently home land security secured funding for the Redding police to have devices to scan our licenses without our knowledge. Question: The borders are wide open, but Homeland security is worried about terrorists running around Redding? Finally, another troubling point, it was confirmed by a Mr. Kennedy, who works for the state department, that the underwear bomber was led on to the airplane by a state department employee. Please view 'From Freedom to Facism' by Aaron Russo on You tube.
Susanne Krivit October 26, 2011 at 02:35 PM
I can point to a very specific change as a result of this law. Companies have to review all those they do business with and all employees by running their names through databases of known and suspected terrorists and after reviewing the results, report anyone they suspect to the government. This certainly takes time and costs money, but personally I think it is worth the effort because it makes it very difficult for anyone on that list to do anything not only in the US but beyond it, as many companies (mine included) do business all over the world.
Bill October 27, 2011 at 02:25 PM
In regard to 'Suspected Terrorists' and who FITS that profile, a Homeland Security Report leaked out warning law enforcement agencies to watch for suspicious individuals who may have bumper stickers for third-party political candidates such as Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. It further warned law enforcement to watch out for individuals with "radical" ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes. Also, a woman name Catherine Bleish, discovered that she was on a 'terrorist' watch list. Her name had been filtered into her respective FUSION center. Via an intrepid search on her part, she discovered that she was on that list, because she had attended a Ron Paul gathering and had signed her name on a petition to support him. So, the term 'terrorist' has been slowly been transmuted to describe anyone who supports the Constitution of the United States.


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