Pros and Cons on the Patriot Act

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USA Patriot Act
This Act may be cited as the "Uniting and Strengthening America Act" by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism. President Bush signed the Patriot Act on October 29, 2001. It passed and with no debate voted on; many members of congress did not fully read the act. Due to the anthrax scare many Congressman did not have access to their offices. Attorney General John Ashcroft silenced any debate by warning that anyone who contested the Act would be "akin to a traitor abetting the terrorist."(Podesta, 2001) Congress had rejected many of the provisions previously debated. It was a recycled compilation of many extreme "wish lists." In the post 9/11 wake of fear, it became a reality. Executive Authority

The events of September 11 convinced ...overwhelming majorities in Congress that law enforcement and national security officials need new legal tools to fight terrorism. However, "we should not forget what gave rise to the original opposition - many aspects of the bill increase the opportunity for law enforcement and the intelligence community to return to an era where they monitored and sometimes harassed individuals who were merely exercising their First Amendment rights. Nothing that occurred on September 11 mandates that we return to such an era." (Podesta, 2002)

John Podesta was the White House Chief of Staff from 1998-2001 he states "Though it significantly expanded the government's investigative authority, the USA PATRIOT ACT did not provide for the system of checks and balances that traditionally safeguard civil liberties in the face of such legislation."

Limitation of Individual Rights
The overall objective of the Constitution is to secure our liberty. The ninth amendment recognizes that there are rights, which even the Constitution, may not enumerate. The amendment states, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the...
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