The Patriot Act

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11-10-08
ENG101:423
Argumentative Research Paper

The Patriot Act

12-10-08
Eng101:423
Argumentative Essay

The Patriot Act

America is based on two things: Blood and the Constitution. America is currently at war, fighting for our freedom. But what use is that if our Constitution, the very thing that grants us freedom, is no longer valid? Only five weeks after the September 11 attacks congress passed an act granting greater judicial power to information gathering agencies. The Patriot act, passed October 26 2001(New York Times), strips americans of their basic human rights as defined by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Constitution is the foundation of American Law. It grants certain rights to the american people. The same men wrote the constitution who wrote the Declaration of Independence which states that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights”(Declaration of Independence). To their Bill of Rights they added: freedom from unreasonable searches, right to speedy and public trial, freedom of association, right of legal representation, and a right to liberty(Constitution). They didn't base the entire Ideology of the free world on these things for no reason. And the Patriot act has completely destroyed the rights which were promised to us. Without these basic rights, our “freedom” is feigned. The Patriot Act expands power to information gathering agencies such as the FBI. Under it's power they can search any american and seize papers and possessions without a warrant(Concerned Citizens Against the Patriot Act). Amendment IV of the Bill of Rights states that americans are protected by law against “unreasonable search and seizures” and from the confiscation of our “papers, and effects”(Constitution). An FBI agent or even police officer could enter your house, and upon saying that it's for terrorist prevention his search becomes lawful. Is this freedom? Many argue that this bill is necessary to ensure that our law enforcement has the freedom they need to appropriate terrorists within our country. We need another bill to ensure the freedom of our citizens. The appropriation of funding for counterterrorism explains the approximate 400,000 names on the “Terrorist Watch list”(CNN). Many of which are toddlers, elderly, and even Deceased. Is this bill to give the FBI power to search half a million houses? They could do it legally if they only had the man power to do so. If you don't think they would do it, read the New York Times. Eric Lichtblau writes,

"Within six months of passing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was conducting seminars on how to stretch the new wiretapping provisions to extend them beyond terror cases," Dan Dodson, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, told The Associated Press earlier this month”(Lichtblau).

Not to mention the first full sentence of the Patriot Act gives any law government official permission to stretch the law as far as it goes. It says that if a government official can't find a way to convict and hold a person, or to enact one of the laws set forth by the act, the laws may “be construed so as to give it the maximum effect permitted by law”(Patriot Act sec. 2). Amendment VI, US Constitution (Bill of Rights) : in all criminal prosecutions, the criminal will enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial...” The Patriot acts continues to feed the power-hungry law enforcement agencies; it allows them to apprehend and hold any person, citizen or non for any unlimited amount of time, without a hearing, trial, and without speaking to a lawyer. The sixth amendment goes on to grant the rights of “assistance of council” to a criminal defense. Likewise, the Patriot act goes ahead and eliminates that right by allowing a government agent to monitor meetings between lawyer and client. Furthermore, a court can now, deny the defense a lawyer (Concerned...
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