The Patriot Act: Pros & Cons

Essay by tomeiCollege, UndergraduateB, June 2006

download word file, 9 pages 4.8

The Patriot Act is a controversial law that affects millions of Americans. It was passed right after the September 11, 2001 attacks in response to terrorist acts against the United States. The law increases the powers of law enforcement in order to fight terrorism. Many people feel that the law is needed for the protection of the United States while others think the law gives the government too much power. The controversial issues in the law vary from people debating over security to civil liberties. The Patriot Act changes many existing laws to fight terrorism but it greatly impacts many people. The excessive changes the Patriot Act makes are dangerous to America and should be eliminated. These hazardous changes are on the issues of law enforcement, treatment of detainees, and constitutionality.

Post act changes to law enforcement are not effective in stopping terrorists, and therefore make the act useless.

If the act is useless then it is not needed and should be done away with.

Supporters of the Patriot Act say it is effective in stopping terrorism by preventing future attacks. First, they argue that since the September 11 attacks there have been no reported attacks within the United States ("Updated: USA" 8). This shows how the law is helping to stop terrorism with the states. Second, the law has prevented future terrorist acts before they happen. The law prevented a group of Americans in Portland from joining Al Qaeda in Afghanistan (Jeffrey 6). The group was planning to a terrorist group in order to kill Americans. If they had not been captured then many Americans would have definitely been killed. The Patriot Act prevented this from happening on American soil. Third, the Patriot Act is effective in stopping terrorist activity by deterrence. In the Portland case, wiretaps would...