Hard to believe but Fox News Judge Andrew P. Napolitano today said that the renewal of the Patriot Act brought the United States justice system back to "square one," meaning prior to the Bill of Rights. There is no transcript available yet, and you can check for yourself on Fox News Shepard Smith today, March 8, 2004, when the good judge was asked about the meaning of the controversy over renewing the Patriot Act particulars, and why would anyone object if it meant an increase of each individual's safety due to national security issues?
Napolitano simply explained that the same usurpation of rights under the "Patriot Act" provisos was what the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution was created for--to protect against the exact infractions that the British were doing against the American citizens of the 18th century.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The argument is that if you're not doing anything wrong, don't worry. That same imbecillic argument is what law-abiding citizens have told their neighbors throughout history--including the Jews in Berlin in the 1930's and any innumerable writers, actors, directors and producers in Hollywood in the late forties, "It can't happen here--it can't happen to us, we've done nothing wrong!"
My nephew wrote an award-winning essay in high school four years ago about the gestation and rationale for the Patriot Act following the events of 9/11. It's worth reading if just to find out how frightening it is, what is happening to our rights in these United States of ours.
Good Night and indeed, Good Luck!