Essay on Patriot Act Violates Civil Liberties

1838 Words 8 Pages
Since the terrorist suicide bombed the world trade center and a wing of the pentagon, there has been a change in the relationship between the United States government and the people. The executive branch has taken steps that undermine the principles in the United States constitution. In order to ensure a more democratic society, we have to tell the difference between effective governing and individual freedom. There is one main topic I'm going to talk about how the 1st amendment, 4th amendment, 5th amendment, and 6th amendment are being eroded by the USA PARTRIOT Act which introduced a overabundance of legislative changes which considerably increased the surveillance and investigative powers of law enforcement agencies in the United …show more content…
Such a vague definition invites abuse, in which the distant possibility of danger creates a pretext under which political activists can be arrested and charged with felony domestic terrorism, rather than the misdemeanor charges that they usually get. Section 411 of the USA PATRIOT Act also threatens First Amendments rights both by punishing expression and limiting our access of to ideas. Under this provision, entry into the United States is made reliant on a political litmus test: individuals associated with groups "whose endorsement of acts of terrorist activity the Secretary of State has determined undermines the United States' efforts to reduce or eliminate terrorist activity" will be denied entry. This restriction is kind of like the one used in the McCarran-Walter Act- the law which denied entry into the country to any foreign national associated with a communist party or movement. If you think the USA PATRIOT Act is a big thorn in the side of our future of free expression in this country, It's nothing compared with the actions of the Justice Department. After September 11th, reports surfaced of FBI agents questioning people about their political views and activities. In one situation in October of 2001, a retired man in San Francisco was questioned extensively about his politics after he voiced doubts about the war in Afghanistan in his health club. Three days later, a college student in North Carolina was interviewed after the FBI received reports that she was