It is difficult to imagine an act in U.S. history more controversial than the Patriot Act. Whether you agree with that or not, it is extremely hard to argue with the notion that it is certainly at least one of the most controversial acts to come down the pike over the past couple of decades.
When it comes to the Patriot Act, we inevitably seem to find asking ourselves the following questions:
Is the government better able to protect itself from terrorist attacks?
Are the citizenry of the United States better protected from terrorists and terrorist act?
Is the country as a whole safer because of the U.S. Patriot Act?
There is no definitive answer to this question. In order to determine an answer to any or all of these questions, two things must be done. In the first place, it is important to look at a basic definition of the U.S. Patriot Act. In the second place, it is just as important to take a basic definition of the Patriot Act, and weigh the pros and cons that emerge from this definition. This will make it possible for an individual to determine whether or not they feel that the Patriot Act is a good thing.
What Is The Patriot Act?
In the aftermath of September 11th, the United States was desperate to create a definitive, powerful measure against terrorism. The concept they came up with to combat the fear held by the populace that 9/11 was only the beginning was the Patriot Act. Given the intense desire for protection, there was very little opposition to this act, when it was passed shortly after September 11th. However, once the realities of the act became prominent pieces of news, people began to wonder if they had agreed to support the right sort of government response to terrorism.
Some wondered if the Patriot Act was more than they needed, while others believed it wasn’t actually enough. When you ask someone about the Patriot Act in this day and age, you’re going to get two very differing responses.
Some believe the Patriot Act is a severe attack on our civil liberties. They will tell you that the Patriot Act has an extraordinary potential for government abuse. They will also likely relate the opinion that the Patriot Act is the beginning of a totalitarian government. It’s not that opponents of the Patriot Act don’t believe in safety. They simply wonder if citizens of the United States are giving up too much in the way of freedom, in order to receive a series of security measures they argue are not even guaranteed to protect.
Proponents of the Patriot Act obviously feel differently. They will argue that the Patriot Act has been extremely successful at preventing further acts of extreme terrorism from being perpetrated within the United States. They will then argue one of two points. They will say that the Patriot Act does not infringe on any significant liberties. Or they will argue that if safety is truly the concern of the citizenry of the United States, they must be willing to surrender certain freedoms for comprehensive safety.
In order to determine which side of the fence you fall on, you’re going to want to weigh the pros and cons of the Patriot Act very carefully.
The Pros And Cons Of The Patriot Act
In terms of pros and cons and the Patriot Act, the pros are going to involve the following:
2. The Patriot Act removes barriers. Many of the things that prevented law enforcement agencies from carrying out security strategies for U.S. citizens were removed through the passing of the Patriot Act.
3. The Patriot Act took technology into account. Not only is the Patriot Act designed to give law enforcement agencies more in the way of professional power. It is also designed to give those same agencies the ability to meet the demands brought about by the rapidly changing world of technology.
4. The Patriot Act is comprehensive. This act has always been designed to meet security demands for the United States on a variety of levels.
And what about the cons of the Patriot Act?
1. The surveillance component is worrisome to many. Several U.S. citizens have expressed concern at the particulars of the Patriot Act, as it relates to the ability of the act to utilize surveillance measures on citizens, with less in the way of legal red tape.
2. The ability for the Patriot Act to obtain and execute warrants makes some people extremely nervous.
3. The wording of the Patriot Act is vague in certain places, which creates abuse concerns.