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Do you think the USA Patriot Act should be allowed to expire, or should it be extended?

Asked at Haskell Indian Nations University on September 11, 2004

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Photo of Wendi Georgie

“I think it needs to be extended until the world is a safer place, without the threat of terrorism.”

Photo of Clayton Kellerman

“It should be allowed to sunset. I don’t see any reason for it not to, because we haven’t really found out any important information because of it.”

Photo of Matt Baty

“I definitely think that it needs to be extended. It’s really just a safety issue. It was put in place for a reason.”

Photo of Mark Galyardt

“I think it needs to be extended. I think there is a lot of provisions in there that people may consider an invasion of privacy, but they are necessary to gather effective intelligence.”


Savage 13 years, 8 months ago

While I am not normally an advocate of the ACLU, I do like their latest Ad Campaign designed at revising the Patriot Act, rather than removing it entirely from law. Before the Act was in effect (speaking about the fourth Amendment) judges declined only a very small percentage of requests for legal searches and seizures of personal or corporate property anyways. Overall doesnt the Bill of Rights reign supreme? Im sure we will see many legal challenges to the Act if it is applied to fighting crime outside of the terroristic arena. To just blindly accept the Act without effective and continual re-examination and jurisprudence in my view is unwise due to the fact that another national emergency could open the floodgates of total social and economic control by the federal government. The reason I say this is becuase I believe State and Local Governments could take care of citizens in the their own geographic areas without Federal Aid or Federal Support, that is in areas that would not be effected in such an emergency.

While I have not yet read the Bill in its entirety, I think I can at least join the ranks of most senators who rubber stamped it without so much as reading a single page of it. Once again... Im not stating elimination, rather just effective revision and re-examination. Also the Banker above stated that suspicous transactions need to be reported??? Would all people agree (majority) as to what suspicous transactions should be? I Doubt we would have any say in that matter or that such policies would ever come to a vote. Banks should not be in the business of reporting to any outside agency red flagging individuals becuase they go on some big shopping spree, to the casino or on a nice vaction in Hawaii and reporting in detail what they do with their money. Is it really suppicous if I withdraw or deposit 9k on any given day. I think its reasonable to believe that the IRS or in fact other Govt. agencies are curious about such facts as well. If I was loaded, I probably would not bank at such a bank, knowing that some agency is analyzing the fact that I transfered a large amount of funds into a different account for interest reasons or whatever. We need to find balance here. The war on terror cannot be won until every single monetary transaction is accounted for, every persons whereabouts are known on earth, a camera on every corner, and every service, group, org, that your affiliated with is reviewed and documented somehow. Then in turn we become like the old Soviet Union if it ever goes that far... which we tried so hard to change and have had some success over the years.

Orwellian? Perhaps.

Privacy is important.... no? Jefferson and Franklin were not idiots after all.

Maybe if we just all pack into a "green" zone, (if you can afford to live there that is) we'll all be safe.

jonas 13 years, 8 months ago

I think Ms. George is laboring under the delusion that, at some point, there will be no more terrorism. Sorry ma'am, but there will. With or without the Patriot Act, we will probably be attacked again, and probably successfully hit again. There is simply no way that we will stop all of the attacks, ever. Of course, that's no reason to stop all safety measures, because if we can't stop them we can probably minimize them.

My call: leave the clauses that help communication between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and drop everything else.

MapMadeMind 13 years, 8 months ago

I'm with Jonas and skwin. Just because I have nothing to hide, does not mean I'm confortable with the government spying on me. Allowing it on any level could be a slippery slope. Why not put tracking chips in everyone's arms...if you've nothing to hide, it won't be a problem right?

Larry 13 years, 8 months ago

Extend it. I haven't heard one good argument to let it expire. Racial profiling???? Good grief, nearly every terrorist act against the modern world in the last thirty years years has been sponsored and executed by a Muslim. POINT- Before you liberals come after me here, I don't hate people of Muslim faith, but common sense tells me that they is a great chance that the next terrorist attack will be conducted by some a Muslim. Being on the look out or suspicious of a Muslim person is only common sense. Why people are so concerned with the library account, emails, etc is beyond me. I have NOTHING to hide and I would rather know that my country is safe than prevent our intelligence from doing a sufficient job of protecting our nation. As you can see, I'm not a paranoid person who thinks the government is out to get me.

In the end, I'm sure that we have no idea how often the Patriot Act has helped our intelligence intercede a potential terrorist threat.

skwin104 13 years, 8 months ago

It is nearly impossible for an average person to know the total impact of the Patriot Act. However, I would feel much safer if more concrete measures were taken to protect national security, rather than just the blind faith that the Patriot Act might be working. In the meantime, the only thing that can be proved about the Patriot Act is that it allows government branches to operate in ways that fly in the face of the U.S. Bill of Rights.

mrcairo 13 years, 8 months ago

I'm with GoatDog.

And I'm with Larry. I mean, not every Muslim is a Terrorist, but every Terrorist is a Muslim. Am I right? And don't go on about Oaklahoma - that was a criminal act, not an act of terror - different goals.

Some of the items in the Act are needed, but most are totalitarian in nature. While I really shouldn't care, because I'm a law abiding conservative, as a Democrat, I can see the potential abuses. Rounding me up, slap some b.s. charge on me, hold me as an Enemy Combatant because I don't like BUSH, deny me the right to a lawyer - all of these items would give Hitler a wet dream.

TheBowman 13 years, 8 months ago

Yes, the Patriot Act should go out to the pasture. For one, it is the biggest affront to the constitution since the constitution's inception. Considering that Congress rubber-stamped it into law without even reading the provisions of the act, I would think so.

To all who will say that we have to take measures to protect ourselves against future 9/11s, flushing our freedoms down the toilet and giving away our rights for the illusion of security is NOT the route to the take.

Here's a very important point: our rights and our freedoms are not bestowed upon us by those who govern us. They are our rights and freedoms bestowed upon us as human beings. Those who govern us are just instruments of this contract.

When we are willing to usurp this contract, then we are on the road to tyranny. If we go down this road, then we are no better than the citizens of Rome during the time of Juvernal when they were content to be oblivious to the tyranny of the state and more than happy to lounge about for bread and circuses, or to put it best, SUVs and reality shows....

Adam 13 years, 8 months ago

I recently relocated to a new state and although I have done this I the past, I haven't relocated since before the 911 attacks. I must say that previous to the 911 attacks whenever I relocated organizing my personal business (driver license, bills, etc. ) was a relatively easy process that could usually be accomplished in an afternoon. However, upon my recent relocation, transferring all my accounts and offical documents was a six week time consuming process that I would rather have my fingernails ripped out with a pair of pliers than repeat again. Much of the difficulties I faced were due to the patriot act and yet I feel no safer against terrorism than I did prior to 911. I say get rid of it, it is a nuisance and uneffective.

Savage 13 years, 8 months ago

Also where do we cross the line with the term "crime" and "terrorism?" Its a line that has not been defined yet, besides the obvious. Any input on this anyone?

Savage 13 years, 8 months ago

correction: (last big paragraph)

"Some may say that"....The war on terror cannot be won until every single.........................................................

Tamara 13 years, 8 months ago

If the partriot act was really uneffective and a nuisance, there would be no point to drawing it up now would there? The only people that it has any real effect on is criminals.... But I guess I can see your point if your one who thinks that criminals should have the same freedom as everyone else.

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