Bill Sykes' Newsletter from America.
An ex-Brit gives his views-(without fear
or favor)---of the American Scene
The Patriot Act. (HR3162).
infamous and insidious Patriot Act is a necessity in this
troubled world that we live in, but we the law abiding
citizens of the United States who are supporters of freedom
of speech and defenders of human rights are being vilified
by world opinion for some of the actions which have been
taken by our government, which in many people’s minds
are totally illegal and a contravention of the American
Constitution. (Article IV of the Constitution states: The
right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and
seizures, shall not be violated, etc).
Yet illegal actions,
apparently approved by the administration under the protective
umbrella of the Patriot Act, are being authorised and carried
out on a daily basis. By the way, this President has proposed
to extend sixteen important provisions of the Patriot Act,
which are due to expire at the end of this year, and I’m
pretty certain that a number of provisions which have been
included give law enforcement greater powers than they
already have. Is the land of the free, and the home of
the brave, turning into a totalitarian state where Big
Brother is watching and listening to the conversations
and actions of perfectly law-abiding citizens on an ever
increasing basis to the point of even taking notice of
what kind of books are being sought after and read in public
libraries, and reviewing people’s medical records
amongst other insidious things?
I seem to recall that when
Adolf Hitler came to power in Nazi Germany, one of the
first things to be destroyed by fire were any books or
documents, that where considered to contain inflammatory
and anti-Nazi Party material.
In my opinion the security forces are in many cases looking
in some of the wrong places, and should be concentrating
more on the very informative information that is currently
available on internet web sites.
I’m sure that the
security forces of this country have for some considerable
time been involved in clandestine wire taps on certain
individuals, who even without any evidence to the contrary
are considered to be a potential security threat. I’m
also pretty sure that on occasion, members of the security
forces have entered homes of people suspected of plotting
against the government of the United States in order to
secure evidence of what they consider to be potential unpatriotic
acts, without any evidence to the contrary, and that the
individuals in question have been held without bail and
without charges being brought against them for indeterminate
periods of time, which contravenes the laws of this country
and also the principals of that great document the Constitution
of the United States of America. (Article VI of the Constitution
states: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall
have the right to a public and speedy trial, etc).
not a constitutional scholar or even an accredited lawyer
and therefore cannot quote complete chapter and verse when
it comes to any and all contradictory arguments for and
against the laws of the Constitution, but as an immigrant
American citizen of good standing and thirty eight years
of legal residence in this country I have a great respect
for, and a reasonable knowledge of, the United States Constitution
and there are times when I question the validity and legality
of some of the actions that have been taken by this government
since the 11th of September 2001 terrorist actions – such
as the holding of "enemy combatants" in the
Guantanamo Bay prison camps without being charged or being
given access to a lawyer.
But there again - if more attention had been paid to
information that apparently was readily available to the
CIA, FBI, etc, and had been distributed to and shared with
other law enforcement agencies prior to the terrible events
of September eleventh, 2001, perhaps some of those events
could have been nullified.
Although I could never ever support a regimented and unlawful Big Brother type
regime which suppresses the freedom of the individual, what else can one do
under the current circumstances in order to prevent terrorist actions in this
chaotic and very violent world that we live in?
Can one say that we can’t
have it both ways, and that perhaps it is better to be safe than sorry?