The Patriot Act Persuasive Essay

796 words - 3 pages

The PATRIOT Act: Taking Law Too FarMartin Luther King, Jr. describes an unjust law as "a code that a numerical power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself." While this definition is absolutely true, and was very relevant in King's time, the relevancy has decreased recently due to desegregation and civil rights. These days, however, we have a different kind of law that takes away from our freedoms and liberties and does not discriminate by color. This type of law is a law that no one can avoid and very few people can change. This type of law was pushed into the books by both a great mistake and a great lie. It's a law that unbalances the government powers established by our founders, the checks and balances, and allows the government to take power away from the people. This is the most hated type of law, which I tenderly call a "dictatorship act." The primary example of this law, of course, is the PATRIOT act.The USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) act of 2001 was pushed through Congress by the Bush administration shortly after September 11. The terrorist attacks that occurred on this day, as Jon Alexander put it, made "everyone a New Yorker for that day". With this mentality in mind, Congress eagerly signed something that they thought would allow the US to monitor suspected terrorists and stop them before another attack. However, it does not define what a "suspected terrorist" is, or how the government may go about suspecting someone of terrorism. This allows the government a nice little hole: they can use these laws on any American. The US Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as: "...the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85) However, this definition is rarely adhered to in practice. Title 2, section 201, entitled "Authority to Intercept Wire, Oral, and Electronic Communications Relating to Terrorism" amends Section 2516(1) of title 18, US Code. It allows any criminal violation relating to chemical weapons or terrorism (as defined by the PATRIOT act) to authorize eavesdropping on the perpetrator. Section 215 also gives the United States government the right to...

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