The Patriot Act Infringes on American Freedom

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The Patriot Act Infringes on American Freedom

September 11, 2001 started off as a beautiful, sunny day, like many other countless days in America; however, it will now be a day that will live on in infamy. As the news played the shot of the planes driving into the sides of the twin towers, fear was driven into the hearts of all Americans. People became panicked and demanded that there be a better way for the United States government to protect its people from any future attacks the terrorist might have planned. This fear was the main contributing factor to the birth of all kinds of new legislation, giving the government new rights to “fight the terrorist.”

The most powerful, and therefore the most controversial, legislation passed by Congress was the U.S. Patriot Act. It was passed on October 26, 2001, and it is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (Fahrenheit 9/11). It is composed of over 1,000 sections giving the government many new powers that they’ve utilized before in other wartime situations (Lithwick). However, with the war on terrorism Americans are not fighting a clear cut “enemy” and there is no foreseeable end for this war in the near future. Once the immediate fear of another attack calmed down around the nation, people began to realize the rights they were losing to the government that were once granted to them by our founding fathers in the Constitution (Townshend).

There are many sections of the Patriot Act that infringe on the rights of the American people and there is no way for the public to know how the government is using these new found powers; because the Freedom of Information Act requests have been...

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...ive up other people’s records (Lithwick).

Whether someone is for the Patriot Act or against it, it is clear that the Patriot Act dips into the freedoms once allowed in our nation. Are these lost freedoms really going to protect America from another terrorist attack or is it finely the great excuse the government has been waiting for to have public support for spying on its citizens?

Works Cited

* Egan, Timothy. "State Of The Union: Opposing the Patriot Act." BBC NEWS 3 June 2003. 8 November 2004 <>

* Fahrenheit 9/11. Dir. Michael Moore. Videocassette. Dog Eat Dog, 2004

* Lithwick, Dahlia, and Julia Turner. "From a Guide to the Patriot Act." Slate. 1994.

* Townshend, Mike, and Maddie Trier. "Patriot Debate." State News 10 Nov. 2004, sec. A: 2+8.
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