The Patriot Act

After the United States was attacked in the infamous 9/11 episode, the United States enacted the United States of 2001 on October 24, 2001 (Mil Net, 2001). The law was passed without any objections to the passage of the law, and was signed by President Bush on October 26 of the same year (Encarta, 2008). The Patriot Act is considered as the centerpiece legislation of the United States’ response to the September 11, 2001 tragedy (John Gamboa, 2008).
The law by its defintion is a tool that aims to strengthen the instruments of the law enforcement arms of the state, especially its police and prosecutin arms, with the goal of preventing attacks of this kind in the future (Encarta, 2008). The act itself lays out specific rules on surveillance, intelligence gathering and sharing among law enforcement units, money laundering, security at entrance and exit points of the country and criminal law among others (Gamboa, 2008).
In conjuction with the applicability of other statutes, has in fact given more foundation to the civil freedoms and rights of people (Paul Rosenweig, Alane Kochems & James Jay Carafano, 2004). To prevent abuse, the Act has been one of the most extensive reporting procedures attached on any law (Rosenweig, Kochems & Carafano, 2004). But the question lies not in the benefits, but whether the law should be encated as is, with amendments or totally scrapped. Many critics of the Act have demonized the legislation as an instrument of abuse and a threat to individual rights (Paul Rosenweig, 2004).

In the lifetime of the Act, many of the provisions in the law have either been amended, changed and re-worded to effect changes in the law to make it adapt to broader changes to attain less then defined and specific goals (Gamboa, 2008). But after all the smoke of critcism has cleared, one thing is still evident, the Act is still a very important tool in the fight against terrorism (Rosenweig, 2004). In the past, law enforcement groups were limited in the amount and quality of information that they could pass on to each other. The Act virtually did away with that limitation (Rosenweig, 2004).
In this light, a majority of Americans, about 60 percent, are in favor of re-enacting that Act, but oppose any additional powers given to entities like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, like access to electronic mail, issuing subpoenas (Gary Langer, 2005) and to limit the access or rights of immigrants on U. S soil (New York Civil Liberties Union, 2005). Congress, basing on the utility of the Act, must enact the Act, subject to thorough study and discussion. Under the current ambit of the law, it is the people of the United States that are more apprehensive of the law than the intended terrorist targets (Gamboa, 2008).
Many of the oppositors of the Act even claim that the law was just a cover for some law enforcement agencies to obtain the new expanded powers in the Act (Encarta, 2008). But again, the law and its effects would be more beneficial than the percieved threats to the citizenry (Rosenweig, Kochems & Carafano, 2004). And that is where the powers and wisdom of the members of Congress must step in to review and take action against the threats that the Act has seemed to conjure up (Rosenweig, Kochems & Carafano, 2004).
References
Gamboa, J. B. (2008, September 11). The Patriot Act.
The Daily Aztec -9/11 where are we now http://media. www. thedailyaztec. com/media/storage/ paper741/news/2008/09/11/911WhereAreWeNow/The-Patriot. Act-3425472. shtml Langer, G. (2005).
Poll: support seen for Patriot Act. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from http://abcnews. go. com/US/PollVault/story? id=833703 Mil Net. (2001). U. S. Patriot Act of 2001.
Retrieved September 25, 2008, from http://www. milnet. com/pat-act-HR3162. htm MSN Encarta. (2008). Patriot Act. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from http://encarta. msn. com/encyclopedia_701712693_3/Patriot_Act.html New York Civil Liberties Union. (2005).
Oppose expansion of USA Patriot Act. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from http://ga1. org/nyclu/alert-description. html? alert_id=1303074 Rosenweig, P. (2004).
United States. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from http://italianlibertarians. tripod. com/id12. html Rosenweig, P. , Kochems, A. & James Jay Carafano, J. J. ( 2004).
The Parito Act reader: understanding the law’s role in the global war on terrorism. Retriieved September 25, 2008, from http://www. heritage. org/Research/HomelandDefense/upload/69895_1. pdf

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