Archive for October 12th, 2011

patriot act

Almost exactly ten years ago, then President George W. Bush signed into law the so-called USA Patriot Act. Interestingly, hardly anyone knows that “USA Patriot” is just an acronym for “Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism”.

If you happen to be confused by that bulky title, you might be interested in how that piece of legislation was passed. In a speech a few years ago, Judge Andrew Napolitano explained the procedure during the legislative process in 2001:

The Patriot Act, which is 315 pages long and which basically amends hundreds and hundreds of other statutes, […] takes about twenty hours to read. It was made accessible to the representatives fifteen minutes before the vote. There was no debate on the floor of the house. And the Patriot Act was enacted.

And although he often criticized the Patriot Act, on May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA Patriot Act. He even introduced something new, called “precrime”:

After watching this astonishing video, you might reconsider the importance of the U.S. Constitution.

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