Herman Cain said recently in an interview with The Atlantic (link) that he agrees with 90% of The Patriot Act, which is arguably the most detrimental attack on our civil liberties since our emancipation from the British in 1776. When asked what the 10% he disagreed with was, he only gave a vague dismissive response, which indicates that he probably hasn’t read it (as most people haven’t) but wanted to retain for himself an exit strategy if ever criticized on the issue.
Upon reading the 1,472* page bill, one can see why the authors made sure it was not available to the eyes of our congressmen before it was voted on. The ill-titled “Patriot” Act represents anything but patriotism, and in fact impedes on virtually all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights. Due to the fact that most Americans are oblivious to the contents of the Patriot Act, I will briefly go over a few bullet points; however I will spare you lengthy detail to abstain the scope of this document.
· Freedom from unreasonable searches: The government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation. Violates Amendment IV
· Right to a speedy and public trial: The government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial. Violates Amendment VI
· Freedom of association: To assist terror investigation, the government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity. Violates Amendment I
· Right to legal representation: The government may monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes. Violates Amendment VI
- Freedom of speech: The government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation. Violates Amendment I
· Right to liberty: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them. US citizens (labeled "unlawful combatants") have been held incommunicado and refused attorneys. Violates Amendment VI
· The enemy redefined: The patriot act also broadens the definition of "terrorist" to anyone who opposes a federal government program or policy. This gives them probable cause for 70% of Americans conservatively.