On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was a home-schooled third grader about to start her day. Suddenly, my father called my mother and told her to turn on the television. It was after that day that everything changed. Growing up in the wake of such a cataclysmic terrorist attack gives my generation a type of ignorance that others do not have. I don’t remember a world where I could walk to the gate in an airport without a boarding pass, where the government had tier-one policy objectives that did not involve counterterrorism, nor do I remember a world where the notion of the government watching its citizens with such little disregard for privacy would infuriate a nation.
In as little as 43 days after September 11th, the government passed expansive legislation that enabled the Bush administration to hunt down terrorists, at home or abroad. It vastly expanded surveillance capabilities and encouraged the sharing of intelligence within government agencies. This piece of legislation was called the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, commonly referred to as the USA PATRIOT, Act of 2001.
My research will center around questioning the efficacy of the USA Patriot Act of 2001, the controversial powers granted to the President of the United States and Congress, and the continued existence of the USA Patriot Act, in spite of the fact that some of the most aggressive aspects were supposed to “sunset” in 2005. I will primarily utilize expert texts, journals, the 9/11 Commission Report, and a spread of congressional hearings regarding the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001.
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