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Decades After 9/11, The Long-Lived “Patriot Act” Has Miserably Failed.

And the worst part? It just encountered its sole purpose.

It’s the 19th anniversary of the “Patriot Act”.

An entire generation of youth don’t have the luxury of recalling a time before the “post-9/11” era of laws. While the attacks (thankfully) did not outlast the day, or the week, or endure for over half a year, its many consequences are felt nearly two decades later, and may linger for decades to come.

  1. Removing information barriers across federal agencies.
  2. Expanding the list of what activities fall under “terrorism”.

Let’s get it straight; what is terrorism?

It’s not a new idea. The word “terrorism” originated in the late 18th century, during the French Revolution. With the irregular conflicts in Northern Ireland beginning in the late 1960s, the term began to pick up popularity. Terrorism has a caricature in the United States; many internalize it as being synonymous to faraway acts of violence in the Middle-East. But what does it really mean?

  1. Violence; inflicting physical harm on others.
  2. Intimidation; manifesting fear onto someone.
  3. Civilians; not military or law enforcement.
  4. Political aims; of governance and power relations.

We’ve talked about failures; here’s the point.

Fighting terrorism doesn’t — and shouldn’t — require us to surrender our constitutional rights. The greatest irony is that, despite having done this, everything the “Patriot Act” has brought into law has come back to bite us. When confronted with its true enemy, it’s merely shrugged. The fight against terrorism begs a question: what causes it? Leaving behind the invisible, faceless, unidentifiable enemy, what is the root of terrorism?

“There are far, far better things ahead than we leave behind.” — C.S. Lewis

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