The Patriot Act of 2001 and how is Relates to the United States Navy
The USA PATRIOT Act is commonly referred to as Patriot act and was enacted by the United States congress and signed into law in 2001 by President George W. Bush. The title is a contrived acronym which means Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (Brasch, 2005).
The Act greatly limits both constitutional and civil rights of privacy and liberty as it empowers the law enforcement agencies to carry out searches on telephone, e-mail communications, financial and medical records; it also reduced limitations on the foreign intelligence operations within America, empowered the Treasury head to regulate financial transactions especially those connected with the foreign persons and organizations. It also expanded the powers of the immigration and law enforcement agencies to detain and/or deport any immigrants on suspicion of a terrorism act by the person.
It also changed the definition of the term terrorism which now included domestic terrorism hence expanding the number of activities that the act’s numerous powers could tackle (Wong, 2007). American citizens have been worried of the foreign culture and influence on their own culture probably since the country was founded. Such fears were only harbored by a few people or individuals but later spread and engulfed everyone like bushfire including the government. Then patterns of fears became associated with different groups of immigrants as they arrived in the country.
Such fears were strongly meted against the Irish Catholics whom the American considered a threat to their culture and lifestyle. This led to the enactment of the Espionage Act and later the Sedition Act which outlawed any negative portrayal of the Americans; and this created a division between Americans and the rest. The law was to culminate into the trying of two immigrants – Sacco and Vanzetti who were later sentenced to death based on some questionable evidence (Brasch, 2005).. The trend emerged after World War 2 and with the emergence of the Soviet Union as a strong nation.
This pattern became more prominent again after the September 11 attacks which claim more than 2,000 lives and reinforced by the emergence of the fundamentalist Islamic terror groups. This saw the enactment of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 which was in the congress even before the attacks. But the assault that the American felt saw it being passed unanimously without any questions. Many Americans felt relief and happiness when the Act came into force for they believed the government was about to bring perpetrators of September 11 attack to justice.
However, the Act had some critics and the number has grown over the years as people started to question the morality and constitutionality of the act (Wong, 2007). Stakeholder Analysis The act has been controversial ever since it was passed into law. The controversy aside, the Patriot Act is a new tool used by the USA Navy to subdue enemy forces or combatant groups. It is said that about 650 persons of Arabic origins had been detained by the USA navy at the American military base of Guantanamo Bay – Cuba just two years after the Act was passed.
According to Michaels (2005) these persons not only lacked access to any lawyer but were coerced into submission with the threats that they would be detained under the provisions of the Patriot Act. The Act has become the new tool of interrogation which severely threatens the fundamental right of liberty as well as privacy. Title 1 of the Patriot Act expands the definitions of terrorism that incorporates the domestic terror activities. It therefore set up a counterterrorism fund to be provided by the United States Treasury which is appropriated through the FBI’s Technical Support Center.
These funds can be accessed by all security intelligence forces that work to counter terrorism activities. The US Navy is therefore more than empowered to combat terrorism acts within and outside American borders. The Patriot Act not only improves and expands the powers of the US Navy and other intelligence forces to counterterrorism activities but also enables them to detain anyone without explanation as to why he or she is being held (Cole & Dempsey, 2002). However, despite the expanded powers provided for the US Navy under this Act, the Navy would find that there is little or nothing to enjoy in their work.
The Patriot Act 2001 provides for detention and surveillance of anyone irrespective of his or her origin, status, or occupation. First, anyone serving in the army is not supposed to disclose any information to anyone lest it lands in the hands of suspected terrorists. This means that officers serving in the Navy are not able to communicate their whereabouts to friends and families as this would be considered disclosure of classified information which can be used by terror groups to hurt American citizens.
As provided for under the Patriot Act 2001, wiretapping to intercept phone calls and searches on e-mails makes communications with outside world quite hard when serving in the Navy. This therefore means that just like other citizens, those serving in the forces are also disadvantaged with this law. It negatively impacts on the privacy and liberty rights (Brasch, 2005). The dilemma faced by the navy officers is as numerous as those faced by the civilians.
The patriot act 2001 is very much inconsistent with the constitutional provisions; it violates the fundamental rights of not only the US citizens but also the US Navy under the Fourth Amendment provisions. Every one is suppose to enjoy the right to liberty and privacy but as the provisions in the Patriot Act outlines the intelligence forces have absolute powers to search, detain and intercept communications of not only suspected individuals but also those serving in the intelligence forces. This therefore implies that no single person is spared under this act and the US Navy would be under strict surveillance just as an ordinary American.
The Act is quite broad that it can be use to plot against innocent individuals and therefore miss it intended purposes. Cases of interdictions have been reported so many times and the reasons have always been disclosure of classified information or relations with some terror gangs. And officers are so much watched and have no privacy at all; what would happen to innocent American whose liberties and privacies are jeopardized by ever watchful intelligence officers should be the biggest worry (Cole & Dempsey, 2002). Recommendations Serving in the US navy can be a tough call as it has numerous challenges and hardships.
The inception of the Patriot Act 2001 has seen numerous changes in the work approaches by the Navy officers who have strived to comply with the provisions under the act. Although the Patriot Act was in the offing long before the September 11 attacks, the attacks prompted its speedy passage and signing into law (Brasch, 2005). One of the underlying reasons why the Act received a unanimous support in the House was because of the emerging waves of terror activities that had embraced new technologies to help them breach conventional security measures.
The drafters of this act did not trust anyone including Americans citizens and immigrants. This prompted the redefinition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism which considers Americans engaging in activities deemed terror acts or aiding foreign agencies in perpetuating terrorism to be seized and detained (Michaels, 2005). The American security forces were not spared in this quest. Previous experiences inform us that some foreign terror groups had infiltrated the United States intelligence forces and had been receiving classified information about the engagements of the forces.
To stop any form of leakages by the officers in the intelligence forces to the terror groups, everyone had to be held liable for his or her actions under the provisions in the Patriot Act of 2001. This meant that all activities and communications within and outside the intelligence forces had to be keenly monitored. Navy officers who may have faced the wrath of the patriot act ought to know that the drafters meant good – to protect America and its people from the runaway terror activities – when they formulated this Act.
Although, it could be taking away one’s fundamental rights to privacy and liberty, we should also be responsible persons to ensure that our actions do not raise suspicion and bring us unwarranted intelligence surveillance. On the other hand, managers and organizations ought to know that the unwarranted surveillance on officers or employees is not in line with the intended purpose of this Act. Many authority figures have seized the provisions in the Patriot Act to undermine and sabotage their juniors and colleagues for their own selfish gains.
Managers should not use this law to settle personal scores with other persons or employees. Again, every manager or organization should be on high alert to act immediately on suspicions of unbecoming behaviors that may threaten the life of others within their organizations and the country at large. However, it is on the discretion of the intelligence officers that a person should be watched or searched as provided for in the Patriot Act, therefore no organization or manager should try to peep into the private affairs of others no matter how concrete the suspicion is.
Finally, organizations need to create awareness among their employees on the provisions of the Patriot Act so as to raise their understanding of activities that may or may not be undertaken in their line of duty as well as off duty. This way they may be able to assist the law enforcement agencies in reducing not only crimes but also terror activities. References Brasch, W. (2005). America’s Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government’s Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights.
Peter Lang Publishing: new York. Cole, D. & Dempsey, J. (2002). Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security. 2nd ed. , W. W. Norton & Co. : New York. Michaels, C. W. (2005). No Greater Threat: America since September 11 and the Rise of the National Security State. Algora Publishing: California. Wong, K. C. (2007). The making of USA Patriot Act: Legislation, Implementation, Impact, China Law Press: BeijingSample Essay of PaperDon.com