On September 11, 2001, after the terrorist attacks occurred, a contentious piece of legislation was adopted and passed called the U.S.A. Patriot Act. Research shows that the title for this bill is an abbreviation for what is recognized as "the United and Strengthening America by Giving Appropriate Tools Required to Interrupt and Obstruct Terrorism Act" (Dolar). Years later since the Patriot Act was passed, there has been much debate and controversy on the subject of the positive and negative rewards, and penalties of this bill. Many on the police force community, have experienced firsthand some of the changes the Patriot Act has brought upon this nation. A result of this experience alongside with information gained in the studying of this act and concerns, has led many people to believe in this bill as a way for combating terrorism against the United States of America. With that said, the Patriot Act is a passionately discussed law very few have even read and about which there is a decent amount of misunderstanding and ignorance. A lot of questions have been brought up in respects to the new law. Among them: Does it encroach upon the Bill of Rights and if it does, should the seriousness of the terrorist threat need such extra-legitimate measures?
Conflict with the Bill of Rights
On Oct. 26, 2001, the U.S.A. Patriot Act was signed into law. Also, this Act was overpoweringly approved with 357 votes in the House and 98 votes in the Senate (Dolar). The Patriot Act destroys the Bill of Rights. As well as there was barely a sound from the "We the People." (Chaffee)
The research shows that the original Patriot Act was drafted by both, Democrats and Republicans, the Senate the House and. Nevertheless at the very last minute the original was switched with a kind that had been authored by Viet Dinh (Jaeger). During the night, the President had the substitute bill published at 3:45 A.M., merely hours before the House vote arranged for that same morning. Research shows that out of 435 Representatives, there was not even one that would read the substituted Act before there was any kind of voting on the bill. There is a conflict with the Bill of Rights because it is not proper constitutional technique for a bill that has been pounded out by both parties and both houses to be substituted in the early morning hours with a bill organized by attorneys from the executive branch.
Some experts would make argument that the Act includes 30 years of prying legislation, laws that the congress had acknowledged unconstitutional for over 30 years for the reason that they encroach upon core American values and the Constitution. Also, the U.S.A. Patriot Act occupies the lives of every American giving the President full authority under the law to disrupt our most important philosophies under the Bill of Rights (Jaeger). Further research shows that The Patriot Act gives for searches, deprived of probable cause. Also, Law enforcement are able to just break and enter into your home, collect computer files, reading lists, video and magazine lists and even "bug" your home with high tech surveillance equipment. All of this in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Patriot Act has destroyed Property Rights and permits for illegal inspection of a person's private property.
John Whitehead makes the following point when it comes to the conflict:
"The Patriot Act put a stake right in the heart of the Bill of Rights, disrupting at any rate six of the ten unique amendments -- the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments -- and perhaps the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, in addition. The Patriot Act likewise redefined terrorism so generally that many non-terrorist political activities for example demonstrations protest marches, and civil disobedience were well-thought-out potential terrorist acts, in that way interpreting anyone desiring to participate in protected First Amendment expressive actions as respondents of the surveillance state."
It is in conflict with the Bill of Rights, ever since 9/11 an irrefutable pattern has arose, from search that have been illegal and seizures to warrantless monitoring to the GPS tracking of people's cell phones to body scanners at airport to the redefinition of Habeas Corpus to the growing usage of rendition for the resolutions of torturing prisoners yet to be charged with a crime to military courts substituting courts of law, among many others.
Does the threat of terrorism warrant a compromise of civil rights?
Some would say that it does not warrant a compromise according to the Patriot Act. By this time,...
PATRIOT Act (Strengthening and Uniting America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) has stopped terrorist occurrences and helped many American lives (Chaffee). This deed has made warrants more appropriate across state and district lines, removing the need to get manifold permits for the same person. This was a drawn-out process that heretofore delayed counterterrorism exertions (Jaeger). The U.S.A. PATROT Act has likewise provided law enforcement officials better implements to fight terrorism for instance roving wire taps and the volume to grab possessions and end financial forging, smuggling and laundering of money. The act has likewise indorsed judges to execute firmer sentences on terrorists. The vivid increase in information sharing permitted by the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act has allowed law enforcement to discover and undo terror cells in Lackawanna, New York, Northern Virginia and Portland, Oregon; (Chaffee). Envisage the numerous lives that could have been lost if these acts of deterrence were done.
Stopping acts of terrorism is one thing people as a nation should always be thinking on. The minute people start pushing it aside and ignore it as a smaller issue than it is, individuals will get criticized. As Americans and as persons we need to be more accountable for difficulties we can stop for example automobile accidents and heart disease. That way, people will be able to let the government emphasis their time, money and energy on protecting the citizens from things that they really have no kind of control over, such as terrorism.
America needs the Patriot Act for the reason that it aids in stop terrorism although posing little risk to civil freedoms. The law purely lets counterterrorism agents utilize devices that police officers have utilized for many decades. Also it shows intricate protections alongside abuse. The act's defenses are even sturdier than the grand jury rules (Chaffee). Prosecuting attorney are the ones that issue summonses individually, but then again the Patriot Act necessitates the F.B.I. To get a judge's support. Americans can't be examined on the foundation of First Amendment activities, and special limits do apply to sensitive materials like library or medical records.
Even before President Bush authorized the anti-terrorism Patriot Act of 2001 (HR 3162 -- PL 107-56) on Oct. 26, civil liberty groups had disapproved it as permitting irrational and excessive and unchecked expansions of police powers as well as search and observation restrictions.
Some would say it does not warrant a compromise of civil rights because they believe it provided protection and surveillance. In less-well revealed amendments, representatives added language to the Patriot Act broadly actual labelling terrorism and who the Justice Department and Secretary of State can elect as qualified for investigation and close surveillance as said by requirements of the Patriot Act (Jaeger).
Attorney General Ashcroft guards the provisions of the Patriot Act as dynamic to guarding against terrorist groups that "utilize America's liberty as a weapon against us." In his demonstration to the Senate Judiciary, Ashcroft denotes to the detained al Qaeda training manual wherein terrorists are taught to "abuse our judicial process for the achievement of their actions."
It is no secret, non-terrorist criminals have been utilizing our judicial system for years, yet we did not answer with comprehensive sacrifices of personal authorizations. Are terrorists that unlike from criminals that are common? Attorney General Ashcroft says there are. "The terrorist enemy that threatens civilization today is unlike any we have ever recognized. It murders thousands of innocents - a crime against humanity and a crime of war. It pursues weapons of mass destruction and intimidates their utilization in contradiction of America. No one should distrust the intent, nor the depth, of its overwhelming, destructive abhorrence."
It is clear that the Patriot Act can guarantee that our Law Enforcement community has the appropriate gears to fight the prospective for terrorism inside the United States. Now, whether or not this is an argument that is proper or not remains to be looked at, it is the objective of the groups of the Patriot Act to make sure that there is a safer tomorrow for the citizens of this great country.
Chaffee, G.J. "Effects of the U.S.A. PATRIOT act on wyoming libraries, library professionals, and nonprofessionals." 22 (2008): 183-192,198.
Dolar, B., & Shughart, William F.,,II. "The wealth effects of the U.S.A. patriot act: Evidence from the banking and thrift industries." Journal of Money Laundering Control…
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Some have even been detained for long periods of time without being informed when they would be released or even the reason for their detention. The situation at airports is no less dire. Some airlines have even refused to let Arabs on board because of their ethnic heritage and their perceived connection to terrorism. One important issue that is overlooked with regard to this is the fact that many white