Directly following 9-11 I was filled with a flood of emotion. They were mixed. My initial reaction was one of fear, but within hours it was replaced with anger and pride. I was indignant that someone would come to my country with an intent of harming my fellow countrymen and women. I can only imagine that others felt the same. At that moment I was willing to hunt them down and string them up for all to see as an example to those who would plot harm against us in the future.
As a nation we reacted much the same way. We gathered up our warriors and sent them on a mission to hunt down those responsible. In addition we passed sweeping legislation nearly immediately granting our government the ability to bypass our bill of rights.
At the time I was on board. I was wrong. At the time I didn't see this as handing over our rights willingly, but rather as a tool to hunt down terrorist. In short I was trusting our government to use the powers it was granted by congress, and thus the people, wisely.
The Patriot Act which had a sunset, but continues to be renewed, says that the FBI need not show probable cause, nor even reasonable grounds to believe, that the person whose records it seeks is engaged in criminal activity. It also allows for further investigation by the FBI if they simply don't like the books you are checking out from the library, or what you are writing on your blog for that matter.
This was a mistake. It was passed through Congress based on our fear. We were wrong. We should have headed the warnings of those sounding the alarm that we were giving up our civil liberties.
Do I still believe in hunting down those responsible. Yes. I do not believe we should change who we are to do so.