The USA Patriot Act
The years since the horrifying and deadly attacks on September 11th, 2001 has been filled with grief, confusion, and hostility. Americans had not been attacked on American soil since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the feeling of insecurity may have never met any greater heights. The death of some 3,000 innocent American lives and the anxiety that was collectively felt led to one of the biggest and most controversial law enactments that this nation has ever seen: The USA Patriot Act. While many from the right wing support the effort and the protection that The Patriot Act seemingly provided, the left wing opposes it and feels that it has taken away from our civil liberties. This leads to the big questions: Is the Patriot Act helping fight terrorism? How are our civil liberties at stake? How can we improve the act so it can provide security while not infringing on our rights? There are many issues at hand with this topic, and this paper will look at The Patriot Act and how it is affecting the global war on terror and our civil liberties.
The Patriot Act, which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, was signed into law by President George W. Bush just a month and a half after the September 11th attacks. Congress immediately passed the USA Patriot Act on October 26th, 2001 with very little opposition against the act. The intent of passing the bill was to prevent future terrorist attacks that were likely to target the U.S. by allowing government agencies to infiltrate phone conversations, e-mails, and business records of suspected terrorists. The act also expands the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus the Patriot Act increases the instances that law enforcement can use these powers. In all, there... [continues]
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