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Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act Introduct

The USA PATRIOT Act û titled ôUniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorismö û was passed into law by the U.S. Congress in direct response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Act, Public Law 107 û 56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001), is described as giving to federal officials greater authority to track and intercept communications for both law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering purposes (Doyle, 2002). The Act also vests the Secretary of the Treasury with the power to combat corruption of American financial institutions for foreign money laundering purposes and seeks to close borders to terrorists, detaining and removing those whoa re found within our borders. Finally, the Act also creates a new set of crimes and attendant penalties and procedural efficiencies for use against domestic and international terrorists (Doyle, 2002).

Even as Congress was deliberating on the provisions of the PATRIOT Act, criticisms of the Act were being expressed. Michaels and Van Bergen (2002), for example, noted that the powers granted to federal investigative services by the Act are unprecedented and vast. Indeed, these analysts believe that in passing the Act, Congress failed to deliberate, to debate and to follow its own procedures (e.g., committee hearings, conference reports, and so forth) before bringing the Act to the floors of the two legislative chambers for a final vote. Others argue that the Act gives federal investigative agencies a virtual ôblank checkö that will permit them to ignore basic civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and essentially trample on those liberties (Herman, 2001).

As public policy, the PATRIOT Act represents a distinct turning point for the United States. Whereas previous laws enacted to facilitate investigation and prosecution of criminals of all types have adhered to the basic civil liberties identified...

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Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act Introduct. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:28, September 20, 2019, from