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The Patriot Act - Research Paper Example

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It sounds like you want footnotes (reg. #'s) please clarify. The U.S. Patriot Act Instructor name Date Introduction A close examination of the Patriot Act, which this paper achieves more so than members of Congress prior to voting, confirms that those that champion civil liberties as such are justifiably alarmed…
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The Patriot Act

Download file to see previous pages... Provisions of the Act violate the Constitution and tear down the freedoms for which true patriots have fought and died. This discussion will review provide a brief history pertaining to the subject, analyze the debate surrounding the topic and consequences of the Act then offer a concluding statement. History The PATRIOT Act was enacted in response to the 9/11 attacks and as a tool against terrorist threats. The right wing has actively advocated subverting the rights contained in no less than five of the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights) to, as they claim, ‘protect’ citizens from terrorism. The name itself, the PATRIOT Act is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. The label for this law was cleverly designed and packaged to enlist broad support from a nation that is generally vulnerable to patriotic propaganda but even more so at the time that it was so swiftly enacted. Citizens and legislators were all too eager to submit to the rhetoric that suggested that sacrificing a certain amount of freedom was a small price to pay for security. Most Congressmen admit to not have reading the Act before voting to pass it but those voting in favor were overwhelming. Only one of 99 Senators (Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold) and 66 of 423 Representatives voted against the law. The PATRIOT Act, as many citizens and legal experts alike have argued, violates the fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights (Savage, 2006). This includes the freedom of speech and assembly (First Amendment); the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure (Fourth Amendment); the right to due process of law (Fifth Amendment); the right to a speedy, public and fair trial along with the right to counsel and to confront the accuser, (Sixth Amendment), the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment (Eighth Amendment) and freedom from punishment without conviction (13th Amendment). In March of 2010 President Obama signed a one-year extension of three parts of the USA Patriot Act without any amendments, additions or new limitations on measures he said were essential to safeguard American civil liberties. “The provisions allow the government, with permission from a special court, to obtain roving wiretaps over multiple communication devices, seize suspects’ records without their knowledge, and conduct surveillance of a so-called ‘lone wolf,’ or someone deemed suspicious but without any known ties to an organized terrorist group.” i Analysis Libertarian organizations such as the Civil Liberties Union claim that the Bush administration had a proclivity for secrecy and rejected the concept of transparency. The PATRIOT Act has reproved its agenda for the “outright removal of checks and balances.” ii Conservatives are alarmed as well including former Republican Representative Bob Barr, who is best known for leading the attempt to impeach President Clinton. Barr had led a group named “Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances” which focused solely on challenging the renewal of the Patriot Act in 2004. iii This multifaceted PATRIOT Act modified numerous laws including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, Right to Financial Privacy Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Immigration and Nationality Act among many others. iv According to the Justice Department, the PATRIOT Act gives support to and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The Patriot Act: Security vs. Civil Liberties

This research will begin with the statement that the USA Patriot Act was a sweeping piece of legislation that was enacted into law by Congress shortly after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This new law provided for increased powers of surveillance for law enforcement agencies in this country.

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The act was formed as a counter reaction to frequent terrorist attacks on America, the most significant of which has taken place on the 11th of September. The act’s purpose is to provide US law enforcement agencies with special powers to assist in preventing future terrorist attacks (Etzioni, 2004).
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By describing themselves as genuine Americans and by framing their claims on behalf of the nation or the people, President Bush attained a nationwide consensus and succeeded in portraying their opponents as an anti-national faction. The main advantages of the act are that it preserves liberties that the Constitution guarantees Americans, it guarantees safety against the enemy (terrorists); it helps people to overcome fear and terror inspiring their nationalist feelings and ideas.
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The author provides one of the perfect examples of this situation, the case of Ashton Lundeby, a sixteen year old who was arrested for allegedly sending bomb threat; he was arrested from his home on the night of 15 February and is denied the right to get due process. There are various powers given to the Federal agents under the Patriot Act.

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