On October twenty six, in the year of two thousand one the United States Congress passed and President Bush approved into law, the USA PATRIOT Act, an act for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.” The US Senate voted 98- 1 for the bill, with only Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) opposing it. The House voted 357-66 to pass it.
This lengthy, far-ranging Act contains “the sense of the Congress that…the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans, including Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and Americans from South Asia, must be protected, and that every effort must be taken to preserve their safety.”
Why then have so many suspicions been conveyed about its incremental effect on the civil liberations of both Americans and non citizens? This act provides sweeping current powers of custody and supervision to the Executive branch of government and law enforcement agents, and compelling the Courts of significant judicial oversight to guarantee that the law enforcement authorities are not being exploited. It provides the Secretary of State the authority to appoint any group, foreign or domestic, as a terrorist group, a permission that is not subject to analysis.
It establishes a broad modern crime of “domestic terrorism” which is distinguished in Section 802 as “activities that (A) involves acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the US or of any state; (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.” It authorizes investigations founded on lawful First Amendment action if that action can be linked anyhow to intelligence purposes.
It weakens the privacy protections of the Fourth Amendment by deteriorating the line between intelligence assembling and gathering information for a criminal proceeding, and broadens the capacity of the government to search through wiretaps, computer surveillance, admission to medical, financial, business and educational histories and private searches of homes and offices.
It weakens fair due strategy methods ensured by the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, and broadened to non citizens in over a century of United States Supreme Court rulings, by authorizing the government to imprison non citizens indefinitely even if they have never been condemned of a conspiracy. Since the USA PATRIOT Act was approved, civil freedoms have been under assault through the executive actions. A Justice Department ruling on October thirty first authorizing the government to survey information between federal detainees and their lawyers if this is discerned as “reasonably necessary” to prevent acts of terrorism.
A Justice Department list of five thousand foreign men needed for disputing not because of any information of wrongdoing, but because they match a form. An executive order handed out by President Bush on November 1st that expires more than 30 years of improving openness in government by bothering limits the Presidential certificates of the Reagan, Clinton and two Bush government and coming Presidencies unless a “need to know” petition is filed and approval is given by the retired and current President.
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Mark K. Stafford is an American English writer. He was born in Los Angeles and earned a BA from the University of California. He is a passionate author who wrote on Essays, Poetry, and Journalism. Now he writes full-time books and articles for TheWordyBoy.