George W. Bush signing the Patriot Act
Ten years ago, on Oct. 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act. Congress overwhelmingly passed the law only weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. It's designed to give the FBI more power to collect information in cases that involve national security. But in the decade since then, civil liberties groups have raised concerns about whether the Patriot Act goes too far by scooping up too much data and violating people's rights to privacy.
The Administration and the Congress bypassed careful debate by enacting too quickly legislation that would supposedly insulate the United States against further attack by increasing the ability of law enforcement agencies to conduct search and seizure, institute wiretaps without a warrant, and physically detain a person without allowing access to legal representation (Stubbs, 2003-2004). ... With heightened public fear and outrage, and demands for justice, the Patriot Act, offering what was touted as additional protection from the unknown, received little resistance from any members of Congress who might have been concerned about the possibility of unconstitutional legal action (ACLU, 2003).
Legal experts have suggested that the USA PATRIOT Act erodes elements of several of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. This includes the First Amendment (freedom of speech and assembly), Fourth Amendment (freedom from unreasonable search and seizure), Fifth Amendment (right to due process of law), Sixth Amendment (right to speedy, public, and fair trials, right to confront accusers, and right to a criminal defense), and Eighth Amendment (freedom from excessive and cruel & unusual punishment).
Jon McNaughton - The Forgotten Man
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
The Framers of the Constitution believed that power, and most especially government power, was a hindrance to the liberty of the people. This was mostly due to the fact that the colonists had suffered from British rule... ... the Framers were wary of any form of governmental power because they were all too aware of the potential abuses deriving from it.