Patriot Act Essay

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Tuesday, September 11, 2001 was an ordinary day in the life for millions of Americans. Very few people knew that on that fateful day our country would be changed forever. Most Americans were starting their typical Tuesday routine at work when it happened. Thousands of Americans unknowingly said their final farewells to their families. They gave their final hugs and kisses to their husbands, wives and their children before heading to work. Within a few hours of waking, thousands of innocent Americans were brutally murdered in a hideous act of terrorism. This act of terror prompted our government officials to draft a law that would help protect us from terrorists. The month following the attack, this new law was drafted, considered and passed by the House and the Senate. This Act is named “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT ACT). The PATRIOT Act was met with little resistance because it was proposed soon after 9/11 when emotions and support for anti-terrorism were extremely high. It passed 98-1 in the Senate and 357-66 in the House. ("The USA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty." Preserving Life & Liberty. US Department of Justice, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.) In the months and years to follow, the PATRIOT Act was met with harsh criticism by civil libertarians. They feel the PATRIOT Act violates American’s civil liberties by allowing overly broad surveillance. (Arnold, Laurence. "Opponents of Patriot Act Push to Change Parts of Law." Bloomberg. N.p., 22 Mar. 2005. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.) Living up to its name the USA PATRIOT Act is designed to allow and expand the use of the tools that the government feels necessary to intercept and obstruct terrorism. From my personal experience I don’t think the general public knows that most of these tools were already in place.

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