A friend of mine texted me last night to inform me that my dear President Barack Obama extended the super controversial Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 also known as the USA Patriot Act and better known simply as the Patriot Act, for four more years.
The way my friend texted, “Obama signed an extension to the patriot act,” assured me that he was commenting on the fact that he couldn’t understand how even die-hard pro-Obama fans would think that the President could operate out of the White House in any way other than the old status quo or business-as-usual. That Obama or any President for that matter – even with the best of intentions during their naive campaigning debut – would have any real authority to do anything other than what has already been laid out for him/her as a course of action by the omnipotent “powers that be”.
I realize that the Patriot Act was the cause of much public outcry following its initiation after 911 by the Bush Administration, paticularly because of how it dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ ability to search telephone, e-mail, medical, financial, and other records of US citizens. Americans felt the invasion of privacy was unwarranted.
I think that was especially true in lieu of the fact that George Bush had declared on several occasions, that he was no longer interested in hunting for the man whom most Americans were led to believe was the mastermind behind terrorists acts against this and other countries. And no “weapons of mass destruction” were ever uncovered during his administration either.
The sentiment had been that we were being punished for our government’s short-comings in handling the Bush/Cheney “War on Terrorism”. And now we have President Barack Obama, fresh on the heels of capturing and slaying Osama Bin Laden – who we’re told was responsible for killing almost 3,000 people in New York that fateful day – now extending the hated act for another four years (which btw, pretty much covers a full term in the President’s seat for 2012).
My response to my buddy who sent me that text?
Well, although I can partake in a good conspiracy theory as well as the next guy, in the wake of Bin Laden’s demise at President’s Obama’s hands I’m willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt on this. It’s possible he knows something we do not. Unlike Bush, Barack Obama has actually struck a real blow to those who have been deemed as an enemy to the nation’s security, which can in turn provoke a serious counter attack. Perhaps it will be counter intelligence and not torture that will finally win the war on terrorism. And perhaps this is something we should just trust the President of the United States on.