Representative Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, recently published an essay called “Our Rights Suspended for 10 More Years” on AntiWar.com about the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. He notes that support for the Patriot Act is diminishing as his colleagues “rightfully wonder why Congress is so focused on American citizens, while bin Laden and other terrorist leaders still have not been captured.”
Rep. Paul says the recent tragic bombings in London prove that expanding government powers doesn’t make us any safer.
London is the most heavily monitored city in the world, with surveillance cameras recording virtually all public activity in the city center. British police officials are not hampered by our 4th Amendment nor our numerous due process requirements. In other words, they can act without any constitutional restrictions, just as supporters of the PATRIOT Act want our own police to act… The London bombings don’t prove the need for the PATRIOT Act – they prove the folly of it.
The PATRIOT Act, like every political issue, boils down to a simple choice: Should we expand government power, or reduce it? This is the fundamental political question of our day, but it’s quickly forgotten by politicians who once promised to stand for smaller government. Most governments, including our own, tend to do what they can get away with rather than what the law allows them to do. All governments seek to increase their power over the people they govern, whether we want to recognize it or not. The PATRIOT Act is a vivid example of this. Constitutions and laws don’t keep government power in check; only a vigilant populace can do that.
Go ahead and read the whole thing, it’s not too long.
Also I want to give a shout out to The Common Ills who have been pointing their readers here to the Reform the Patriot Act Blog. Thanks for the links!