The "USA Patriot Act" titled "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001" is a sweeping Bill signed by President Bush on October 24, 2001, to "deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes."

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
A national crisis, such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, immediately encourages a 'do something' reaction in politicians of every stripe. The greater the crisis, the swifter -- and more unthinking -- the solution politicians concoct.

At such times, a herd mentality takes hold that overcomes logic and reason. Having served eight years in the U.S. House of Representatives, I can attest first hand to this dangerous political phenomenon. Just six weeks after the September 11th attacks, on October 26, 2001, a panicked U.S. Congress adopted the so-called 'USA PATRIOT Act.'

The PATRIOT Act became law with great haste and secrecy. In the name of the 'war on terrorism,' Congress passed this questionable legislation giving the U.S. executive branch and its police agencies sweeping new powers that undermine the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Act (all 362 pages of it) was passed with little debate by senators and congressmen, most of whom did not, and could not even read the bill, because when the final vote was taken, no printed copies were available.

In my opinion, the Act constitutes the greatest single governmental assault on personal and financial privacy in U.S. history. Already three U.S. district courts have ruled parts of the Act to be unconstitutional.

The Act is being used for purposes that have nothing to do with fighting terrorism undefined but everything to do with unchecked police surveillance, wiretapping and secret searches of homes and offices. Fully 125 pages of this Act concern individual financial activities as well as U.S. and offshore banking and finance.

WHAT IS THE THREAT?

The PATRIOT Act permits:

* secret FBI and police searches of your home and office

* secret government wiretaps on your phone, computer and/or Internet activity

* secret investigations of your bank records, credit cards and other financial records

* secret investigations of your library and book activities

* secret examination of your medical, travel and business records.

* the freezing of funds and assets without prior notice or appeal

* the creation of secret 'watch lists' that ban those named from air and other travel
The Patriot Act is the destruction of American Government
by BostonBabe May 22, 2007
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A kneejerk response to 9/11 that has the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves. The single greatest advancement of fascism in United States history, and it's only the beginning...
At this rate, we'll have more freedom in communist China than here in the United States.
by Ninja Disaster July 02, 2003
Really the "USA PATRIOT ACT," and acronym meaning "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act." Like most of the Bush administration's actions, this one sickens me. Passed with almost no congressional review in the wake of 9/11 (and thus taking advantage of our emotional state), the Patriot Act gives the Executive Branch and law enforcement almost Orwellian powers of investigation and presidence over the Constitution.
If the Founding Fathers were alive today, they'd probably stage another revolution against our current government.
by Mack June 29, 2004
One of the foremost proofs that the United States of America is the most hypocritical nation in the entire world.
Also an attempt on the US Government's part to destroy as much of the Bill of Rights as is humanly possible without everyone noticing.
The Patriot Act is a good example of how the USA is well on its way to becoming a police state. We're already a bureaucracy, we may as well take the leap.
by Nemuko May 09, 2003
Basically George W. Bush wiping his arse on the U.S. Constitution. It wasn't even read by anyone yet it was approved by every Congressman in Washington D.C.
And the purpose of this bullshit is to protect freedom in America. Soon we'd probably have more freedom in Burma if this keeps up.
by tritium July 18, 2004
Our country's fucking death knell.
The Americans are pissed off because their rights were taken away and their Constitution torn apart by the Patriot Act.
by DarkMillennia August 17, 2003
The latest attempt by the US Government to curtail the rights of its citizens.
by Not Proud to be an American July 26, 2003
The "USA Patriot Act" stands for " Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism".

It is a document 342 pages in length with the first 6 pages being the index. The first line after the index is this:

SEC. 2. CONSTRUCTION; SEVERABILITY. Any provision of this Act held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or as applied to any person or circumstance, shall be construed so as to give it the maximum effect permitted by law, unless such holding shall be one of utter invalidity or unenforceability, in which event such provision shall be deemed severable from this Act and shall not affect the remainder thereof or the application of such provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other, dissimilar circumstances.

(This amounts to saying that if this bill is a total crock of shit, with only one tiny detail being applicable, that shred will send you to the cooler pal!)

Like most bills which our senators and representative are "supposed" to read and understand prior to signing off, it could take a very long time to either agree or disagree with what's written. Thus we get this sort of bullshit shoved down our throats and up our asses on a continuous basis.

No doubt, this bill like many others was well intended, I hope, but has sweeping consequenses that only the best lawyers in the world will ever understand completely.
Hey Clyde! Watch out buddy, you just farted on US soil, you may be prosecutable under the USA Patriot Act!
by Ibinfarteen July 03, 2004

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