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December 11th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire?

ALT TEXT

Five Americans were arrested in Pakistan this week, accused of plotting a terror attack.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The arrest of five American Muslims in Pakistan is just the latest example of the growing and alarming trend of homegrown terrorism.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says "Home-based terrorism is here... and it will be part of the threat picture we must now confront."

The experts say recent cases make 2009 the most dangerous year since 9/11... They include:

  • A Chicago man charged with planning the Mumbai terror attack
  • The mass murders at Fort Hood, which some suspect was a terror attack
  • Major arrests of Americans accused of plotting with al Qaeda - including one New York bomb plot

Extremism suspects joining foreign networks - like Somali-Americans going to fight in Somalia

And the FBI rounding up homegrown terror suspects in Dallas, Detroit and Raleigh, North Carolina - claiming they broke up plots to attack a synagogue, government and military buildings

Meanwhile unless Congress acts before the end of the year, three provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act are set to expire - the parts that grant law enforcement domestic surveillance powers.

Some say the fact that Congress hasn't acted on the Patriot Act so close to the deadline is "just crazy"... they suggest the threat has been clear in places like Fort Hood and we need to protect ourselves.

But critics claim the Patriot Act disregards civil liberties, goes against constitutional freedoms, and should be allowed to die a natural death.

Here’s my question to you: With a rise in homegrown terrorism, should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jeremy from Albuquerque, New Mexico writes:
I think not. The balance between security and liberty are well-known to many Americans. Our conflict with violent Muslim extremism is ongoing; the threat remains. My view is that if you are not plotting terrorist attacks on, or from, our country you have nothing to fear from the Patriot Act.

Mark from Anna, Illinois writes:
I don't now about the Patriot Act but these 5 men should be allowed to expire.

Frank writes:
Let it die. It never should have been implemented. It’s nothing but scare tactics. I have worked in intelligence at the highest levels of government. You know what the problem is? We hire people with no common sense. Don't believe me? Look at the TSA release. Look at the investigation on the Ft. Hood shooter. CNN and the press did more in a week than the intelligence professionals did over months.

Jerry from Pennsylvania writes:
Should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire? No, no, no! 3,000 times no, for each of the lives lost on September 11th.

Rick writes:
I'd love to see the internal debate in the Bush administration on the Patriot Act. I'll bet there were other things they felt they could accomplish in the guise of national security. So, amend it or kill it.

Rich writes:
The Patriot Act will be allowed to die by a Congress that is more concerned with the rights of the terrorists than the rights of Americans to live.

Jim from Texas writes:
Jack, Absolutely. It was redundant from day one, and passed solely to limit the civil liberties of Americans. Our intelligence agencies were tangled in turf wars on 9/11, and correcting that was the sum total of the corrections we needed to make. And, while we are at it, abolish the Office of Homeland Security – another legacy of the incompetent Bush administration.

Woody writes:
The Patriot Act should have never been implemented. We see a boogie man behind every door. We have never acted this way before. It seems that we have become a nation of sheep. What are we afraid of?


Filed under: Government
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. RichP the Pocono's

    Yes, like tarp it was a quickly passed heat of the moment bad piece of legislation that gave too much power to the federal government. If that type of legislation had been proposed in the 60's there would have been elected officials tarred, feathered and ridden out of DC on a rail if not hung from the lamp posts.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  2. Joe CE

    Yes, there is more things damaging to a free society than those of value. If needed, Obama should ask for specific items.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  3. David in San Diego

    I think modification is a more productive route than expiration in toto. The Obama administration needs undo some of the Bush/Cheney excesses and do more to protect civil liberties even at a somewhat incrreased risk of a terrorist act. If we don't, then the terrostists have won anyhow.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  4. Jack Kramer in California

    Of course not. We need to keep our eye on the ball. We live in the real world, and we need to keep our eyes open and not bury our heads in the sand.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  5. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    Since the patriot act is an unpleasant withdrawal sympton of the failed Bush Administration the act should see it's sunset and replaced by a new law that is more justly Constitutional to every American citizen...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  6. Melissa

    Did you ever see the movie V For Vendetta where they were spying on their own people and persecuting them in horrible ways? Thats where the Patriot Act is heading. If its allowed to continue, I see the same thing happening. That people even remotely different, even if its just that they're an atheist, get rounded up and killed or worse. Yes, let the Patriot Act expire. I'm a Democrat.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Perhaps not. Or, we can let it expire, then after an "incident", perhaps where many people die, have it re-instated.

    Doesn't really matter too much, unless you are one of the unlucky ones, as the world is way over-populated anyway.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  8. A. Smith, Oregon

    Absolutely Jack!

    The Patriot Act removed dozens of American Freedoms which makes America Free and Unique. Born from the utter depths of the East Berlin security forces, the Patriot Act is the very height of governmental abuse.

    No wiretap warrants needed. No search warrants needed. No audio warrants needed.

    Routine eavesdropping on domestic cell and phone calls.
    Routine eavesdropping on conversations in pubic library's.
    Routine eavesdropping on domestic text and email entry's.
    Routine eavesdropping on domestic bank accounts.
    Routine searches of homes while their owners are away.

    All without any warrants, sounds like East Berlin doesn't it?

    Let all aspects, clauses and Bush-Cheney edits of the Patriot Act expire.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  9. Richard, Syracuse

    Maybe not retired but fine tuned. Isn't it funny that the very act that was designed to save us from Terrorists did not catch or inform us about the attacks at Fort Hood even though this individuals intentions were all over the Internet via his E Mail.

    President Obama should stay within the law as written and not act like they have a blank check to do whatever they want.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  10. Chad N.

    Absolutely it should be allowed to expire! The patriot act "might" help catch domestic terrorists that otherwise may not be caught, but that is debatable. What the Patriot Act factually does accomplish however is the loss of American constitutional rights to each and every one of us, regardless of its effect on domestic terrorism.

    I am more than willing to give my life defending my rights as an American citizen, I am not however willing to sacrifice my rights to preserve my life.

    It should not only be allowed to expire, it should have been expunged from the books or never passed in the first place.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  11. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Several things should happen, yes, let it expire and then send these people that hate America to Darfur to live. It's about time that we close our borders and clean house on the inside.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  12. Jane (Minnesota)

    The parts of it that are legally questionable should expire. I'd say let it expire and replace it with legislation that doesn't ignore the constitution.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  13. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Yes. There hasn't been such an anti-American unconstitutional piece of toilet paper since the national crisis of the Civil War.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  14. JENNA

    With a rise in homegrown terrorism, should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire?

    Yes it should be allowed to die. All those "home grown terrorist" have been found with good old fashioned police work and citizens calling attention to these folks.

    The Patriot Act as is a sham.. Good riddens to it!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    December 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  15. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    The so-called 'Patriot' act has done more to hamstring our civil rights and less to actually protect the American public than most goverment officials want to admit. It will be a shame if it is extended. Unfortunately, that almost guarantees that it will.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  16. john .... marlton, nj

    Yes, let it expire. There is no such thing as homegrown terrorism. It is called CRIME. Further, why should I sacrifice my 'birth rights' because some incompetent law enforcement civil servant can't or won't do his job? Does any fool on earth really believe that the Patriot Act would of stopped four planes from being hijacked on 9/11 or that it would of stopped that whacko from blowing up the fed building in Oklahoma, no, I don't so.. ... Check your history, do you realize that early on the Unibomber's name was 'overlooked' on a list because some federal law enforcement agents made a 'profiling' type decision (tensure based) that arbitrarily limited, not his name from the list, but what they the agents would look for ..... unbelievable ... fifteen years later and how many more dead, when they finally got the unibomber, they are all racing t ofind a camera to pose infront of ...

    December 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  17. Ray Kinserlow

    Absolutely.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    December 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  18. DON, TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN

    Jack, probably most parts of it needs to expire. Perhaps there is one or two good things in it. But the rest of it is Bush and Cheney era stuff. Get rid of it!

    December 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  19. marlene

    Yes, it should be allowed to expire. Congress should never have passes this law in the first place. Big brother has not proved it's worth! Marlene in Mich

    December 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  20. pat

    no but i believe it should be revised with some of the things we know now to be factual about violations or excesses of power

    December 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  21. Terry, Chandler AZ

    The fact is Jack, if the 'evil doers' really want to evil do us, they will find a way to evil do us. Letting the unpatriotic Patriotic Act expire is not the PC thing to do and it will never happen. It is sorta nice to talk about it. I thank you for letting us do so.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  22. Darren

    Yes, because that little piece of paper was only designed so President Cheney could circumvent the law with spying on Anericans and torturing detainees.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  23. Maria

    Yes, it should expire and with no lost tears. I think lots of people in this country don't even know what the PA is, much less how it affects their lives. It's one of those great Cheney schemes that allowed all of us to lose many rights.

    Hi,Ho, the wicked witch is dead!! I hope.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    December 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  24. J W

    No. It should be declared anti American and killed retroactively and outright. Laws of treason should be levied against any administration that tries to resurrect this kind of thing.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  25. The Broker.

    "Whatever it is? Things should be changed at least everyten years, and rewritten. Everything is changing ten fold, every ten years."

    December 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  26. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Absolutely ""N O T "" Jack
    It is more important than ever to keep tabs on the cells in this country
    that ""WE"" allowed to develop.
    David

    December 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  27. Brandon

    Even if it expires, what makes you think that surveillance will stop? I say let it expire and maybe some terrorists will drop their guard a little...

    December 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  28. Dennis in Grand Rapids, MI

    The Patriot Act should expire. It really doesn't do anything to protect Americans. All it does is remove rights and Constitutional protections.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  29. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    The Patriot Act should have followed George W Bush out the door, it was the opening salvo of 7 years secrecy and deceit. We don't need paranoid people wanting our shoes checked at airports while there's 2,000 miles of border with Mexico barely patrolled and even more with Canada.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  30. Lynda, Greenville NC

    If you have nothing to hide, such as a terrorist plot, you have nothing to fear from the Patriot Act. If it is working to prevent these horrible acts it should be continued.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  31. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    In articles and discussions about the Patriot Act, we read and hear about the threats ... all scary stuff. But what we don't learn is how the Patriot Act has made a difference. In any of the recent events, has law enforcement used any provision of the Patriot Act to further empower themselves in their investigations? This taxpayer would be satisfied with a simple 'Yes' or "No' along with a brief summary. In this age of 'transparency,' we're entitled to at least that.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    December 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  32. Ben Leatherbury

    Yes it should expire. The greatest security we have as a nation is our freedom, granted to us by the United States Constitution.

    The Patriot Act though disregards several of our constitutional amendments. One good example would be Amendment IV. Before the Patriot Act, this constitutional amendment gave people the right to be secure in their homes and protected them against unreasonable searches. I would like to see our government restore Amendment IV back to its original beauty, by letting the Patriot Act expire.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  33. Alex in Seattle

    Yes! The Patriot Act was a Bush era overreaction to 9/11. Like the internment of the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, it yielded to fear and compromised our ideals. The Patriot Act and other abuses harmed our standing in the world and helped to recruit more terrorists. It seems that the FBI is rounding up potential terrorists as a law enforcement issue without becoming the thought police.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  34. Greg, Ontario

    This is so easy a problem to solve and I don't know why politicians can't see it. If you took every blood relative of these five traitors and put them on a plane to thier originating countries the Muslim extremeist in the US would quickly be taken care of. You would have every one of them turned over to the authorities on the hope that they get to stay in the US instead of being sent back to the mud huts they ran from.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  35. Richard Green

    Jack,

    Your piece suggests that it is the use of the Patriot Act that is responsible for capturing these suspects. There is no proof that the Patriot Act has enhanced our security in the least. The Patriot Act could disappear tomorrow and the FBI, HSA, local police forces, and CIA would all still have more than adequate tools at their disposal to keep America safe. All it has done is trash our liberty and constitutional protections.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal

    December 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  36. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, perhaps a better question might be - Is America serious about combating terrorism? Of the 300 million plus people in America today, some citizens, some not, surely there are those among the bunch with a genuine axe to grind. Allowing the Patriot Act to expire would only encourage them.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    December 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  37. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, no it shouldn't, however, the liberal left who are more worried about protecting the criminals than the victims, will allow it to die. You and I will pay for their stupidity, but the criminals will have their rights protected. Makes a lot of sense from the ALCU and the Democrat's perspective, and no sense from a security perspective.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  38. Ryan, Galesburg IL

    Jack, the Patriot Act has always been a bad idea, and expanded to invade privacy and increase police powers for things far outside of terrorism concerns.

    We need new legislation, that respects individuals and our beloved Constitution, and protects us from power grabs. Let it expire so we can draft measures that are borne out of rationalism rather than fear.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  39. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack
    To surrender our constitutional rights and civil liberty is defeat by default. These Bush nimrods need to protect this country by controling immmigration and our borders, not reading our mail.
    The Patriot Act is anything but Patriotism. Its right out of Joseph Stalins play book. The Bush /Cheney Reign of Error is over and so should The Spying of civilians

    December 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  40. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    Pandora’s Box is already open. Those conspiratorial movies showing governments being able to track every email and phone call we make that moves through cyber-space is real. The question is what are they going to do about it and with it? Everybody’s got bones in their closet, some secret that they would rather remain private. I just hope that the good folks in the government who are watching over us can keep an eye out for other unscrupulous bastards who want to steal our identities and our wealth. New safeguards are being developed every day. And every day some other country’s government is trying to do us in and turn our way of life upside down. And then there are those hackers who do it for fun and profit.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  41. Randy from Salt Lake City

    No only should it be allowed to expire, but those who spewed that garbage down should be put on trial. But it will be renewed. Why? Because Barack Obama is a pawn to the military-industrial-security-banking complex. We are totally doomed.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  42. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    I think not. The balance between security and liberty are well known to many Americans. Our conflict with violent muslim extremism is ongoing; the threat remains. My view is that if you are not plotting terrorist attacks on, or from, our country you have nothing to fear from the Patriot Act. If some poor Homeland Security agent feels it necessary to tap my phone and listen to me ordering a pizza, I really don't care.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  43. Doug - Dallas, TX

    The Patriot Act had nothing to do with all of the people who have been arrested. It was just good police work. I am curious though, how did the Patriot Act protect all of the murdered and wounded at Ft. Hood? Let's face it, unless you round up every nut case and put them in a prison the size of Texas, you're not going to be able to stop all of this craziness. The Patriot Act needs to go away, our civil liberties have been trampled on enough.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  44. Tina Tx

    I don't care. This is what we pay of local police and FBI & CIA to do. They all need to get back to work and quit milling around the office yakking with their friends. Fire half a dozen of them and the rest of the slackers in the FBI/CIA would get busy and catch these type people

    December 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  45. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Yes. It is a poorly written and often abused law put into place by a paranoid and self-absorbed war monger. Even the name "Patriot Act" is misleading and attempts to veil the true intent it was designed for.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  46. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Allow this act to expire and replace it with one that will protect us and that is much more well thought out.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  47. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I am a person who believes strongly in ones civil rights. But these provisions should not be allowed to expire especially when they deal with surveillance. That is our strong suit and taking it away would only help the homegrown terrorist. We are in a war right now and the enemy is living with us. But our gov't should not go overboard and start picking up people who might say one of the magic words that they have surveillance computers geared to pick up.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  48. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Do we want to be Politically Correct, or do we want to prevent homegrown terrorist attacks? I would hope people would want to prevent homegrown terrorist attacks.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  49. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    How many innocents versus how many guilty does the Patriot Act affect? The results of that alone should answer the question.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  50. Ron from SF

    Here's a question I'd like to see answered: Has the Patriot Act and our country's militaristic nature, fueled the crazies, who want to kill us? Since 2001, it's gotten worse–not better. I had a lot more faith in this country when we weren't violating our Constitution. Increasingly, I see an overseas behavior that fuels those who are against us. Domestically, I'm growing more disgusted with the trend towards Fascism and my sympathy with the Federal government went way down, because of the UN-Patriot Act. Now I'm not sure who the enemy is! Is it Islamic militants or Exxon and Halliburton? Let's honor our constitution and get out of foreign countries and we won't have these problems. But then again, we're stuck with this nightmare, because we have to steal the oil from somewhere.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  51. Lisa, San Jose CA

    Yes, because the fact this could happen indicates that the Patriot Act doesn't work. All it does is allow the government to harass innocent people, it doesn't improve their ability to catch budding baddies.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  52. Luke

    I don't see the Patriot Act as the key. The key is the lack of internal focus when it comes to our information gathering (ie spying) tactics. There is enough information out there that can be gotten in non-illegal ways. Just look at Axciom.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  53. Paul, Austin, Texas

    Reformed or fine tuned but the full Patriot Act should not expire. There are just to many nut jobs out there on the home front and more in countries that never did or will like us. So fine tune it and keep it.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  54. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Those individuals who are so concerned with their "civil liberties & constitutional freedom" might have a change of heart when the next attack reaches our soil. I am not the only citizen of this country who is amazed that it hasn't happened yet but when the day arrives that there is a suicide attack on Main Street, I have a feeling that the number of pseudo-intellectuals worrying about the Constitution will have a sudden change of heart.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  55. Greg - Minneapolis, MN

    Jack, not only should the Patriot Act NOT be allowed to expire, it should be made PERMANENT. It is clear from the recent arrest of 5 "Americans" in Pakistan that there are still radical elements out there set to destroy this country. And yet we hesitate to do anything meaningful in eliminating terrorism from our shores because some scream about civil liberties and rights, the same people who would be leading the pack demanding to know why the government didn't prevent an act of terrorism in the U.S.! The fact is that the Patriot Act does not implement "Big Brother" on anyone, but rather it deals with people suspected of terrorism and is little different than law enforcement dealing with people suspected of criminal activity. We need to treat terrorists as the criminals they are, and not as the civil libertarians would have us deal, or not deal with them.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  56. Linda in Arizona

    Of course it should, but Obama won't let it. He has continued to spy on Americans just like bush did, and will not support any diminution or relaxing of the unconstitutional so-called Patriot Act. His policies are nothing but a continuation of cheneybush, so all you scared bunnies can sleep well in your government-controlled beds. Big Brother is watching over you as you sleep. Oh, and he's listening to your phone calls and reading your emails too, thank goodness.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  57. Steve Batts

    We were victorious in WWII Korean War and the Cold War, without the Patriot act.
    I think the rise in exposure of Homegrown terrorist is due more to great police work than the Patriot Act. Ben Franklin said it best. "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    December 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  58. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The patriot act should remain until this conflict has ended to many things has changed already to insure security.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  59. Will from San Jose, CA

    The Patriot Act covers a number of different programs and policy changes. Some of them, like opening channels of communication between agencies are a good thing. Other's like the domestic phone surveillance program took a step too far, circumventing the check and balance of the judicial branch. We have three separate but, and this is very important, equal branches of government. Any provision in the bill that breaks that balance should not only expire, it should never have been passed.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  60. Frank Marston Virginia Beach, VA

    Of course not. We need every tool available to find and prosecute these people.

    Best Regards,

    Frank

    December 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  61. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Guess what Jack, there is evil in the world, there has always been and will always be evil. Yet somehow the vast majority of the people on this earth are a wonderful people.

    It makes no sense to me to fight evil with evil as all that is created is more evil.

    If we were a society based on the values we claim to possess, like faith, hope, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, love; evil then would be combated by a positive force.

    It is not constriction such as the Patriot Act but an independence and human spirituality that will bring people together and eradicate evil.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  62. ben franklin

    yes the patriot "act" should be allowed to expire.

    It was a bad idea then, it is a worse idea now.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  63. Gilbert West

    I really don't think the rising threat of violence has anything to do with having a Patriot Act or not having one. Terrorism has been a part of the American landscape ever since the first settlers arrived from Europe. Ask any surviving Native American about terrorism. Ask any surviving decendent of slavery about night-riders, the ku klux klan, etc. Today we face a far greater threat from foreign drug cartels than we do from "terrorists." The fact that America is occupying so many lands to the dismay of so many peoples... this is what is fueling the threat of terroism. I don't see how the laws that were already on the books before the Patriot Act are not sufficient to prosecute the perpetratorsof these acts. Timothy McVeigh was successfully captured, tried in a court of law, found guilty as charged, and executed without a patriot act. It seems that these extra laws only serve to enlarge an already over-sized bureaucracy, a burden on the tax payers. Look at Home Land Security, for example. Has that stopped drug trafficking into the USA, or stopped drug-related homicides, or even slowed it down? The honest answer to these questions has to be NO! Lets stop wasting time by mis-directing attention away from the critical issues of the day, i.e., UN-Employment, Out-sourcing of jobs, etc., Unfair Free Trade policies. These sideline issues such as the "patriot act" do not create viable employment. These turn out to be government welfare jobs that add no value, nor do they protect American citizens.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  64. Tim

    This nation experienced one of the worst attacks on this nation's soil and there are continual threats, foreign and domestic, to the United States and we have to be sure we give law enforcement officials the tools they need to keep this country safe. Patriot Act needs some work but it should be be allowed to expire.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  65. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    my brother and I argue about this all the time. He's a Fed. He's all for it and more besides. If the government had had the powers in the Patriot Act when I was an draft resisting, protest marching, civil rights defending college student, i would probably still be in jail!
    Pablo

    December 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  66. Irv Lilley Ephrata, Pa.

    Jack , The Patriot Act did not keep us safe from attacks. So why should it be kept alive.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  67. Larry

    No end to the Patriot act. The only way terrorism will end is when this country starts speaking the truth about Islam. Death threats to anyone including citizen to believe in anything is a sign of a cult, which is what much of the Middle East pratices.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  68. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    YES YES YES! The Patriot Act is corrupt and evil and anti-American. There will always be people engaged in criminal activity for one reason or another, including religious madness and the rest of us should not lose our rights because that law enforcement does not want to do it's job.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  69. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    It never should have been enacted in the first place. Alot of good it did for Fort Hood. They were having just too much fun listening to and reading intimate conversations.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  70. Jessica in New Jersey

    Jack, this horrendous bill was passed by a panicky house and senate, most of whom didn't even bother to read it. YES it should be allowed to expire, and we should all get the 4th amendment back. Ben Franklin said it best: "Those who would sacrifice freedom for some small measure of safety deserve neither freedom nor safety."

    December 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  71. T.J. Tampa

    I think it does require to much intrusion into our personal lives, but Ive survived so far.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  72. Matt

    No, in the modern world of today with increased globalization and so much communication technology available, the Patriot Act shouldn't expire. This isn't the 80s anymore, and laws need to keep on top of technology.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  73. Mike from Denver

    The words of Benjamin Franklin as just as true today as they were when he spoke them, that anyone who would trade liberty for security – deserves neither.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  74. James from Tennessee

    Even if it is renewed, it won't stop more and more domestic terrorists from popping up on our own soil. It's a lose-lose situation for our country either way, and not worth taking our freedoms away over.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  75. Mike in Quebec

    Are these guys the new Boy Band, Alqeida5

    Now playing at a club near you!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  76. Peter

    I'm not sure how this Congress can act to reenstate the Patriot Act, after having lashed out so criticially towards the previous administration regarding domestic survelliance programs. But regardless of the obvious hypocrisy it would present, they should continue the Patriot Act. The fact is that we have allowed our borders to be penetrated by persons who are enemies of our nation and the interest of our allies and today as in the past, we have a real risk of "homegrown" terrorists – enviromental terrorists, racially motivated terrorists and just the old fashion anarchist freaks that tend to flock together or act out on their own.

    Its only a safe world if we are diligent to keep it that way.

    Pete
    King of Prussia, PA

    December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  77. Dan in Santa Barbara

    Yeah, allow it to expire and REWRITE it! I am sure we can keep what works and implement it in a way that preserves our constitution. Hell, we have a Professor of the Constitution in the White House. I'd like to see what version he comes up with!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  78. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl

    The dysfunctional Department of Homeland Security should expire. Let the US Military handle the job. Take no prisoners.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  79. Brad Banks

    I'm for all parts of the Patriot ACT that are constitutional. the rest of them should go!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  80. T.G. from the Virgin Islands

    Instead of letting the Patriot Act expire, Congress should try to make adjustments to the Patriot Act, so that it doesn't enfringe on the civil right of American citizens.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  81. Ben Allen, Lee NH

    When Bob Barr, one of the chief architects of the Patriot Act, supports its repeal, it's probably a good sign that the bill needs to go.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  82. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    arrest only if u have enough evidence to do so.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  83. larry ripley

    I don't think the Patriot Act should have ever been. Why do we bother to have a Constitution if we are not going to follow it. What is all this crap about freedom and liberty if we are going to grab people and incarcerate them or spy on them with out any a warrant or other judicial oversight. What is the purpose of living here if some bozo next door thinks you are a terrorist and reports you. Then without any other authorization the FBI or whoever is listening to your phone calls and reading your other communications, seeing what library books you check out, what you bank account looks like and none of those folks can object to warrantless searches because they can then be charged with revealing "State Secrets". I remember Richard Nixon, sad to say even voted for him, and his enemies list. A number of laws and judicial authority were put in place and designed to operate quickly and securely to support the use of judicial oversight and authorization of secret searches. Security without liberty is not secure and liberty without security is not liberty. Neither at the expense of the other.

    ennis, tx

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  84. Annie, Atlanta

    Benjamin Franklin wrote: “They that can give up Essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” The reality is if someone wants to attack us, they will. What freedoms are we willing to give for that reality?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  85. Tom in Iowa

    President Obama promised change and this is one place where change is definitely needed.

    The Patriot Act was enacted by the Bush Administration. It is full of flaws and intrusions into our Constitutional rights. It needs to be allow to expire and a new act written that protects our individual rights while allowing law enforcement to do their jobs.

    Tom in Iowa

    December 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  86. Michael G

    Yes Jack,
    It never should have been implemented in the first place.
    It seriously violates the consitution and there are many
    laws that the federal government does not enforce anyway.
    It's just another way of making us wage slaves to more taxes.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  87. dick from indiana

    One hundred years ago they were around 300 murders a year in the whole United States. No one seems to be interested in why we are "growing" terrorists. Perhaps if we tried to solve the hoplessness of these poor folks we wouldn't need a Patriot Act.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  88. Ben Walker

    It's unconstitutional, end of story..

    December 11, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  89. Homeless D

    ABSOLUTELY!

    Law enforcement needs to use legal surveillance (wiretaps, etc) authorized by a court order.

    Or maybe people don't care that the government can tap their phones, read their emails and enter their homes without a warrant!

    Maybe so. After all, ask a person if government snooping is bad and many say yes. But offer free GPS systems with new vehicles (of various trade names0 and folks think they are getting a real deal. Maybe Americans ARE that stupid.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  90. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack, the problem is there is more to homegrown terrorism than fundamentalist Islamic groups. There has been a widespread rise in all kinds of hate groups in this country. The Oklahoma City bombing was by extreme Rightwingers and , when I was much younger, the left was repersented by the Weathermen and SLA. The American Revolution was an act of violent revolt as was my favorite, the Whiskey Rebellion. Anytime a group that believes in some cause strongly enough will eventually turn to violence in a misguided attempt to gain thoses ends and in the process innocents will be hurt or die. For those of you who do not like it please feel free to move someplace else.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  91. Bruce - Delaware

    I strongly support allowing it to expire. It was written many years before 9/11, pulled out in haste and not properly deliberated before passing. 9/11 was actually designed for the express purpose of permitting passage of that rights-destroying legislation. The whole terrorism hype is just that. Decent foreign policy would not provide a growth medium for terrorism, and most acts of terrorism are acts of the state.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  92. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    The Patriot Act has done more to incite domestic terrorism than it has done to protect us from harm. When the people have reason to beilieve that their own government is spying on them and disregarding the constituetional protected liberties, we the people are likely to feel persecuted and take up arms against the government that has moved against them. Americans are more likely to be motivated by a fear against our own government than by stereotypical images of muslims. The Patriot Act is hated by people on the left and right with equal contempt. Libertarians, progressives, independents and thinking people in the middle all have expressed deep reservations against the Patriot Act. Maybe it's about time we dump it.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  93. james in Idaho

    Yes Jack, it should. This bloated republican form of big government needs to be stamped out.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  94. Mike Dailey

    Yes, it should be allowed to expire. Criminal laws, such as treason, should be enforced.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  95. Stephanie from Davie, FL

    YES! If someone is suspicious enough the FBI would be approved to have surveillance on them. If someone if normal, like MOST americans, they will have no authority to spy on our private lives. It seems like we all have to be punished for a VERY small group of idiots...thats how most things go right?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  96. Caesar in Atlanta

    Every law, program or rule should have a system of checks and balances otherwise the government will abuse it. Yes there should be a judge approving ease dropping. Although I trust Obama a lot more than Cheney, a judge should oversee all processes.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  97. Ryan S

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    B. Franklin
    Boston

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  98. Just saying

    You want to end terrorism. Taking away rights only helps to breed it, as does invading other countries. The real solution to terrorism is an educated society, America not being hypocritical on its human rights stance, programs to end hunger, and make sure all who want to work can work. Injustice is the excuse these terrorists use in their propaganda. You want to end terrorism, you must truly be a just society.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  99. Abdul

    No it shouldn't. Giving up some convenient freedom cannot and should never be equated the price we have to pay for insecurity. Freedom comes at a cost. The act has paid off with terrorist plans being nipped in the bud. We cannot afford any more Terrorism.
    Abdul, Newark

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  100. Jerry Barton from the South Poconos in PA

    Should the Patriot Act be allowed to expire?
    No, No, No!
    3,000 Times No, for each of the Lives Lost on September 11th.
    Jerry B.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  101. Gary

    Sometimes we tend to be our own worst enemy. The patriot act is one of those times. Die you cancer on American freedom. Does that answer your question?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  102. bugs

    Yes Jack,the Patroit Act should expire with anything else bush had his hands on.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  103. John, Fort Collins, CO

    For all we know, Osama Bin Laden might be holed up right now in a $10,000 house in Detroit that is filled with electronic communication gear. In light of the recent increase in the number of home-grown terrorists I would encourage Congress to extend the Patriot Act.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  104. Adam

    Jack, the Patriot Act should be allowed to expire. The Patriot Act is a huge violation of privacy, and although I'm a ninth grader I know what it's like to have my privacy violated and it's terrible. The act lets the government listen in on phone calls, look at financial and medical files, and other records. Once I'm at an age where I care about files I would hate to have someone looking at all of my private information. For those who want it to continue I don't know why there are many different ways to find criminals, and or terrorists. Hopefully other citizens will realize how gross it is to have people listening to your conversations, and reading your emails.

    From Adam
    Woodstock, New York

    December 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  105. Ted

    There is no rise in homegrown terrorism. It has been around since Operation Northwoods was proposed in the 1960's and the Anthrax was sent to our lawmakers before the passage of the Patriot Act. Let the thing expire, we liked our Bill of Rights.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  106. Craig

    Jack, I think its ridiculous that a piece of legislation as clearly unconstitutional as the Partriot Act is on the books at all. Above letting this bill die, perhaps citizens should be able to have wire taps on congress instead of the other way around.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  107. Rick McLaren

    I think a very smart man said it best " They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" Ben Franklin

    December 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  108. james Angell

    Of course the patriot act should be renewed in all its provisions. We need to protect ourselves in this war on muslim terrorists.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  109. Joseph T. Kessel

    The Patriot Act should be allowed to continue indefinitely.
    Furthermore, any U.S. citizen found fighting or supporting an enemy power should be charged with TREASON.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  110. Liberty Lex

    Yes Jack it should expire....
    How can it be home grown when they are leaving back to the middle eas? While applaud the efforts of the FBI claims of stopping certain event from happening. I do believe that these events are exaggerated to instill a fear to control people and continue war mongering of the democons. To maintain freedom we must be free.

    Liberty Lex

    December 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  111. Graeme CA.

    The patriot act was one of the most hypocritical acts of legislation to the constitution ever signed. It should have expired the day the Bush admin. left office. It is an embarrassment to the American people to still have this piece of legislation in act today.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  112. woody

    The patriot should have never been implemented. we see a boogie man behind every door. We have never acted this way before. It seems that we have become a nation of sheep. What are we afraid of?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  113. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl not only expire, it should be repealed, it should be brought before the supreme court and all involved in passing this piece of fascism should be held accountable for the mess they have made. shame on all of those legislators of terror.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  114. Sarah Davidson

    It's unfortunate, but once we as a nation began to produce people who wished to harm us, we forfeited any right to privacy that once may have existed.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  115. Mohamed Ba

    The expiration of the Patriot Act is long over due. America should never throw up its promise of freedom for any cause. Freedom is priceless. There is not domestic terrorism, there is domestic misconception of the issue of the terrorism. There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism.
    Because people are upset and lack most kinds of social often lead them to engage in insane behavior as random shooting or bombing bus.
    We should thrive to build a stronger social within our America, and cut every tie with Israel and the Arab world as Canada for instance. That way we will not have to worry about international or domestic terrorism.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  116. Alex

    I don't know enough about the Patriot Act. However, if anything, political correctness should be allowed to expire. The sooner, the better.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  117. david moore

    Given the intelligence that existed with-in the various intelligence agency prior to 911, had that intelligence been properly valued and acted upon, America should have been able to have prevented the terrorist attack on 911. Knowing this, the only viable conclusion is; no new tools or agencies would have been needed to thwart that 911 attack, nor to prevent any similar 911 style attacks in the future, but merely, that our intelligence community, was incompetent.
    Now, would it not be true, that before the 911 attack, a viable balance had been struck, between the protection of an individuals constitutionally protected rights, and the tools, available to the intelligence community needed to protect America at home from foreign terrorist attacks, had been achieved.
    It has been said, “a society, which surrenders personal freedoms, under the guise of security, deserves neither”. Now, make your case for the need of the patriot act.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  118. H S Kancyr

    Yes the PA should expire. This is still America and this act is nothing if not anti-American. Scardy-cat Americans keep giving up their freedoms. Let's not find out that we don't deserve Freedom or Security, as the saying goes.
    I don't fly anymore since the TSA stormtroopers started de-shoeing people, and I'll bet I'm not alone. We should also save a few bucks by getting rid of the airport theater, that is the TSA.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  119. Richard

    Yes it should expire

    December 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  120. Rad

    It did not provide much benefit, at least it was not revealed to the general public. It may helped US security forces to thwart some terrorists, but I would say the UK forces were much more efficient. Retire it, and if needed replace with a better one.
    Keep for now the muslim immigration into the US to zero. Moreover, if a muslim clerics or whoever, incites religious hatred, send them to where they have come form. Evesdropping on mosque should be part of any new legislation

    December 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  121. X

    yes let it expire, this lasw is the most blatent unconstitutional law this nation has ever seen and spits in the face of the millions of men that have fought and died in the name of the Reoublic. A founding father Benjamin Franklin once said "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." that means if we start giving up our freedoms for our own good then whats the point in fighting to keep our freedom because they win they get what they want. and why would we fight for freedom if we are willing to so easily give it up. there is non. so kill the Bill

    December 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  122. Travis, Austin, TX

    Absolutely, these aspects of the Patriot Act must be allowed to die. The previous administration used the force of people's fear in order to invade those same people's privacy, taking a step down the road toward a police state, which is in every way against the basic principles of American society. This particular type of contradiction was a prime characteristic of the previous administration, and the GOP in general these days. It is in matters like these that fear-driven politics come around to bite us in the butt.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  123. Garry Orr

    Let the patriot act expire. We have far more problems with law enforcement on ego & power trips than we do terrorists here in the U.S.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  124. Henry

    Chasing your own tail…
    The religious indoctrination is a threat worldwide (think of 9/11, Dr. Major Hassan Malik Nidal, the five cool jihaddists captured in Pakistan, the holocausts and genocides. And yet, instead of bona fide community centers we have a proliferation of indoctrination centers (churches, synagogues and mosques) , where people are invariably brainwashed, polarized and antagonized against other groups. There they are taught an irrational behavior, prejudice, and often incited to violence.

    We need community centers, where people will be taught how to behave and relate to others, as well as discuss teir concerns.

    Baltimore

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  125. mike saunders

    I think that these issues are best discussed in the forum of the Supeme Court who can best establish what falls under the constitution and what does not after all the supreme Court Justices swear to defend the Constitution, so why not let them earn their salaries. The People who wish to extend the patriot act can have their day in court and I believe that all involved wish to keep Americans safe. Freedom don't forget is not free and comes at a cost, which sometimes requires the death of the Sacrificial cow". My view is that the Patriot Act is a good thing and should be dismantled when the danger is passed. In Canada our Prime Minister had to declare martial law to deal with our own homegrown terrorists but once the danger to the public had passed , the Declaration was lifted. We need to use our heads and engage the Supreme Court when we are not sure what is best or how in pursuing a course of action may violate the law and in doing so set a dangerous precident for the future. Tough question.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  126. Steve Phillips WI.

    Sen. Finegold Refused to sign The "patriot"act because It Clearly violated out constitutional rights. I am all for keeping us safe but not at the expense of the very concepts that make America a free nation! Bush used the fear 9-11 caused to force step one of Naomi Wolfs 10 steps to change a democracy into a dictatorship, "Step (1) Create fear of a common enemy so the people will not question the removal of rights to privacy" The Patriot act is as close as we have come to a policed dictatorship!!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  127. Rick

    I'd love to see the internal debate in the Bush administration on the act. I'll bet there were other things they felt they could accomplish in the guise of national security. So, amend it or kill it.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  128. John

    As you stated the Act abridges our Constitutional rights. Law enforcement agencies such as the FBI can obtain a warrant from a court. Did the Bush administration understand the term "illegal? Apparently not. The Justice Department that is supposed to represent the citizenry is still sitting on its hands while Cheney is runs his mouth off. New York would also be a good place for his terrorist trial.

    Longwood, FL

    December 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  129. AJ, Potsdam, NY

    Jack,

    Without question.

    By forcing this un-American legislation through a cowardly Congress (and a judiciary packed by right-wing zealots), Bush and Cheney gave the terrorists what they had wanted all along: destruction of that which IS America.

    This was an ill-advised piece of legislation form the very beginning, one which flies in the face of the very precepts upon which our nation was founded. That despicable acts such as the Ft. Hood massacre were not prevented by this law more than demonstrates that it is in no way necessary.

    A future '9-11' attack can be far better prevented by requiring various law enforcement and intelligence agencies to work together, rather than in their traditional turf-oriented and secretive manner – and following both the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  130. Jason

    Yes it should. Legislation can always be written in a way that doesnt diminish the civil liberties of law abiding americans, yet protects them. This dog of a law doesnt allow for that! Get rid of it, and while they are at it, revamp the TSA!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  131. Tom

    You're kidding right? Why do you think we haven't had another large scale terrorist attack since 9/11; because we've been talking nice to Iran?
    Jack, Lets be real...The patriot act has been keeping us in the terrorist loop. Without it, we 're doomed for another attack. If you're more worried about someone reading your e-mails, then let it expire and buy a bomb shelter! Renew the act...

    December 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  132. Jim Green, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack, ABSOLUTELY....it was redundant from day one–and passed solely to limit the civil liberties of Americans–Our Intelligence agancies were tangled in turf wars on 9-11–and correcting that was the sum total of the corrections we needed to make–and while we are at it abolish the Office of Homeland Security another legacy of the incompetent Bush administration.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  133. Aaron Peavler From Bliss Idaho

    No It will give the terrorist the wrong message If we let our guard down they come and the war will continue Extend the Patriot Act get Bin Ladin.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  134. Steve Phillips WI.

    The Patriot Act is as close as America has ever come to being Dictatorship! Factor in the unconstitutional power Bush bestowed upon himself, the secret torture chambers , Gitmo and warentless wire taps on private Americans Then add the laws passed that protected those who violated our rights from any prosecution and we may as well of had Stalin in the White House!!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  135. Brian

    McVeigh and Nichols were arrested and successfully prosecuted for a horrific act of terror in Oklahoma without having to step all over the Constitution.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  136. Will

    I would say yes only if the police have probable cause and a warrant from a judge showing evidence and intelligence that the search of personal information warrants the investigation. If the powers of the patriot act is expanded to permit arbitrary investigations without probable cause then I have serious issues with it.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  137. Steve Phillips WI.

    The Patriot Act has GOT TO GO , along with Gitmo, the torture chambers and the the laws Bush signed to protect his cronies from being prosecuted!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  138. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    Let all of the Bush Administration's crap expire and start all over.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  139. steve in virginia

    We need to keep but it with modifications that restore rights and civil liberties such as requiring warrants, even if they're after-the-fact such as with FISA. The last thing we need is a police state.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  140. Steve Phillips WI.

    The Patriot Act was forced through while Americans were either shaking under their beds or Standing by Bush Yelling "Love it or LEAVE IT!!" The act needs to go the way of Gitmo , the torture chambers and the Regime that forced it on us!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  141. Will

    No, the patriot act should not be permitted to lapse because it does permit the law enforcement with the tools to do their jobs; however, it should be altered and reviewed to ensure civil liberties are not trampled upon.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  142. Ted

    Sadly Jack the patriot act will be allowed to expire. Our civil liberties are more important than human life. Mr. Bush had the guts to do what he had to do to save lives after 911. He knew that civil liberties could not save lives. Our president now wants to fight a nice war by the rules. Rules cannot win this kind of war. The enemy is using our laws to beat us. If the patriot act goes ,so does America.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  143. Rusty

    Jack, without the renewal of the Patriot act we are in deep "DoDo". It has been proved that the conditions have caught and indentified many ones that are plotting extreme acts against Americans!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  144. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The Patriot Act wasn't used for it's intended purposes during the Bush administration, in fact it was used as a wiretapping tool within his administration. Furthermore, the Patriot Act isn't going to stop terrorism unless every country has the same.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  145. The Wilk

    Keep the Patriot Act exactly as it is. The law has saved the lives of both domestic and foreign citizens. There are times when it is necessary to keep an eye on our enemies. Particularly during two wars. Unless we have the ability to evesdrop on our enemies, they will become our murderers!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  146. Steven Foyer

    The Patriot Act should be renewed. But that is only a part of the picture, i.e., Domestic policy. How about Foreign policy ? You are talking about Somali-American kids going to Somalia ? Let's see, according to the New York times,
    in 2006 an umbrella movement called the Islamic Courts Union seemed close to uniting the country of Somalia. The movement constituted the best hope for putting Somalia together again and the prospect of having a functional government again. But the Bush Administration did some so called surgical strikes in 2006 and green lighted the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia which created a humanitarian disaster. We still see pictures of refugees and malnourished children from Somalia. Do you think the in Bush administration's policy toward Somalia was a success ? Did it contribute to a solution ? You had Somali ex-pats on PBS Newshour arguing at that time, not to follow such policies. But no... Now build more fortresses at home...

    December 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  147. lynne from nc

    Yes the Patriot Act should finally meet its demise. I think if we develop a backbone and the will we can find and try these individuals just as good with the laws we do have. Besides we've had homegrown terrorists here for years. Ask the Native Americans, Irish and Italian immigrants here in the later part of the 19th and the early part of the 20th century, not to mention the African-Americans.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  148. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    when did Americans become cowards, that we are willing to give up our rights, just to feel a fake sense of safety!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  149. HULK1516

    I thought the Patriot Act was code for unclassified information? I'm just sayin' though....'red flags' and all....

    December 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  150. Kiamrs

    Jack ; We need to renew the Patriot act, I run away from similar governmental terrorism 30 years ago ,I could not believe that I have to face them here. yes I am American Iranian, I strongly believe they are here we must defend our democracy.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:58 pm |