Patriot-ActKourosh Ziabari – Just a few hours before the midnight deadline of May 26, 2011, the US President Barack Obama signed a 4-year extension of the controversial USA Patriot Act to prove that his strategic plans are not significantly different from those of his hawkish predecessor, George W. Bush, who showed to the international community the real face of the American democracy with his warmongering policies.

Patriot Act is an Act of the US Congress which allows private security firms under the supervision of the government to monitor and search American citizens’ phone conversations, email communications, medical, financial and official records to discover potential terrorism-related threats and foil the probable plots which can jeopardize the country’s domestic security.

Some certain provisions of the Patriot Act also deal with the foreign immigrants suspected of terrorism-related activities and facilitate their deportation or incarceration under the US law.

The renewed extension of the Patriot Act involves three main stipulations including roving wiretaps, court-ordered searches of business records and conducting surveillance of the individuals engaged in terrorism-related activities without being linked to renowned terrorist organizations.

By signing into law the 4-year extension of the Patriot Act, President Obama once again confirmed that his appealing slogan of change and alluring gestures and promises to the American nation were essentially futile and unfounded.

The US Senate passed the bill with a wide margin of 72-23, permitting the government to adopt all the necessary measures to ensure the domestic security of the United States, despite the argumentations of the opponents of the law who believed the Patriot Act violates the privacy of the citizens and is contrary to their civil liberties.

The House of Representatives also voted 250-153 and endorsed the extension, signed into law while President Obama was in France, attending the summit of the G8 leaders in Paris.

The Republican leader of the US Senate Mitch McConnell jubilantly hailed the extension, calling the Patriot Act “an invaluable terror-fighting tool” which helps the US stay ahead of the terrorists who want to attack Washington.

However, there were also rational and sane people in the US Senate and House of Representatives who realized the evil nature of the law and warned their government against the terrible consequences of passing such a controversial bill. They have come to the conclusion that passing a bill which allows the government to eavesdrop the telephone conversations and email communications of its citizens are far beyond the so-called values of a country which calls itself a “beacon of freedom” and “cradle of democracy.”

The Oregon’s democrat senator Ron Wyden was among those who warned against passing the bill, saying that “I believe that when more of my colleagues and the American public come to understand how the Patriot Act has actually been interpreted in secret, they will insist on significant reforms too.”

According to CNET News columnist Declan McCullagh, among the three sections of the Patriot Act which were renewed on May 26, the Democratic senators are mainly concerned with Section 215 which enables FBI agents to obtain any tangible item, “including “books, records, papers, documents, and other items” from the citizens in cases which the possibility of a terrorism-related act is felt. This is in fact a flagrant violation of the personal freedom of the American citizens and an indelible blot on the reputation of the United States as a political entity which has always advocated itself as the number one defender of democracy and democratic values.

As said by McCullagh, the US Justice Department confirmed in March that Section 215 of the Patriot Act “has been used to obtain driver’s license records, hotel records, car rental records, apartment leasing records, credit card records, and the like.”

Now, the extension of Patriot Act has stirred up widespread controversy in the United States. Democratic senators and anti-capitalist activists and journalists who constitute the vocal critics of the Patriot Act have stepped up pressures on the White House to abort the law or at least modify parts of it which are in clear infringement of the individual freedom of the American citizens.

The opponents of the law say that since the 9/11 attacks which some authentic personalities believe was a false flag operation carried out with the complicity of Mossad and CIA, the US government waged two unjustifiable wars in the Middle East and took unreasonable steps to build up pressure on its own citizens while it knew well that no terrorist organization had threatened its security.

They say that the United States developed some kind of conspiracy theory following the 9/11 attacks and turned into the adversary of its own people and the people of the world by throwing accusations of terrorism at everybody; however, this is an undeniable fact that the US government has been constantly the big supporter and sponsor of terrorism and terrorist organizations all around the world. Some good examples can be the US government’s support for Saddam Hussein during the 8-year war with Iran and its close links with Osama bin Laden and backing him during the Afghan-Soviet war.

Lo and behold, the Patriot Act is a clear instance of how the United States regularly fails to practice what it preaches. Patriot Act unveils that the United States cannot continue to champion itself as the number one defender of freedom and democracy, even if its powerful propaganda machinery continues to advertise this claim. The Patriot Act demonstrates that the United States cannot even provide its own citizens with freedom and democratic values, let alone the other nations of the world to whim the United States wants to export democracy and freedom through wars and military expeditions.

This article was originally published on Press TV.