The events that occurred during the 11th of September in the United States have captivated millions of people around the world. The terrorist acts of the Al-Qaeda network brought forth a realization and enlightenment with regards to the vulnerability of the United States and the country’s homeland security. Prevention from these terrorist attacks could have been possible if homeland security was tighter than ever before. With these occurrences, the United States along with the leadership of President George W. Bush enacted the USA PATRIOT Act.
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States have caused a different outlook towards homeland security and vulnerability of the U.S. which in turn caused the country to perform greater force against terrorism.
SEPTEMBER 11 EVENTS
In order to formulate a greater understanding towards the conclusion of the United States’ actions leading to the PATRIOT Act, there is a must to provide substantial facts about the events that happened during the day of September 11, 2001. During one innocent and ordinary day, the sky was blue and the weather was fine, the blue expression of the sky profess a fine-looking day. Until two airplanes intentionally struck the World Trade Center Twin towers in New York and one airplane damaged a wing of the Pentagon. These airplanes were apparently hi-jacked and the events were intentionally planned to overthrow the economy of the U.S. and damage the country as a whole as well.
The whole world watched as the World Trade Center Twin Towers collapsed due to the sudden and strong impact created by the two airplanes upon it. The high-rise building struck down to nothing by a single act of terrorism. Thousands of people died during that day and it would forever be one of the saddest and most mournful days in history. The world was left in awe and utter silence due to the grieving events during that day. One can see that no country, even a considered superpower such as the United States can unravel the exploits of terrorism. These events created a worldwide panic especially the U.S. Seeing a powerful country damaged by such actions threatened international security all over the world.
How did the United States become vulnerable? Well at first, international airport security failed to impose their jobs and have allowed to let hi-jackers board jetliners that eventually led to the terrorist attacks. Another thing is that the government was clueless of such plans by these terrorist groups. It can be stated that the United States of America was caught off-guard. Such was the devastation of these terrorist attacks that there has been an estimate of 3,000 people who instantly died and 7,000 people were injured by the fire and all the destructive effects of the terrorist acts.
These events produced worldwide realization and tightness in security especially in crowded places and airports.. After such occurrences it can be said that the world can never be the same again. Clamor for better safety and security for people and places increased. This also led to an immediate action by the United States government to strengthen their status and help create better homeland security.
During October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush of the United States inked his signature to an Act of Congress which was now known as the USA PATRIOT Act. It means “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”. This act spreads out the authority of law enforcement agencies in the United States in order to fight terrorism within the country and around the world as well. This act adds up to the ability of law enforcement agencies to conduct searches of telephone, financial records, medical records and other records that may be of use or assistance. It also redefined the restrictions of foreign intelligence collection within the country. It also increased the capability of the Secretary of the Treasury’s power to control monetary transactions especially foreigners and entities. This act also enhanced law enforcement’s discretion regarding deporting suspected immigrants who perform terrorist-related actions. It also expanded terrorism’s definition and included domestic terrorism. This result led to greater powers of the USA PATRIOT Act and its expanded capabilities that it can act upon.
The PATRIOT Act has modified a number of elements of law in the United States. The acts that were altered are the following: Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), the Immigration and Nationality Act, and also the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). All of this was due to the September 11 attacks that changed the landscape of security not just within the United States but also around the world as well.
After a couple of years, 2005 to be exact, critics of the act have hounded its provisions and in turn reached the Senate. The United States Senate then passed a bill of reauthorization that changed some of the acts substance. Eventually the Congress also acted upon it and passed a bill as well. Reconciliation of both the bills were then acted upon and during the 2nd of March 2006, the Senate version passed Congress and was eventually inked with the signature of President George W. Bush on the 9th of March 2006.
SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS LEADING TO PATRIOT ACT
There is a clear and concise connection with regards to the attacks on the 11th day of September in the United States and the USA PATRIOT Act. If not for the terrorist attacks during that day, homeland security won’t change and the old ways of maintaining safety and security within the country will stay the same. There are large amounts of differential factors that have affected the world today due to the events that transpired during that day.
The September 11 terrorist attacks changed the landscape of security internationally and locally in the United States. The vulnerability of the U.S. exposed a weakness that terrorist factions have longed to discover. But after such events, the United States upgraded their standards, improved their laws and has never been more secured than ever before. Today, we can see the difference of airport security and the awareness of people with regards to security.
The world has become keener on terrorism and the realization of its power has become known to people all over the world. The effects of the September 11 attacks are traumatizing and the deaths and injuries that it has caused will forever be in the hearts and minds of people. Terrorism is an unlawful act of injustice and an action of disregard and violence among innocent people.
Today, the world are more aware of their surroundings and that their will always be a threat of danger in a place that seems unsecured. It can be concluded that the world has been scarred by the terrorist attacks on the day of September 11, 2001. Now, many actions have been undergone to prevent such repetition of brutal actions. The war on terror has become more effective today and the world has never been the same.
The USA PATRIOT Act is one of the initial reactions towards terrorism and it has become an initial step to counter the terror of a possible September 11 occurrence again. Things happen for a reason, the attacks during that day have served as an eye opener of man’s capabilities to bring harm and terror upon others. Terrorism is evidently engulfing the world today and such actions have led to a major change in many aspects of living.
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- Crockatt, Richard. America Embattled: September 11, Anti-Americanism, and the Global Order. Routledge: London, 2003.
- Zeilzer, Barbie. Journalism after September 11. Routledge: New York, 2003.
- “USA PATRIOT ACT”. Retrieved from <http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/patriotact/>.
- “USA PATRIOT ACT”. Retrieved from: <http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html>.