250 word discussion response (wk5) Academic Help

I’m studying for my Political Science class and need an explanation.

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Instructions: Responses should be a minimum of 250 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.

Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.

Respond to Patrick:

Civil Liberties and Homeland Security

In week one we discussed the new era of policing and corrections that emerged after 9/11. The era has been characterized as the homeland security era that has brought with it the militarization of the police. The post 9/11 homeland security era has also been characterized by wide-ranging anti-terrorism legislation that has received backlash for infringing on civil liberties (Donohue, 2009). The passing of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (Patriot Act) has been at the forefront of anti-terrorism legislation and has provoked much controversy (Donohue, 2009).

The Patriot Act set a precedent in what executive strength was capable of passing in the name of national security (Donohue, 2009). In the wake of 9/11, Congress and the majority of the public had minimal objection to the increased security measures. The original Patriot Act was a 342-page document that gained immediate approval just weeks after 9/11 with overwhelming majority of bipartisan support. The immediate approval was made possible through the fear that 9/11 instilled on the United States and the threat of another terrorist attack (Donohue, 2009). In a 2001 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, their results showed that 55% of Americans felt that in order to curb terrorism it will be necessary to give up civil liberties (Doherty, 2013). The same study was conducted in 2011 and only 40% of Americans felt it was necessary to give up civil liberties (Doherty, 2013). Both results 10 years a part show that a significant amount of Americans favor security over civil liberties. Although, I would argue that the study is not representative of the populations anti-terrorism legislation directly impacts.

The intended purpose of the Patriot Act was to improve law enforcement capabilities in response to terrorism by expanding their investigative powers. The expanded powers and use of aggressive investigative measures have had adverse effects on the American population specifically from racial profiling tactics (Donohue, 2009). “Racial/ethical profiling is any police action such as arrest, search, contact or detention which was solely based on the person’s race or ethnicity rather than on the individual’s behavior (Von Kaenel, 2011, para. 1).” Post 9/11 policies have led to racial profiling of Muslim and Arab populations. After 9/11 they quickly became victims of discrimination with many instances leading to their arrest without due process. Von Kaenel (2011) discusses the critics against profiling and how it erodes civil liberties through unlawful/justified arrests.

Advocates of profiling argue that it is a necessary law enforcement tactic when carrying out an investigation (Von Kaenel, 2011). The main argument in support of profiling is logic and that law enforcement will investigate potential suspects based on shared commonalties of race and ethnicity (Von Kaenel, 2011). I understand the arguments for and against racial profiling which stem from security measures intended to increase homeland security. Both sides of the argument present merit but the degradation of freedom over potential security threats has real world consequences. These consequences have been ongoing over 18 years and I think the more we operate in the gray area using national security as justification, will result in continued loss of civil liberties.


Doherty, C. (2013). Balancing Act: National Security and Civil Liberties in Post-9/11 Era. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/07/balancing-act-national-security-and-civil-liberties-in-post-911-era/

Donohue, L. (2009). The Perilous Dialogue. California Law Review, 97(2), 357–392.


Von Kaenel, R. (2011, May-June). Racial profiling: A pragmatic approach. Sheriff. Retrieved from http://www.ourdigitalmags.com/article/Racial+Profiling+-+A+Pragmatic+Approach/721448/0/article.html

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