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"The Case Against The Us Patriot Act" This Essay Explores The Effects Of The Us Patriot Act On Our Constitutional Rights.

1293 words - 5 pages

The Case Against the USA Patriot Act"There is nothing to fear, but fear itself." This famous quote, spoken by Franklin Roosevelt, serves as a reminder to people everywhere that fear should not guide our actions, nor should they influence our lives. On September 11th, 2001, the American public saw the face of fear and stood bravely in its shadow, its shadow which covered New York City and Washington DC. Shortly thereafter, President George W. Bush proclaimed that he would "do everything in his power to protect the American people." Protection always has a price, and as we now know, this "price" was not entirely fiscal.The U.S. Patriot Act of 2001 gives the government too much power to invade the privacy and limit the freedoms of the American public- rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. This legislation drafted in fear and embraced by a government running for re-election, gives the government more power than ever to investigate various crimes; focusing mainly on terrorism. The USA Patriot Act, also called the USAPA, says in its introduction that its purpose is, "To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes." "Other purposes" are never specifically recorded in this document. Nevertheless, terrorism is a problem that needs a remedy, but what happens when our solutions start to invade the rights of the innocent? The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in order to protect the people from the government, but the US Patriot Act is such a powerful document, that it can strip a persons 1st (Speech) and 4th (Privacy) Amendment rights instaneously. This power exemplifies how powerful government can be if given the opportunity."This law is based on the faulty assumption that safety must come at the expense of civil liberties. The USA Patriot Act gives law enforcement agencies nationwide extraordinary new powers unchecked by meaningful judicial review." (ACLU) These checks and balances were put into place after a revelation in 1974 that the FBI and foreign intelligence agencies had spied on over 10,000 citizens, including Martin Luther King. This means that 30 years ago, our government was using what little technology they had to do extensive wiretapping and other privacy invading tactics to spy on suspected wrong-doers. Imagine what our government is capable of today. With little more than a request the Attorney General can seize any and all information he deems pertinent, without any justification whatsoever. Information such as every purchase you have made with a credit card, any medical prescription you fill, every website you visit and every e-mail you send and receive. Scared yet? I sure am.The USAPA was written too hastily, leaving out many provisions needed to provide "explanation and analysis to money laundering, immigration, and providing for the victims of terrorism." Not only that, this 342 page...

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