The PATRIOT Act is but one example of a continuing authoritarian, totalitarian and some would argue treasonous breech of power has far-reaching consequences, not only for the battle for control in Washington D.C. but also in the way it affects the liberties that people enjoy both in the U.S. and abroad.
The enacting of the PATRIOT Act initiated an avalanche of legislation that eroded civil liberties. The Act, as many citizens and legal experts alike have argued, violates the fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. This includes the freedom of speech and assembly (First Amendment); the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure (Fourth Amendment); the right to due process of law (Fifth Amendment); the right to a speedy, public and fair trial along with the right to counsel and to confront the accuser, (Sixth Amendment), the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment (Eighth Amendment) and freedom from punishment without conviction (13th Amendment). (Sinnar, 2003)
According to former President Bush, “The PATRIOT Act defends our liberty. The Act makes it able for those of us in positions of responsibility to defend the liberty of the American people. It’s essential law” (Allen, 2004). Paul Rosenzweig, a senior legal research fellow at Heritage is convinced that Ronald Reagan, the champion of modern-day conservatism, would support the PATRIOT Act. (Lakely, 2005). According to some conservatives such as Rosenzweig, the Patriot Act poses no threat to civil liberties because it “has all the checks and balances on police authority that has been around for years” (Lakely, 2005). Despite the vehement opposition to the PATRIOT Act, its critics even acknowledge that it has been effective in building a more cohesive link between all levels of law enforcement including the intelligence agencies. The Act does not give away the civil liberties that were earned by the bloodshed of our ...
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