An Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act
After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush announced that the U.S. would not only find and punish those responsible for the horrendous crime, but also launch a "War on Terrorism" to prevent further attacks. Significant policy changes have been made since the attacks to allow the U.S. government to use almost every measure possible to meet these goals. The Federal government's main plan came in the form of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, better known as the USA PATRIOT Act. The Act was passed only six weeks after the attacks and included a combination of several pieces of legislation. The final version of the bill includes ten titles and serves as a toolbox of executive powers. The key features of the Act include changes in the areas of criminal investigations, foreign intelligence, money laundering, and immigration. The USA PATRIOT ACT expands the powers of the executive in order to ensure national security from terrorist threats, yet the Act undermines the separation of powers and threatens civil liberties. The Act increases unchecked executive powers and reduces the powers of the judiciary and Congressional oversight. The Act also reduces privacy rights, silences political dissent, and ignores due process rights.