pros and cons of patriot act

Greenwich, NJ

#44 Nov 26, 2007
Some more pros and cons
9. Our American system of checks-n-balances prevents the government from going too far. Giving the government unchecked power to invade privacy and spy is indeed a good reason for paranoia, but it doesn't sit with reality. Hysterics in the media cite similar abuses of Hitler, Stalin, and Hussein, but there's a huge difference in the case of our country--our system of checks-n-balances. First of all, the courts can overrule any actions by the President or by Congress. Secondly, officials can be voted out of office for their abuse. Third, public opinion can raise an uproar that prompts the government to modify or overturn laws. Lastly, we have an enthusiastic media that combs through every word and action of the people in power. Given all this oversight, the American people always have the ability to pull back the reins on the people in power.
The cons starts here
1. Taking away civil rights essentially destroys the very definition of what it means to be an American, which in effect gives the terrorists a victory. One of the things that makes our country great is the ability to live a life free of government interference, whether or not you are in the majority and whether or not you agree with the government. The erosion of civil rights breaks down the very essence of what it is to be an American. There is no better way to award the terrorist actions than to destroy our way of life.
2. Constitutional protections are being violated. The U.S. Constitution is one of the most enduring, intelligently-written documents of all time. It is the main reason our nation has become the most successful nation on Earth. It is the reason that people from all over the world long to emigrate here. Unfortunately, the War on Terror is eroding the force of the Constitution. People can be tracked at their place of worship (1st Amendment violation); they can be held without a trial (7th Amendment violation); and they can be prevented from consulting a lawyer or facing the witnesses against them (6th Amendment violation). In addition, the right to privacy (long implied from amendments 1,3,4,9 and others) has been deeply violated. It has been said the U.S. Attorney General, in his fight against terror, has the U.S. Constitution in one had and a scissors in the other.
3. There is a potential for abuse by this administration or future administrations. The "War on Terror" is a war that has potentially no end. Unlike nation-vs-nation wars, there will never be a cease fire or peace treaty signed to officially end the war. To enhance government powers, various wartime emergency clauses have been cited as justification. Thus, normal rights like a trial-by-jury are being taken away, even for U.S. citizens, on the grounds of being a "time of danger". That leaves the door open for years of civil rights abuse. You may say "Fine, I trust the Bush administration to do the right things", but what about future administrations? If we have more large-scale terrorist incidents, how bad are things going to get? Could we end up in the type of paranoid police state that many Middle Eastern countries live in?
4. It could lead to racial profiling and other methods of discrimination & harassment. There are many Arab-Americans, nuclear scientists, Muslims, bioweapons experts, immigrants, etc. that are law-abiding loyal Americans. Should they be subject to abuse or harassment simply because they fall into a certain category? We've come a long way in correcting the many civil rights abuses of the past. We shouldn't go backwards by singling out new minorities to discriminate against.

Greenwich, NJ

#45 Nov 26, 2007
Last cons
5. The government could use the information for non-terror political purposes (e.g. blackmail, embarrassment of rivals, etc.). While the War on Terror may be a good reason for implementing steps such as the Total Information Awareness system, there's a lot of potential for the government to abuse the information they learn. For example, imagine the party in power learns a rival candidate used his credit card to buy admission to a homosexual movie theater. The government could somehow leak the information to help its members in the next election. Not only could information by used to embarrass or blackmail political rivals, it could also be used to destroy anyone who decides to speak out against the country. Virtually all of us have something damaging from our past, especially when it may be taken out of context. The government could use their new powers to spy on anyone they don't like. This provides way too much potential for abuse.

Greenwich, NJ

#46 Nov 26, 2007
Some Pros and Cons

Information Sharing
Sec. 203(b) and (d): Allows information from criminal probes to be shared with intelligence agencies and other parts of the government. Expires Dec. 31.

Supporters say the provisions have greatly enhanced information sharing within the FBI, and with the intelligence community at large.
Critics warn that unrestricted sharing could lead to the development of massive databases about citizens who are not the targets of criminal investigations.

Roving Wiretaps
Sec. 206: Allows one wiretap authorization to cover multiple devices, eliminating the need for separate court authorizations for a suspect's cell phone, PC and Blackberry, for example. Expires Dec. 31.

The government says roving wiretaps are needed to deal with technologically sophisticated terrorists.
Critics say the language of the act could lead to privacy violations of anyone who comes into casual contact with a suspect.

Access to Records
Sec. 215: Allows easier access to business records in foreign intelligence investigations. Expires Dec. 31.

The provision allows investigators to obtain books, records, papers, documents and other items sought "in connection with" a terror investigation.
Critics attack the breadth of the provision, saying the law could be used to demand the reading records of library or bookstore patrons.

Foreign Intelligence Wiretaps and Searches
Sec. 218: Lowers the bar for launching foreign intelligence wiretaps and searches. Expires Dec. 31.

Allows investigators to get a foreign intelligence wiretap or search order, even if they end up bringing criminal charges instead.
Because foreign intelligence probes are conducted in secret, with little oversight, critics say abuses could be difficult to uncover.

“Sneak & Peek” Warrants
Sec. 213: Allows "Sneak and peek" search warrants, which let authorities search a home or business without immediately notifying the target of a probe. Does not expire.

Supporters say this provision has already allowed investigators to search the houses of drug dealers and other criminals without providing notice that might have jeopardized an investigation.
Critics say the provision allows the use of "sneak and peek" warrants for even minor crimes, not just terror and espionage cases.

Material Support
Sec. 805: Expands the existing ban on giving "material support" to terrorists to include "expert advice or assistance." Does not expire.

Supporters say it helps cut off the support networks that make terrorism possible.
Critics say the provision could lead to guilt by association.

Tacoma, WA

#47 Dec 2, 2007
noeljr wrote:
im doing a research project on the pros and cons of the patriot act and i was wondering if you guys can enlighten me....
if yo go to google and type in pros of the patriot act it will bring up the patriot act:Probable Causes and due process. it has a little of both sides on it.

Tacoma, WA

#48 Dec 2, 2007
Opponents of the Patriot Act say the law forces U.S. citizens to give up way too many personal freedoms and constitutional rights in exchange for any level of "safety" the law may provide.

They argue that policing powers granted under the Act and the proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act (Patriot II) would fundamentally change American society, because the government would be allowed to carry out electronic searches of virtually all information available about an individual without having to show probable cause and without informing the individual that the investigation was being carried out.

Furthermore, if adopted it would allow the government to wiretap a person for 15 days without a warrant; federal agents could secretly arrest people and provide no information to their family, the media or their attorney until charges are brought, no matter how long that took; and it would allow Americans to be stripped of their citizenship for even unknowingly helping a group that is connected to an organization deemed to be terrorist.

Even further, they say the Act would also make it a crime for people subpoenaed-, in legal procedure, a process or a mandatory writ directing a party to appear at a certain time and place, for the purpose of testifying- in connection with an investigation to alert Congress or anyone else to any possible abuses committed by federal agents. There is no checks-and-balances system to prevent abuses, they believe.

Phoenix, AZ

#49 Dec 4, 2007
i disagree with the patriot act takes awayy are not gay

Tampa, FL

#50 Dec 4, 2007
screw the patriot act and writing papers on it!=(

Colorado Springs, CO

#51 Dec 9, 2007
You people are dumb...just go to google and type in 'pros of Patriot Act'. with a little elbow grease(i know hard works, makes me cringe) i'm sure u can find something
bubba gump

Bloomington, IL

#52 Dec 11, 2007
I hate everyone

Los Angeles, CA

#53 Dec 19, 2007
Pro PatriotAcxt ;p

Los Angeles, CA

#54 Dec 19, 2007
ummm The Patriot Act has its benefits.....against terrorism.blah blahwhatever

Los Angeles, CA

#55 Dec 19, 2007
Im not gay............either :D

Washington, DC

#56 Jan 13, 2008
OMFG wrote:
<quoted text>
U just proved you're retarted.
Just because you dislike Bush doesn't give you the right to call Bush a NAZI.. Do you even know what a NAZI is? If you believe he is, then give us some facts!!!
here you go

[IMG] rdib.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG] t4xmf.jpg[/IMG]

Martinsburg, WV

#57 Jan 15, 2008
OK well im a junior in HS and i have to do this paper for government and its due TOM!!!...its on the Patriot Act....can ANYONE help me?!?!?! PLEASE!!!

Martinsburg, WV

#58 Jan 15, 2008
man you dont have to be so mean about it...people where just asking for a little bit of help...maybe google didnt have what they needed and wanted to see if anyone else might have some info...gosh! you are what people call a snob...and everyone hates snobs....sorry but the truth hurts doesnt it?:(
Ashley wrote:
You people are dumb...just go to google and type in 'pros of Patriot Act'. with a little elbow grease(i know hard works, makes me cringe) i'm sure u can find something

Shepherdsville, KY

#59 Jan 15, 2008
i am doing a speach on the ptriot act, can you help?

Springfield, OH

#60 Jan 27, 2008
Jen wrote:
<quoted text>
I think that the Patriot Act does violate the rights of the citizens of this country, and that the Framers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights are probably turning in their graves, if they have knowledge of what our government is doing in today's issues of terrorism. I think that it is disgusting and leads into a racial profiling, and that those of Middle-Eastern decent are being treated unfairly, and many of our citizens are treating them with disrespect that we demand from them because some people with similar heritage drove planes into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and aimed for the White house and were stopped by the brave souls who gave their lives to overtake Flight 93, and stop them in their tracks. We should remember all that died both on 9/11 and our troops afterwards, but it is time to put a stop to what we are doing overseas and the murdering of our boys and girls overseas.
Why do people feel compelled to respond to things in which they know nothing?

Charlotte, NC

#61 Jan 28, 2008
Can anyone email me their research paper id be really interested in knowing more about the patriot act from someone who has done a detailed paper on the pros and cons.

[email protected]

Victor, NY

#62 Feb 18, 2008
Please consider the Patriot Act as the most important legislation of our time. If you had any emotional experiences following 9-11, then you know what we're up against. The terror plot is thick, protecting America is paramount, and there's no reason we could oppose such protection.

Kent, WA

#63 Feb 20, 2008
I had two emotional experiences after 9-11. I had a friend (US citizen, muslim) arrested in Florida and held without charges for three weeks, then released with no explanation other than her common Arab surname resembled that of a suspected terrorist. I had another friend who enlisted in the Army after 9/11, served her country in Iraq and Afghanistan, and came back with full blown PTSD from witnessing atrocities and being raped by a military contractor.
The only sense I can make of the whole mess is that fear, hatred and war are virulent powers that frequently coexist. I also know that I am less afraid of terrorists than I am of Gestapo W. Bush. Our quest for revenge agaist the perpetrators of 9/11 has only served to perpetuate irrational fear through the patriot act, the surveillance act, wire tapping, thousands dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, tens of thousands wounded, secret prisons, torture, and countless other evils that were borne in the nationalistic fervor of 2001-2002.
IT IS TIME FOR IT TO END demand an end to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan...demand an end to the war on Americans and our civil liberties. Say loudly that WE ARE AMERICA AND WE ARE NOT AFRAID

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