The Patriot Act Critical Analysis
The United States 9/11 attack has marked a significant event in the history. The attack against USA was a proof that even strong and imperialist countries are never safe at any time. It has severely damaged the US reputation and challenged them further – economically, politically and socially. This system reluctance has made citizens and government more vigilant of their safety, and consequently it led US into formally launching laws and policies that aimed to strengthen their defenses against terrorist activities.
Immediately following the 9/11 attack, the US government was fast into amending the US Patriotic Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). This act contains 157 sections, which includes legal responses to assist terrorist victims, protect civilians from fake solicitations, and provide benefits for public safety (Perez, 2003).
The act gave more ability to the law enforcement bodies to investigate on cases suspected to involve local and foreign terrorist activities, more power to target monetary transactions that possibly induced terrorist connections and filter against all electronic communication devices that may be infiltrated by terrorist activities (Gable). According to the US government and its supporters, the US Patriot Act shall be able to reveres terrorism efforts and effects in several ways:
(1) The Patriot Act allows investigators to use the tools that were already available to investigate organized crime and drug trafficking; (2) The Patriot Act facilitated information sharing and cooperation among government agencies so that they can better “connect the dots. “; (3) The Patriot Act updated the law to reflect new technologies and new threats and; (4) The Patriot Act increased the penalties for those who commit terrorist crimes (The USA Patriotic Act: Preserving Life and Liberty, pp.
1-4). However, several years have passed since the attack and since the start of the implementation of the act, numerous claims of its inefficacy have emerged; moreover, instead of its benefits being publicized, its negative implications and results are rather more rampant. Shortly two years since the 9/11 occurrence, and even right at the moment that we speak, numerous cases of violations of human liberties have bee n reported to have thwarted the civilian.
More so, it has nourished the feeling of discontent and dissent over concerned citizens as the act continued its “rampage against terrorism. ” What the act has merely done is to limit the privacy of the civilians. The act has legalized all sorts of interferences towards the private messages and way of communication that every individual goes through against their will, and even behind private citizens’ knowledge and consent (Kranich, 2003).
The act, though it has indeed signaled the intensified battle against terrorism, it has also catered the arena that strengthened the backbone for government intervention against private citizens. Ironically though, the same provisions that are supposedly and potentially to be of important use in order to eliminate terrorist activities, are the same provisions that have suppressed the liberty of individuals and have further violated human rights in a number of ways.
Amidst the oppositions from concerned groups against the passage and the continuity of the amendment, still the US government pursued its interest to counter terrorism even against the will and support of a large part of the American citizens, as well as other citizens around the world. Now, looking back at the instances starting from the attack, towards the end wherein the US legalized such provisions for the US Patriot Act – it is only rational to take a look on what it has caused and asses if the result was worth taking the risk once more if the provisions of the act are to be renewed.
Personally, if I were to take a vote on whether the act should be renewed, I would rather have it reassessed first and point out the blunders that have caused too much opposition against it. At one point, the act was passed under limited time and too much pressure from the international community as it was enacted shortly after the 9/11 attack, it is enough to say that it was passed without proper deliberations (Van Bergen, 2002) Moreover, changes are really ought to be done in order to create a just and equal standpoint in battling against terrorism.
One thing that should be changed is the utter disrespect against individual liberty that it encourages. Anything that directly and deliberately limits and suppresses the freedom and privacy of an individual must be opposed just because of mere suspicions. If anything must be done that shall violate the rights of the individuals, proper investigation must take recourse and until sufficient information are gathered, no one holds the right to interfere against anyone’s privacy.
Though the US Patriot Act was implemented in its goal to counter terrorist attacks and to further protect the welfare of the American citizens, as well as other citizens in world but, it should not be forgotten that the basic right to freedom of the individuals should not be put at stake. Countrywide safety is really important, however, to totally violate the human rights is also as dangerous as what terrorism can bring, thus justifying the changes, if not the repeal of the US Patriot Act. References Department of Justice. The USA Patriotic Act: Preserving Life and Liberty.
Retrieved from Life and Liberty database Gable, Garrett. Effects of the USA Patriot Act. Retrieved December 2, 2007 from <http://people. cornellcollege. edu/G-Gable/USAPA. htm> Kranich, Nancy. (2003) The Impact of USA Patriot Act: An Update. Retrieved December 2, 2007 from <http://www. fepproject. org/commentaries/patriotactupdate. html> Perez, Paul. 2003. USA Patriot Act helps efforts to combat terrorism. Retrieved December 2, 2007 from St. Petersburg Times Van Bergen, Jennifer. 2002. Repeal the USA Patriot Act. Retrieved December 2, 2007 from www. truthout. org