The Usa Patriot Act : An Act Of Political Upheaval

3146 Words13 Pages
Sean P. Cooper
POLI 308 – US Presidency
18 November 2014
THE USA PATRIOT ACT – An Act of Political Upheaval This paper will focus on the background, purpose, implementation, major criticisms, and current standing of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (hereafter referred to as the USA PATRIOT Act). The USA PATRIOT Act is currently one of the most controversial and divisive political doctrines that exist in modern day America supported and vexed by the entire political spectrum for various reasoning. Although in its inception it was met with staggering approval and support, over time skepticism and fear of an ever-increasing strain on civil rights
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Understanding the USA PATRIOT Act requires a look at the United States government and its functions prior to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The government response system was disjointed and ill prepared for a situation such as this: multiple simultaneous hijackings of commercial airline planes being used as missiles to eliminate a target. Individuals in the FAA had never experienced multiple hijackings over American soil; therefore, little existed to thwart and counteract these actions (9/11, 10). When the first plane struck the world trade center, neither the President nor any of his staff or advisors knew any planes had been hijacked, nor did they know that the plane had struck the tower. According to the 9/11 Commission Report on the morning of the terrorist attacks President George W. Bush kept informed and in contact through a series of phone calls rather than with an “open line of communication.” Not only did this limit the speed of communication, but it also eliminated the President’s ability to quickly assemble top advisers and agencies to further combat this issue. The government did not even know that flight 93 had been hijacked until after it crashed at 10:03 A.M., a little under an hour after it had been taken over by terrorists (9/11, 40-45).
Very little existed in ways of interstate and interagency communication before,
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