The USA PATRIOT Act is one of the most blatant examples of police state legislation. When it was passed we were told it was necessary to protect us from the terrorists. Not surprisingly, since terrorism isn’t really a big threat to those of us living in the United States, it has been used far more to fight the war on unpatentable drugs:
Out of the 3,970 total requests from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, 3,034 were for narcotics cases and only 37 for terrorism cases (about .9%). Since then, the numbers get worse. The 2011 report reveals a total of 6,775 requests. 5,093 were used for drugs, while only 31 (or .5%) were used for terrorism cases. The 2012 report follows a similar pattern: Only .6%, or 58 requests, dealt with terrorism cases. The 2013 report confirms the incredibly low numbers. Out of 11,129 reports only 51, or .5%, of requests were used for terrorism. The majority of requests were overwhelmingly for narcotics cases, which tapped out at 9,401 requests.
Advocates of legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act tell us that law enforcement needs some exceptions to the rules in order to fight whatever boogeyman is being used to justify those expanded powers. Then law enforcers turn around and use those powers indiscriminately to fight everything with the possible exceptions of that boogeyman.
I think the USA PATRIOT Act is the best example of what police should never be given additional powers.