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The American liberty has been placed central in the country’s pursuit for better living standards and enhanced political, social and economic space. While the twin tower bombing is regrettable across the divide; the introduction of the PATRIOT act was not only done in extraverted anger by the bush administration but lacked foresight and moral backing in total. The essence of robbing one of the a million rights and granting one has the least basis, if any. This paper looks at the lopsided stature of the US PATRIOT act, with expended zeal and attention to how it imminently denies the American their hitherto enjoyed fundamental liberties and freedoms.
Ideally the coining and the adoption of the PATRIOT act were not only outrageous but also unacceptable. The introduction of any laws in any system is meant to strengthen the existing laws and not to do away with any. Presumably, the PATRIOT act was introduced to usurp and make redundant all the other civilian rights and freedom laws. In analysis the flaws of the ct, this paper looks at the former provisions on human rights and how the PATRIOT act overshadows them altogether. Analytically, the act poses more threat to the liberty that exists than it does protect the liberties.
The implementation in full of the PATRIOT act is a concealed move towards the withdrawal of the fundamental freedoms and rights of the American. The civilians should therefore beware, review it and resist it by all the democratic and legal options at their disposal, or else it marks the beginning of autocratic rule and draconian practice in the great democracy of the
The expanded surveillance on the great nation citizens is unfounded. Harking is a crime within the precincts of the American law. It is ironical that the government appears quite determined to give using one hand and take using the other. The outright leeway by the act for the surveillance agencies to access individual and corporate databases rips off the fundamental freedom of privacy.
At the inception the bill was meant to counter terrorism prospects. However, the act is not limited to terrorism as such (Ryan, K V.). Hitherto, civilians had a right to access and question the actions of the government; with the advent of the PATRIOT act the government appeared to have muzzled more secrecy in its dealing. Vividly, this may just mark the onset of economic, social and political crimes.
The acceptance of the sneak and peek warrants of search by the PATRIOT act give undue leeway for the security agencies to search without notice private premises. This may translate into sinister and anterior motives. Besides, the misdemeanors are strictly relative terms that should not be used in gauging the gravity of any crime and should in way be used in the authentication of such unfounded searches.
It is therefore of paramount importance that the legislative arm of the United States of America reviews the provisions of the PATRIOT Act and rethinks it contents. The central quest for this move should be to have the flaws that prejudice the fundamental freedoms of the civilians reviewed to be in tandem with the existing clauses on freedoms and rights of the civilians. The drafting of the bills should be done with due sobriety and decorum to add value to the lives of the American nationals rather than reduce the already augmented value. The founding basis of any amendments thereto and thereof should be to further the rights and freedoms.
The advent of the patriot act was a mere step forward towards the fight against terrorism but several steps backwards in the realms of democratic ideals (Ryan, K V). It is no wonder that the act lacked support and popularity among the voters. Though the fight against terrorism through legal means is most welcome, the deprivation of the citizens their hitherto enjoyed in the disguise of fighting terrorism is not founded on any ideals.
The expansion of the surveillance ability by the federal government on the security agencies to spy on the private lives of its citizens has the least foundation, if any. The fact that the government through its agents can access the records of surfing of its citizens is in itself illegal and very autocratic. The implication is that Americans have the list entitlement to their privacy. In deed if the
At the very conception of the patriot act it was meant to be restricted to terrorism; however the act is currently spanning the entire American citizenry as though all Americans are terrorists. Besides, the award of a green light to the security agents to use wire taps in the tracking of suspected criminals. This legislation tends to cushion security agents from the computer fraud and abuse act. The selective application of the computer fraud and abuse act is a preserve of autocratic states. PATRIOT in a way partially tends to repeal the legislation the pervasive surveillances of Americans.
The American government is supposed to be accountable to its citizens. The PATRIOT Act tends to cushion the American government from taking responsibility. In essence, the PATRIOT gives the government extrajudicial secrecy while opening its citizenry to government abuse (USA Patriot Act). In addition, the FISA provisions have been made broader allowing the security agencies more surveillance opportunities.
The impending introduction of the PATRIOT II may just increase the already immense power transiently. The act not only provides within itself paradoxes and ironies but it but opens a Pandora’s Box. Ultimately, the possibility of uniting people whose privacy has been literally taken away has the least founding basis (Foster, A L). While the act was meant to be a compromise version of the Anti Terrorism Act. The act also presents the anxiety that was inherent within the congress passing the bill almost so lopsided oblivious of the implication the democratic ideal and the fundamental freedoms and right of its citizens.
Though the act was reviewed (Rackow, S H, p 1651), the act retained provisions that still gave the government investigative authorities powers over the citizens with due respect to internet privacy. The provisions retained within the PATRIOT Act not only implicate fundamental liberties but they are also complex in matters concerning the protection of the very individual fundamental liberties. The introduction of the debate was so shrouded in controversy and the lack of intense deliberation that it has translated into the enormous flows in its provisions (Scheppler B., 2006, p 89). Ironically the provisions of the PATRIOT act were introduced before the September 11th bombing, it is no wonder that the white house chief of staff, John Podesta questioned its legality arguing that the provisions hitherto had had intense discussion and that nothing had changed ever since.
The act was only opposed by a single senator, Russ Feingold (Rackow, S H p 1653). The concerns of the senator as they are the concerns today were the effect of provisions on the liberties of the Americans.
Now here is where my caution in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and my concerns over the reach of the anti-terrorism bill come together. To the extent that the expansive new immigration powers that the bill grants to the Attorney General are subject to abuse, who do we think that is most likely to bear the brunt of the abuse? It won’t be immigrants from
Senator Russ Feingold, Oct. 25, 2002
In deed, the blow of the freedoms and the liberties fall heavily on the common man unlike the rich class. It is apparent today that the cross-section of the senators appreciate that the bill was a blow on the American liberties.
Proponents of the PATRIOT Act justify the provisions of the act on the strength of a number of arguments. First, the proponents feel it is impossible for the misuse of the provision as the information collected has to be incidental in an ongoing investigation. However, this takes the innate sobriety of the attorneys and the investigating agency for the agencies to live to this requirement to the letter (Weigel, D, p 243). However the provision to this effect; the Pen Register and Trap and Trace statute, has no cushioning clause that would see the agencies restricted on the extent of their interrogations.
The proponents argue that the citizens are dully cushioned against any seizure of such information as is only incidental in a case under the attorneys’ investigation. They cite the provisions stating that the can only target information that concerns the crime under investigation. The provisions may well be founded on utter legal basis, the implementation of this pertinent provision are the core concerns of the civilians (USA Patriot Act). Ideally, this pins the civilians in an abyss of insecurity, the fear of who is watching over them. This is a very sorry state for a nation that reveres individual freedoms and liberties.
Further the proponents seek redress in fact that the provision states that only designate officials have the legal mandate of authorizing such investigations. However humanity is sometimes overridden by the ego self, in such circumstances, the liberties of the civilians is put at risk (Patriot act vs. the constitution). Besides, they argue that the interception is only over a specific span of time. While the provision blocks the information acquired illegally from any use in the legal process, the information would be used outside the legal system for ulterior ends.
The passing of the PATRIOT Act set precedence of a host of activism and purported antiterrorism movements and campaign. Most of the campaigns were meant to further cut and curtail the freedoms that were being enjoyed by civilians hitherto. However, civilization does dictate that part of its tenets is increased rights and freedoms. Soon after the passing of the PATRIOT Act, the chairman of the intelligence committee, Mr. Pat Roberts wanted to introduce another bill that would see the intelligence agencies undertake investigation without the judicial approval (Campaign for Reader Privacy). This is indicative of the possibility of opening up the privacy of Americans without due course in the disguise of fighting terrorism.
The adoption of the PATRIOT Act saw the soaring of the American British-Colombian relations. This was because of the purported accessibility of the British-Colombian personal information by the American agencies (Ryan, K V). Presumably the provision was meant to step up terrorism acts and further international cohesion. However, this is proof of the fact the act may demolish the bridges it was intended to mend after all. This violation of the British-Colombian law was revealing enough to have the proponents rethink their stand on the draconian Act.
It is unfortunate that even after the EPIC had sufficient information on the usurpation of powers by the security agencies in their mandate in the surveillances, the government officials were not willing to accept fault. In the worst manifestations of deprivation of individual rights the act provides for the state to collect keys for individual apartment in the pretext of carrying out investigations. The indisputably gave sweeping powers to the law enforcing agencies.
In utter indication of things to come, the first year of adoption of the PATRIOT Act saw security agencies increase their warrants (secret) above the wiretap warrants issued by the federal, which are issued under very stringent legal standards. Besides, the denial of approvals for the warrants reduced in the same year. This show that the scrutiny of the request were not as stringent as inter alia (Smith C S., Hung L., 2010, p 74). This lack of scrutiny shows that the country had been overridden by the sweeping wave of the PARIOT Act, disguised as a protection of the American civilians.
The American national have developed a robust and irresistible reading culture. The PATRIOT Act denies the Americans their right to read materials they deem fit on the pretext that the readers would be accomplices of the terrorists’ activities. Though the house committee passed legislation in 2009 that would protect the bookstores and the library records, this was not sufficient enough as it was short term. The terms used within the provision were equally questionable in a court of law (Scheppler B., 2006, p 43). The term specific and articulate would have relative and vast interpretations, hence making the meaning prone to abuse by individuals for their ulterior ends.
In addition the shooting downs of a provision within the PATRIOT Act, which was indeed contradictory shows the flows inherent in the act. In utter disregard for the civil rights, the provision implies that any terrorist suspects have no right for legal advice or assistance. Doesn’t the very supreme law of the land state that one is innocent until proven guilty? Why should the very state that should defend the law turn against it in the pretext of fighting terrorism? Here, the government of the great nation could have lost the point.
A rethink by the government is long overdue. The government has to defend the rights of the citizens as it as it fights terrorism. There is the least point in granting one right and taking away another very cardinal right (Smith C S., Hung L, 2010, p 102). Worse still, even the one being purported to be granted is far from given. Apparently the Bush administration got so obsessed with the fight against terrorism and lost other core and fundamental need of its citizens.
The solution lies squarely in the strengthened and protected human rights, followed by stringent policies aimed at fighting the menace. A new legislation should be developed under sobriety and devoid of overwhelming anger disguised as a fight against terrorism. Besides, the war against terrorism need not be personalized; rather it should be nationalized and made an obligation of every Americans.