By Karima Rhanem | Morocco TIMES 12/18/2005 | 4:36 pm
Be careful Americans! “Big Brother is watching you". George Bush by authorizing secret spying on Americans has led his country to an Orwellian society. Bush's post- 9/11 governmental policies are close to George Orwell's dystopian vision in his book “1984”.
In a weekly radio address, US president George Bush has admitted spying on Americans after 9/11. He has authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on US citizens and foreign nationals in the United States.
Bush has gone on the offensive over accusations that he abused his executive power by allowing the secret wiretapping of Americans without a court warrant.
The super-secretive NSA, which has generally been barred from domestic spying except in narrow circumstances involving foreign nationals, has monitored the e-mail, telephone calls and other communications of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people under the secret-spying program, the New York Times disclosed on Friday.
After 9/11, the Bush government has launched a ferocious campaign against the enemies of 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness', a campaign that it called “War on Terrorism'.
One of the first actions taken by the Bush administration to protect America from another attack was to ask Congress to pass the Patriot Act.
The Patriot Act aimed at expanding the authority of the federal government on such fronts as information sharing, obtaining private records and conducting secret searches and roving wiretaps in its effort to track down suspected terrorists.
As it was about to expire by the end of this month, a group of US senators, demanding increased protection of civil liberties, defied President George Bush by blocking, on Friday, the renewal of the Patriot Act, a centerpiece of Bush's 'war on terrorism', depicting the measure as a threat to the constitutional liberties of innocent US citizens.
Fifty Republicans and two Democrats unsuccessfully voted to end debate on the renewal legislation. However, five Republicans, one independent and 41 Democrats blocked it.
The deadlock marks an increase in tensions between the administration and Congress over Bush's anti-terrorism and surveillance policies and the conduct of the war in Iraq.
For his part, President Bush has accused senators of endangering American lives by filibustering renewal of the Patriot Act and railed against the illegal disclosure of a classified eavesdropping operation.
In post-9/11, America, through its Patriot Act, has turned into a police state on the pretext of 'protecting' civil liberties. In fact, the provisions of the Patriot Act follow the same reasoning of the Big Brother society as depicted in Orwell's '1984'.
In Orwell's society, a person can be arrested not just for public speech, but for his/her private thoughts as well. In America this concept was incarnated in the Patriot Act. The Bush administration has embraced the same mottos of the Big Brother: Freedom is Slavery; War is Peace; and Ignorance is Strength.
Orwell's book depicts a society dominated by a totalitarian government in which citizens' liberties are suppressed on the basis of an endless war. The same thing is happening in America. Bush is allowing “sneak-and-peak” searches on US citizens and non-citizens alike for an endless war, 'war on Terror'.
The US has been seizing power, and subordinating the civil rights in the name of national security. So, be careful Americans! Big Brother is watching. They read your private e-mail correspondence, monitor Internet usage, tap into phone conversations, delve into computer files and conduct searches of homes and offices without immediately, if ever, presenting residents with a search warrant.
Law agencies who apply provisions of the Patriot Act in the pursuit of terror suspects don't have to justify their actions to a court. By validating any investigative act under the guise of "national security," law enforcement could potentially abuse its power in any number of ways, with very little recourse for those under scrutiny.
For these reasons, many in Congress would like to see the Patriot Act renewed, but with changes. The ability to root out and stop terror organizations is crucial, but the law should stop there. Any mandate that gives government the authority to harass its citizens with no checks from the courts violates Constitutional rights.