March 9th, 2006 20:55 EST
Keeping America Safe
President Bush signed the improved piece of legislation authorizing intelligence and law enforcement officials to track terrorists with the same tools used to track other criminals such as drug dealers.
With the promise to safeguard America`s homeland since its enactment in October 2001, the Patriot Act has been subject of constant objection by civil liberties groups all over the country.
The overwhelming Congress support right from the beginning allowed the easy implementation of the controversial Act despite claims against it.
According to Nancy Chang, Senior Litigation Attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Act sacrifices our political freedoms in the name of national security and upsets the democratic values that define our nation by consolidating vast new powers in the executive branch of government Â". On the other hand, one of President Bush`s remarks before signing the Reauthorization Act was that the bill gives law enforcement new tools to combat threats to our citizens from international terrorists to local drug dealers. Â" He also explained that to safeguard America it became necessary to bring law enforcement and intelligence closer together.
For instance, before the Patriot Act it was very difficult to track terrorist`s phone contacts, to prosecute terrorism supporters, or to disclose customer records from Internet providers because of the bureaucracy involving different agencies. The Act was then implemented with the goal to protect America by facilitating information sharing between organizations, and to reduce bureaucratic set backs.
The revised Patriot Act signed today has more than 30 new civil liberties provisions. Some other additions include the creation of a new Assistant Attorney General for National Security, allowing foreign intelligence surveillance, national security, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence to be under one authority, the combat of Methamphetamine Abuse by making methamphetamines ingredients more difficult to purchase, the enhancement of penalties for financing terrorism, and the increased protection of mass transportation.
Source: White House Press Office
Note: The author of this article is no longer affiliated with theSOP.