The War on Terror Meets the USA Patriot Act

Essay by Churchee9324High School, 12th grade June 2004

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On September 11, 2003, the front page of the Boston Globe was covered with articles discussing an event that occurred two years ago. Perhaps the most "eye-catching" one of these articles is "Bush seeks 3 new laws on terror." This article talks about the new legislation that the Bush administration wishes to pass in the upcoming months. The most important piece of this legislation is the USA Patriot Act.

According to Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter, the first Patriot Act was passed "because we were in some kind of shock." This was most certainly the case because now the Bush administration is having difficulty passing the newer Patriot Act. Many are questioning the effect that the new act will have on everyone's civil liberties.

As discussed in class, this new law would limit one's privacy and freedoms, and make it easier for the government to check anyone's personal records for any signs of terrorist activity.

One such record is the history of one's library book check-outs. If I were to check-out a book having to do with terrorism, then I would be red flagged, and an investigation would follow. But what if I only checked out the book to do research for my political science class? What if I were running for a political office, or if I held a high position at a prestigious company? Knowing the media today, everyone would know about the book I checked out, and all would question my motives. But regardless of my motives, my chances at winning office dramatically drop, and most likely, I would be laid-off from my job. All of this just because I checked out a book for research purposes? And now, I am not able to pay my bills for my house, car, etc. because I have...