The Thorn in the Constitution’s Side

By: Daniel Nardini

In a last minute effort, the U.S. Congress has reached a deal on extending the Patriot Act. The Act has been approved in the U.S. Congress and has been approved by the White House. It would have been better if it had died. All of the politicians keep saying that it is a “valuable tool” in fighting terrorism. They say that we need it to continue the hunt for Al Qaeda. No we do not. Civil and human rights groups in the United States have long complained that it gives the U.S. government a blank check to do what it wants in contravention of the U.S. Constitution.

The answer is yes it does. The Patriot Act allows for roving wiretaps whereby no warrants are needed and people can be investigated even without probable cause. It means that people in the United States—both U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents—can be spied upon without their knowledge. Worse, they can be arrested, interrogated and even jailed without having committed any crime and in total violation of their constitutional rights. There are a number of cases like this. The only fortunate thing is that there have been brave individuals, organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International that have fought against the Patriot Act and all it stands for.

The sad thing is that the Patriot Act is too tempting a tool for politicians to use. This is true even of U.S. President Barack Obama who has also approved of this extra-legal act. It is unfortunate that there are those in high office who seem to forget their duty to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. Since this is the case, it becomes imperative for the people to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. In these circumstances I recommend to all of my readers to buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution in book form. This way they have something in case there ever is that knock on the door by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (especially if you cannot think of any crime you may have committed). Even in this stage it is most likely rare that the U.S. government would do something like this, but always be ready to know your constitutional rights. For more serious legal help if anyone should ever need it, go to the websites , and

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