Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a series of horrific acts of terrorism took place that would forever change our nation. The United States of America was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorist, who hijacked several American commercial aircrafts and carried out their mission to attack the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center of New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
These great acts of terrorism placed a great alarm on the citizens of this nation posing the question as to how could a plan of this nature be formed from what seemed right under our noses, without our government and law enforcements being aware? Answers were demanded, there was a need to restore our nation’s safety as the way things were. On October 26, 2001, a few short weeks after this huge disaster took place our government gave us an answer by providing the USA Patriot Act of 2001.
The USA Patriot Act of 2001, more commonly known as the “Patriot Act” is an acronym that stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism act. This act enhances the government and law enforcement’s right to search citizen’ s communications, personal records, checks and balances and any form of intelligence gathering within the United States. This act provided what seemed a sense of comfort to those who feared the immediate future of our country.
Knowing that this type of act existed, some found comfort while others believed that this act served as a violation of one’s privacy. For those who hold their concern for privacy, question is the Patriot act a violation of one’s personal right? Or is it justified to monitor and control the safety of a nation? “The US Congress enacted the Patriot Act by overwhelming, bipartisan margins, arming law enforcement with new tools to detect and prevent terrorism: The USA Patriot Act was passed nearly unanimously by the Senate 98-1, and 357-66 in the House, with the support of members from across the political spectrum” (Preserving Life & Liberty).
In several ways, the Patriot act enabled law enforcement to place control on organized crime and drug trafficking and facilitated intelligence and information between government agencies so that they could place terror plans in greater perspective. The act also updated the reflection of new technologies and new threats and in result of any future terrorism, increased the penalties on those who committed acts of terrorism. This act brought light to our nation in this post September 11th era that would give a sense of security among us.
In the aftermath, of this tragedy, it seemed to only make sense for congress to place policy changes into effect to help fight the violent acts of terror. However, in the years to come some began to question whether or not the Patriot Act provided too much government interference. The provisions of the Patriot Act were designed in response to the events that led up to the September 11th attacks. It was believed that excessive regulation prevented vital surveillance activities and information transmissions that could potentially have halted the attacks.
The emphasis was on being sure that should another attack be planned, the government would have the power to prevent it from being completed. The Patriot act would serve its purpose in the protection and prevention of acts of terror, but some would contest that the act would also violate one’s rights. Many Americans question why they must sacrifice their civil liberties and human rights to battle terrorism. Claiming that with or without the USA Patriot act, the United States will never be completely safeguarded from threatening acts of terrorism. They argue that the Patriot Act is too thorough.
The act provides unchecked power to the government agencies to search and monitor the everyday lives of both suspected terrorists and anyone who resides or travels to the United States. Some would even go as far to say that the Patriot act is “unconstitutional”, as stated in the article, Surveillance under the USA PATRIOT Act ,violating the rights of the first and fourth amendment rights or speech and search. Although these arguments may seem valid to some opinions, the other side of this argument would be that if you abolish the Patriot act, what would be the future of the security of this country?
It is believed that because of the formation of this act that the United States of America has become safer due to the connection of all government agencies on all levels and the constant investigation of threats of terrorism. The government agencies have become more aware of certain changes in intelligence and have greater alarm for changes that are reveled. If the Patriot Act is abolished, where would we obtain pertinent information of the security of this nation? The Patriot Act is important for safeguarding the lives and the wellbeing of this country.
For those who contest due to the invasion of privacy, fail to realize that for many years, it is believed that the government has been searching and prying silently into the lives of Americans without forewarning. However, with the Patriot Act there is justification in the searching of the private lives of others to assure the safety . We cannot continue to walk through this dangerous time of life being blinded by the conditions and actions of this society and unpredictable world.
The Patriot Act gives our government agencies and law enforcement light on acts of terror that could be catastrophic to our future and allows for immediate prevention or retaliation. In conclusion, while the Patriot Act may be a controversial debate in America, it is necessary to maintain a level of awareness and security. This act will remain as a constant reminder of what actions were put in place to retaliate the attacks of September 11th. It will serve its purpose to prevent and demolish any other plans of terror in United States.
Whether conspired in our country or abroad the necessity to access one’s private records and activity is a justifiable reason and the basis to obliterate plots of terrorism. It is unfortunate that some choose not to believe in an act that clearly proves our government’s dedication in protecting our future, but however place their own selfish reasoning instead of considering our entire nation as a whole. To protect the lives of our families, the USA Patriot Act is required to preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.