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The Patriot Act. How effective has it really been?

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posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 12:50 AM
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I've been one of the folks that has been against the Patriot Act. Simply a kee-jerk reaction to having more intrusive laws. I've been comparing the Patriot Act to "Flying Elephant" spray. I use this spray every day, and look! No flying elephants!
I decided though, to do some research on how effective it has actually been.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Congress overwhelmingly supported expanding and updating the powers of America's intelligence agencies through the Patriot Act.

A new report by the U.S. Department of Justice suggests the new legislation has been effective:

Since 9-11, the Patriot has been instrumental in the arrest of 310 terrorism suspects, 179 of whom have been convicted.
The War on Terror has been aided by the new law's updated surveillance rules which account for new technologies such as e-mail and cell phones.
The "wall" that prevented evidence collected in intelligence investigations from being used in criminal cases has been successfully eliminated.
Prior to the Patriot Act, information gathered using a warrant issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) -- which governs the monitoring of suspected foreign agents, spies and terrorists -- could not be shared with ordinary criminal investigators pursuing the same or related suspects.


www.ncpa.org...

Okay, we've caught some bad guys. My issue has been though, don't we already have laws in the books to catch these terrorists? Couldn't we have caught them with existing laws?


The USA PATRIOT Act (commonly known as the "Patriot Act") is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the Act is a contrived three letter initialism (USA) preceding a seven letter acronym (PATRIOT), which in combination stand for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.[1] The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies' ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.

en.wikipedia.org...
Taken from the quote;
The Act dramatically reduced restrictions
eased restrictions
expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority
broadened the discretion of law enforcement
expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism

So really all the act did was to allow MORE freedom to use existing laws, and changed definitions.

Another source
www.aclu-houston.org...


What are the pros? (US Department of Justice)
* Allows law enforcement to use surveillance against more crimes of terror

* Law enforcement can conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists

* Federal agents ask a court for an order to obtain business records in national security terrorism cases

* The Patriot Act facilitates information sharing and cooperation among government agencies so that they can better “connect the dots.”

* The Patriot Act reflects new technologies and new threats

* Law enforcement officials may obtain a search warrant anywhere a terrorist-related activity occurs

* Victims of computer hacking can request law enforcement assistance in monitoring the “trespassers” on their computers

* The Patriot Act increases the penalties for those who commit terrorist crimes:

- Higher maximum penalties for various crimes likely to be committed by terrorists; enhanced a number of conspiracy penalties, eliminates the statutes of limitations for certain terrorism crimes and lengthens them for other terrorist crimes; prohibits the harboring of terrorists


What are the cons? (ACLU)
* Section 215:

- FBI can demand “any tangible thing,” including books, letters, diaries, library records, medical and psychiatric records, financial information, membership lists of religious institutions, and genetic information without your knowledge or consent

- The FBI needs only to tell a judge (no need for evidence or probable cause) that the search protects against terrorism. The judge has no authority to reject this application.

* Section 213:

- It expands the government's ability to search private property without notice to the owner

* Violates the 1st and 4th Amendments to the Constitution

* Does not work:

- 0 out of 5,000 suspects detained for terrorism have been convicted


Could we have captured terrorists with existing laws? I think so.
Have lives been saved as a result of the Patriot Act? We'll never know.
How much freedom have we lost with the Patriot Act? I think, too much.

What are your thoughts?




posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:23 AM
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Thought I'd give this a bump, I thought this'd provide more interest.
Hmm.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:43 AM
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Oh, come on beezzer. You're just trying to make the ``Patriot Act`` look okay, because your girl ``Sarah Palin`` supports it.

I know your tricks.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:43 AM
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The good thing about sweeping legislation against phantoms and spooks is you never have to admit it's pointless.

After all there hasnt been another "9/11" since 9/11.

Whatever that means.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by Rockdisjoint
Oh, come on beezzer. You're just trying to make the ``Patriot Act`` look okay, because your girl ``Sarah Palin`` supports it.

I know your tricks.


Heehee, sorry to burst your bubble, though I did try to find justification, I couldn't!
I'm still against it.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
The good thing about sweeping legislation against phantoms and spooks is you never have to admit it's pointless.

After all there hasnt been another "9/11" since 9/11.

Whatever that means.


I started eating raw onions right after 9/11. So it's because I eat raw onions that another 9/11 hasn't happened.

I mean, THAT'S what their logic is for justifying the Patriot Act.



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


For the love of god dont stop eating raw onions!!

Please, wont somebody think of the children!?!



posted on Jun, 11 2011 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
reply to post by beezzer
 


For the love of god dont stop eating raw onions!!

Please, wont somebody think of the children!?!


I won't. It'll be my patriotic duty to be as gassy as I can be.


Seriously though, I really tried to find legitimate justification for this Act. All I could find is "nobody has died" type of reasoning.
Hence, the raw onions.



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