Terrorist Attach and The USA Patriot Act Essay

Terrorist Attach and The USA Patriot Act Essay

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In 2001, the United States fell victim to a multitude of tragedies. The most unforgettable, of course, being the terrorist attack on September 11th. Following the threat, Congress knew something had to be done to strengthen security controls. On October 23, 2001, Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican Representative, introduced provisions to a previously sponsored House bill. By the next day, the act passed in the House with a vote ratio of three hundred and fifty-seven to sixty-six. The following day, the Senate took a vote on the bill, passing it by ninety-eight to one. Finally, on October 26, 2001, the USA Patriot Act was signed into law. The bill was intended to strengthen federal anti-terrorism investigations. But is the USA Patriot Act working to the full potential that it was originally intended? This is something that we are now going to explore. We will look deeper into, not only what the bill is, but also it’s journey to getting to the final draft and how it got passed. We will also explore the proponents and opponents of the act, and what they have to say about it. Finally, I will shed some light on who exactly is being effected now that this act is in place, and if they have been given a little too much power.
The USA Patriot Act was a result of a number of other bills being revised together in legislation. The first bill introduced, known as the Combating Terrorism Act of 2001, was proposed by Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Jon Kyl, and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer. By October 2001, after several other proposals and revisions, the first draft of the Patriot Act was presented to the Senate based on this bill, under the name Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ...


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... punish those responsible for the attacks and to protect against any similar attacks” (Doyle, The USA PATRIOT Act: A Legal Analysis, page 2). Sense the new laws were out into effect, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding it. Several questions have been posed as to whether or not the Act was giving too much power to government law enforcement. With the law now leaving room for open investigations, spying, and even wiretapping, people are wondering if things have been taken too far. Interest groups fighting to protect our civil liberties are arguing that we have passed the point of keeping our country safe from outside terrorism, but are now compromising our basic civil rights as Americans, and as humans for that matter. Although many revisions have been proposed, the USA Patriot Act still stands, and continues to raise question to the governments authority.

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