The Patriot Act

Powerful Essays
The Patriot Act

After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 our country underwent a change that has drastically affected the fundamental values that our founding fathers instilled in this country. Since that tragic day in September the aftermath of the attacks has started to implicate our Civil Liberties that in this country we hold so dear. Just 45 days after the September 11 attacks, with virtually no debate, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act on October 5th, 2001. This act expanded the surveillance powers of domestic law enforcement and international intelligence agencies. The controversy that must be discussed is whether or not this legislation fully or in part has violated the Constitution and/or endangered our civil liberties in any way. John Kerry former presidential candidate is opposed to the patriot act stating ?We are a nation of laws and liberties, not of a knock in the night. So it is time to end the era of John Ashcroft. That starts with replacing the Patriot Act with a new law that protects our people and our liberties at the same time.? John Kerry is right in suggesting that the patriot act is thinning our freedoms. Those who feel the patriot act is going to protect us from harm fail to see the dark side of the legislation which is relinquishing us of our rights guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

The USA Patriot Act or the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 is a US legislative law enacted in response to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. The bill passed 98-1 in the United States Senate, and 356-66 in the United States House of Representatives; Senator Russ Feingold cast the Senate's lone dissenting vote. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law on October 26, 2001. Assistant attorney general Viet D. Dinh was the chief architect of the act. In the article written by Michelle Malkin titled ?Antiterrorism Legislation Will Make America Safer? Malkin defends although unpopular the USA Patriot Act has allowed law enforcement to make America safer from terrorists. She Maintains that the act has already thwarted further acts of terror by helping law enforcement break up terror cells, convict people guilty of terror-related crimes, and prevent foreign criminals and terrorists from entering the United S...

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...mines the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. There was obviously some concern about this by Congress, which is the reason that the Patriot Act was sunset at five years. One day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center President Bush vowed, ?We will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms.? Unfortunately, by becoming an aggressive advocate of the Patriot Act, the President is doing just that. During Bush?s State of the Union speech, he emphasized that a key role of our government was to protect us from foreign terrorists. However, if the Bush Administration continues to advocate such measures as the Patriot Act, then an important question is raised: Who will protect us from our own government?

I conclude my stance with a quote from Senator Russel Feingold the sole senator who voted in opposition to the USA Patriot Act, Feingold passionately states ?Preserving our freedom is one of the main reasons that we are now engaged in this new war against terrorism. We will lose that war without firing a shot if we sacrifice the liberties of the American people.?
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