The Patriot Act & Our Civil Liberties
September 11th, 2001 was a day in history that will never be forgotten. It will be talked about in the classroom, years from now, as an event that transformed the way society functions, thinks, and acts outside and inside the borders of the United States. Post 9/11 has been a time of growth and time invested into protecting the rights of American citizens. This paper will discuss the direct affect of 9/11 on U.S. citizens and law.
In response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) “increases the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial and other records; eases restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expands the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and enhances the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expands the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA Patriot Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.” (The USA Patriot Act, p. 2, 2008) With this definition in mind, one can conclude that this act is borderline unconstitutional and those points have been addressed in multiple Federal courts.
Before 9/11, citizens had freedoms protected under the First and Fourth Amendment. Now what is in question is whether this act is being used in a manner, which violates these amendments. Throughout history, terrorist attacks have influenced governments in all countries all over the world. What 9/11 did to America was establish a sense of patriotism... [continues]
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