Act breaches right of privacy
Opinion Editor Jeff Brubaker
is a junior history major from Weslaco.
Liberty is one
of the pillars of our society. This is made clear by the Declaration
of Independence and the Constitution, and is something that politicians
like to say they support when it comes time to get elected. Reality,
however, shows that when times get tough, liberty is the first to
be sacrificed on the altar of security.
If anyone in this country has a confused idea of security its
George W. Bush. His administration brought to life the ironically
named Patriot Act, which curtails the activities of Americans just
as easily as terrorists. In his recent State of the Union Address,
President Bush called the abilities given to law enforcement agencies
in the Patriot Act necessary. But is it necessary for the Federal
Bureau of Investigation to know what you are writing in your e-mails?
Or to know what books you have been checking out of the library?
While such measures can be justified when a suspected terrorist
is being investigated, these acts are completely unwarranted when
the subject of investigation is a mere citizen going about his or
her daily business. In fact, the FBI can search any citizens
house and that person would never have to be told. So much for the
right of privacy. Can anyone remember when law enforcement had to
get a warrant to search someones house?
And whatever happened to probable cause? Under Bushs Patriot
Act, law enforcement no longer needs to justify probable cause before
they begin treating a citizen as a criminal. While one can be reasonably
sure that such infractions have been committed in the past by various
law enforcement agencies, the difference now is that there is nothing
an innocent citizen can do about it.
Taking liberties away from Americans is no way to protect America.
Wouldnt any intelligent person see that what the enemies of
the United States want most is for the protections and guarantees
of the U. S. Constitution to be thrown aside; that laws such as
the Patriot Act are doing more damage to our country than any terrorist
What Americans need is a president who will not do the terrorists
work for them. President Bushs controversial laws and unpopular
wars are all done without the mandate of the people, only with the
mandate of the electoral college. And the sad truth is that any
candidate currently running is capable of doing a better job.
Who would you rather have defending this country: a former National
Guardsman who did his best to fight the North Vietnamese invasion
of Texas or a former NATO commander? Who would you rather have guarantee
good and affordable heath care: an oil tycoon or a former doctor?
Bushs reaction to terrorism is not a new story, but was simply
a rushed and ill-planned solution to a much bigger problem. His
incursions on civil liberties are more than enough to alarm regular
citizens, not just watchdog groups like the American Civil Liberties
Union. He must be held accountable for his misdeeds and shown the
door next November.