September 11th is a date a generation will hold in mind and heart for the duration of their lives. Madmen armed with box-cutters and a fanatical, demented dedication to a political agenda masquerading as a faith piloted jetliners into the World Trade Center killing thousands. The wounds inflicted on the survivors that day haven’t healed. If anything, we daily inspect the scars marking the damage the box-cutters grooved into our collective psyche. In a bizarre way it soothes some to check the scars.
It emboldens others.
The Patriot Act was a reaction to 9/11 significantly reducing restrictions in law enforcement agencies’ gathering of intelligence within the United States. It was originally signed into effect by George Bush. It’s been resurrected by continuing extensions signed by Obama as well. Where Bush signed the act personally, Obama signed by Autopen and thus accepted the role of Pontius Pilate at the trial of Christ. He washed his hands of the responsibility while maintaining the power. The usage of the Autopen brings forward the possible legality of any act so approved. No constitutional challenge has decided whether the Autopen signature carries the weight equivalency as a “Pocket Veto”; a procedure where a president vetoes a legislative act by refusing to sign it and allowing its technical life to ebb away from lack of response.
The question begs an answer but nobody wants to ask the question of the Supreme Court.
At the time of the Patriot Act’s inception the United States was in a state of panic the likes of which could only be seen in the British invasion of Washington D.C. and the resultant burning of the Capitol and White House during the War of 1812. Congress felt the need to act and act quickly in response to the 9/11 attacks. In their infinite wisdom (?) they decided to abrogate or at least distance the non-violate population of their rights of Habeas Corpus and personal privacy under the 1st and 4th amendments to the Constitution (Bill of Rights).
The primary problems addressed by Democrats (it was a Republican Administration) concerned: indefinite detention capability of immigrants, the loss of 4th amendment rights concerning search and seizure (no warrants necessary under certain, undefined circumstances), the right of the FBI to seize, search and interpret emails, conduct warrantless wire taps and expanded warrantless seizures of financial and business and accumulated data within electronic media. Much of what’s been passed into legislation concerning this act has been challenged and some has been found unconstitutional under inspection by the courts.
Where this was supposed to go out of effect in 2005, Congress re-authorized it with proponents of the Patriot Act seeking to make its provisions permanent. Critics have sought to heavily revise provisions of the act and thus weaken it in favor of the Constitution. There was an attempt at compromise where Republicans and Democrats voiced concerns over the widespread ignoring of American’s civil liberties.
Please recognize the Democrats protested the Patriot Act fervently. Now Obama has developed a “Kill list” with the names of suspected and/or confirmed terrorists and enemy persons to be killed on sight whether by armed personnel and/or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). He can (after reflection and intelligence gathering) sign a death warrant on anybody including American citizens abroad.
The question (and the fear) arises with the advent of law enforcement drones being deployed in areas of the United States whether such attacks may be permissible under Executive Decree. Could American citizens be declared terrorists or subversives under presently restricted and possibly adaptable laws passed by Congress, and thus be dispatched? Could it happen by Autopen?
Obama’s taken as much power unto himself as he can to control, direct and fundamentally change the course and direction of governmental advancement. He’s seized power over the Congress by edict and has endangered the people with his interpretations of Constitutional existence. Congress is complicit in removing the American people’s Constitutional protections. They’re complicit in their refusal to challenge the executive fiats before the Supreme Court.
Those things once thought to be affronts to the Constitution are routinely accepted as executive privilege and thus relieve the American citizen of due process.
Thanks for listening.