The Patriotic Act was signed into a decree by minimal congress review or debate. This was done some 43 days after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The law was put as an extensive policy in the wake of the disaster. The changes were put into effect so as to help the fight and War against Terror. The public felt that they were at risk, and their prime apprehension was feeling protected. The subsequent years saw the public question the Patriot Act (Kevin, 2006). The citizens believe the act provides the government with much interference at the expense of balances checks. The discussion will look at the advantages and disadvantages of the inventive Patriot Act and the novel version that was amended in 2006.
The Patriot Act streamlines the interactions among the various agencies that work simultaneously to probe terrorist actions. In addition, the act provides for a less and easier burdensome ways of surveillance and investigation. The law does provide for increased financial support for the fatalities, families of the terrorist attacks. The augmented financial funding is also for the reconstruction of infrastructure and business that are dented by terrorism. The Act is divided into around 10 parts or sections (Richard, 2005). The sections are called “titles.” Every title has several Sections that supplementary explain the requirements of title.
In addition, the sections and titles outline new powers provided to the federal administration so as to assist in the inquiry of terrorist activities. This together with the pertinent balances and checks are designed to check misuse of power. The Patriot Act provides for provisions that are circumspectly calculated in reaction to the proceedings that led to the September 11 actions. The technical red tape barred fundamental information transmissions and surveillance activities. The activities might have potentially frustrated the attacks. Moreover, the stress of the act was to prepare the administration from any future attacks. The government planned so that they had the power to bar any attack s from being accomplished.
The Patriot Act has been extensively opposed as to being too scrupulous. The critics believe the law gives the government agencies sweeping power supervise personal habits. The monitoring is for all people living in the nation and also those United States citizens that reside abroad, as well as those persons that have been branded as suspected terrorists. After the passage of the Act, it was a bit scary to be an American.
In 2002, the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay was opened (Richard, 2005). The camp housed undisclosed number of the populace from various countries. These were people who were incarcerated without conventional legal protections and for unidentified reasons. In addition, there was scanty information on how the government planned to use the Patriotic Act authority.
The address of Presidents Bush television address in November 6, 2001, (Kevin, 2006) was viewed by many as an implication to their personal level on terrorism activities. The freedom of speech started to erode afterwards. This is because many people were worried that their innocuous statements, made publicly, can lead to discrimination. The public felt that lack of accountability and the delicate surveillance activities for the incursion of privacy were against the fundamental morality of freedom espoused by the nation and sheltered by the Constitution.
The Sunset Provisions
The Patriot Act was written and drafted with sunset provisions. These are sections of the Act that by design terminate after a given period except when they are extended through supplementary legislation. Most of the provisions in the surveillance area were drafted as expiring requirements. The sections were to expire by December 31, 2005 (Kevin, 2006). The law was to be in action for four years. However, the sunset expiring provisions (Kevin, 2006) were extended to March 10, 2006. There was debate when the Congress wanted the Patriot Act be made permanent. On March 9, 2006 (Kevin, 2006) a compromise bill passed was passes and signed into law after negotiations by the Senate and the House. However, the Congress believes the bill limits the government powers as it retains the spirit of the innovative Act’s goals.
Patriot Act II
The compromise bill that was signed into laws addressed some aspects of Patriot Act that were questionable. The bill provides for a clear guideline on the circumstances that surveillance activities can take place. The area of notification is a significant part of the Act. The new law allows agencies to invoke powers of the Act to disclose the number of people affected. However, the agencies preserve the aptitude to keep undisclosed the identities of the people under surveillance. The new version is a right step in protecting the civil liberties. The courts are the ones that have the powers for restrictions (Kevin, 2006).
In conclusion, the Patriot Act has continued to be a contentious topic. The Act provides for valuable novel tools, in the War against Terror. However, this is done at the expense of curtailing some liberties. The Patriot Act can eventually be one of the principal legacies of the early 21st century.
Richard, S. (2005). “The Patriot Act: Business Balks.” Business Week. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/nov2005/nf20051110_9709_db016.htm
Kevin, M. (2006). “Patriot Act Supporters See Success; Detractors Disagree.” CNS News. Retrieved from http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200609/NAT20060911 b.html