U.S. Patriot Act

In response to the September 11th, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Recognizing the Problem

The 9/11 attack was possibly the most devastating attacks on American soil we’ve ever seen. In order to stop future travesty, the government had to come up with a new, more strict, policy to fight against terrorism. Its imperative for our Intelligence agencies to have the tools they need to intercept future attacks. The Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (PATRIOT Act), signed into law on October 26, was in response to the 9/11 Attacks. The Patriot act focuses mainly on reinforcing the arsenal of tools available to the CIA, the FBI, and federal prosecutors for identifying and disabling terrorist networks operating both within and outside the United States. Originally, the US immigration policy was responsible for preventing terrorists from entering the country and causing damage. The CIA and FBI both agreed that it was not enough. They needed more power and less surveillance restrictions in order to adequately protect the citizens. Its easy for government to recognize this problem because it was staring them directly in the eyes in the form of two giant flaming buildings.

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2nd plane in view for 25 seconds

Formulating the Policy

The immigration provisions included in this law reflect two persistent and increasingly problematic perceptions shared by many of our elected representatives and Justice Department Officials. Many small groups provided input in order to create a more diverse draft. The first bill proposed was the Combating Terrorism Act 2001. Later, Republican Reps added to it giving it more cyber jurisdiction. Democrat Reps, CIA groups, and FBI groups provide input on the draft so they would have less restriction. The final draft was written by Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. He wrote about specific actions the government could take in the name of National Security. He left very little room for interpretation and he is now an active critic of how the federal government is using the Patriot Act.

Adopting the Policy

Adopting the policy was very simple for the government. Congress took all the drafts made by the focus groups and created a final draft that was quickly sent to the president for his signature. Citizens were so shaken up by the 9/11 attacks that they pushed the government to pass new laws to prevent anything from happening. Intelligence agencies adapted their strategies with new advanced technologies like wiretaps, tracking equipment, drones, and computer hacking equipment. Law enforcement was granted more freedom in the fight against terrorism like obtain quick search warrants on suspected terrorists.
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Implementing the Policy

It didnt take long for Federal agents to take action with their new found power under the Patriot Act. On November 9th 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced a plan to interview 5,000 foreign men, ages 18 to 33, who had entered the United States from specified countries after January 1, 2000. On November 13, 2001, President Bush issued a military order allowing the government to try noncitizens accused of terrorism related charges in the military, which lack many constitutional protections, not like than civilian courts. On March 20–21, 2002, teams of federal agents headed by the U.S. Customs Service swept through Muslim homes, businesses, schools, and organizations in Northern Virginia in a series of raids known as Operation Green Quest. They took away many items ranging from computers to traditional Muslim children toys.
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Evaluating the Policy

Three alleged terrorist plots have been foiled in recent weeks in three U.S. cities: Dallas, New York and Springfield, Ill. Authorities have stopped at least 26 others since Sept. 11, 2001. In previous years, terrorists had been able to freely go about their business without much pressure from the federal government. The law works. It's tough to argue with results, especially when American lives are at stake. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been cool to the idea of repealing the Patriot Act even though it has been proven to work better than all other acts. It is clear that the Patriot Act has proven its effectiveness. Protesters want to repeal the patriot act because they believe it trespasses on their freedoms the Bill of Rights lays out.

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Works Cited

Murphy, Laura, Malea Kiblan, Kelli Evans, and Paul Martin. "Implementing the USA Patriot Act of 2001: Civil Rights Impact." USCCR. Civil Rights Concerns in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Area in the Aftermath of the September 11, 2001, Tragedies. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/sac/dc0603/ch5.htm>.


Jenks, Rosemary. "The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001: A Summary of the Anti-Terrorism Law's Immigration-Related Provisions." Center for Immigration Studies. 1 Dec. 2001. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.


"The USA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty." Department Of Justice. Life and Liberty. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. <http://www.justice.gov/archive/ll/highlights.htm>.


McNeill, Jena. "The Patriot Act: Does It Actually Work?" Los Angeles Times 21 Oct. 2009. Los Angeles Times. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/21/opinion/la-oew-mcneil-sanchez21-2009oct21>.