Dmitry Litvinovich: President Bush signs the Patriot Act

American President George Bush signed an anti-terrorist law that gives the government and the police the authority to control and supervise the citizens. The law, which has been already called as “The Patriot Act,” was passed in response to the attacks on September 11. Ninty-eight senators voted for the law, and only one senator was against it. The law was approved by the House of Representatives today.

The administration of the American president has already passed several anti-terrorism laws, including one about electronic shadowing and toughening the responsibility measures for funding terrorists and their concealment. War is the war and there is no place there for democracy. It would be better to shut up the press and those who stand for human rights. America has not invented anything new in this respect. There are a lot of similar examples in the past.

Tribunals also existed during the civil war in the United States. Over 1000 people have been arrested in America after September 11, without any charges brought against them. Their lawyers say there is even no evidence to prove their guilt.

The Patriot Act contains a series of measures giving more authority to the police and federal agencies; the law also toughens banking and immigration legislation. The law expands the rights of the FBI to wire tap and for electronic shadowing; it gives a new notion to terrorism and intensifies the punishment for the terrorism activity.

Tastes differ, so to speak. Those who support the law say it will help prevent tragedies such as the ones that occured on September 11. The adversaries give their own point of view. They say that these new authorities could be used against American citizens and legal immigrants. There is also another opinion: the main thing to do is to preserve a reasonable balance and that the measures of the Patriot Act are just "temporary."

Where is that balance and who is going to preserve it – this is not clear. Anyone can make mistakes, but in this case, we are talking about the real, living people. History repeats twice: once as a tragedy and then as farce.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

AP photo: President Bush and first lady Laura walk arm-in-arm after they arrived in Waco, Texas, Tuesday evening, Nov. 13, 2001

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