The Patriot Act: Not Enough Power
After the September 11th attacks, to help Americans cope with the fact that people actually attacked the United States, the government passed the Patriot Act to help give law enforcement an upper hand combating terrorism on American soil. Growing up in a family where everyone is involved in law enforcement listening to the stories about tracking down criminals and how police officers do not have enough power. When detain Americans indefinitely, the CCAPA gives some good information. When the government is doing things in secret Stravelli gives you the details. Downes informs us on how the government is turning citizens into suspects. The article “Patriot Act” talks about how law enforcement is combating terrorism.
One of the liberties the Patriot Act gave law enforcement was that they could detain anyone suspected of terrorist activates indefinitely. Two military generals have commented on detain Americans indefinitely, “One provision [in the bill] would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past,” (Krulak and Hoar). The last sentence in that quote could make Americans question the government’s intentions, but if someone is suspected of being a terrorist it is understandable that they should not get treated the same as every other criminal. While imprisoned the military or law enforcement cannot use force to get the accused to confess like they would with non-Americans. The American Civil Liberties Union gives details by stating, “Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so,” (ALCU). No longer does the government need cause anymore, “The government must have probable cause a crime is committed, the Patriot Act changes that. The government doesn’t need that anymore. The Patriot Act permits secret orders without probable cause to investigate people who are not suspects. That means the government has the right to investigate people’s activities at libraries, mosques, synagogues and political rallies,” (Stravelli).
Another liberty the Patriot Act gives law enforcement is that the government can govern in secret. The Article gives some examples of governing in secret, “made it a criminal offense to provide “material support” or “expert advice or assistance” to terrorist groups; allowed prosecutors to use secret evidence in terrorist groups; authorized the U.S. Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General to jointly designate organizations as terrorist groups based upon available evidence” (Patriot Act). As well as, “The Patriot Act also gave the Treasury Department more leverage with which to disrupt terrorist financing networks; it gave the Attorney General slightly more authority to detain and deport suspected terrorist aliens; it allowed law-enforcement officials to obtain a single search warrant covering any and all locations where they suspected terrorist activity might occur (rather than having to go through the time-consuming process of obtaining separate warrants for each location); and it increased the penalties for those guilty of committing terrorist crimes or harboring terrorists” (Patriot Act). Another part of governing in secret is, “the Patriot Act has a judicially authorized“ sneak and peek ”provision that allows law enforcement agencies to perform...