March 31, 2008
Ever since the towers fell on September 11, 2001, and the flags began to fly, and the soldiers went over, there has been a defining separation over the best and most effective way to fight the “war on terrorism”. New legislation on Capitol Hill created to deal with these threats was at first met with full and unhindered support, as immediate action was needed to effectively respond to the attacks. In the past few years however, these laws have been more intimately scrutinized and examined, and have been met with increasing opposition and debate. The central issue behind these concerns is the potential for violations of civil liberties that these laws may allow, as unintentional as it may be. But the larger, more concerning issue goes beyond the actions of Capitol Hill, asking the question, “Do the ends justify the means?” In fighting this “war on terror” we have been forced to change the way we view and approach our new world, let’s face it, this isn’t the country that our grandparents grew up in or even the country that our parents grew up in for that matter. While, hopefully, most Americans agree that freedom and liberty is worth fighting for, the ideas that everyone has are as vast as the country is big. One such piece of legislation, the PATRIOT Act, has become the poster child for people frustrated with the way the government has handled our security after September 11. While there certainly are questionable sections to the act that deserve our attention and analysis, the results of actions taken because of the PATRIOT Act have explicitly made this country safer and more secure.
I feel fairly confident that the idea of “roving surveillance” is something that would really deter someone planning to mark another black day in American history. Everyone who lost a loved one on that tragic day in September of 2001 should be behind this law whole-heartedly, and even those who didn’t should be. I didn’t personally know someone whose life came to such an abrupt and terrifying end on that Tuesday morning, but that didn’t make watching those towers fall any less painful, because they were our countrymen, dying because they were American. A terrorist who is aware of this law and is worried that his house, property, or assets are randomly under surveillance and cancels his plans is another victory over terrorism. Giving the government power to provide for a safer and better nation is something that should be desperately desired for, not protested against. Those who are wasting their time protesting against making the country safer are so blind to the fact that terrorists could be living right next door to them. Chances are that none of these complainers would be affected at all, unless they themselves are doing something that would affect the security of the nation. I stand with the notion that every effort must be taken to preserve our nation’s safety. The rights and liberties of all Americans must be defended with all possible vigor. In light of this, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act in 2005. This new PATRIOT Act is even more powerful than the original PATRIOT Act, and both forms of legislation are crucial to winning the “War on Terror”. This legislation reauthorizes all expiring sections of the USA PATRIOT Act, adds dozens of additional safeguards to protect the privacy and civil liberties of all Americans’, and strengthens port security.(Doyle) This reauthorizing legislation provides essential support for our efforts to protect both Americans and the values that Americans take for granted. Since October of 2001, the PATRIOT Act has been fundamental to winning the “War on Terror” and defending this nation. When signed into law by Congress, it would allow intelligence and law enforcement officials to continue sharing information, and use the same tools against terrorists that are already used against current...