An explosion sounds. Sirens are going off everywhere, and people are running hysterically. Debris is falling from the sky; chaos looms overhead. This is the scenario of terrorist attacks on American soil, and we must not let it happen. Soon after the New York terrorist attacks occurred in New York City in 2001, the Patriot Act was set into motion. This Patriot Act has helped protect America considerably, although an issue within the Patriot Act that is now being criticized is the domestic spying plan that the President has authorized. The domestic spying program has enabled our President and those he authorizes to protect our country just a little bit more securely than it was before. Some say that the eavesdropping program will lead to more fundamental rights being infringed upon; however, I believe that in order to protect this country in the best and most effective way possible, the domestic spying program should be continued to the fullest extent.
The domestic spying and wiretap program that the President has authorized gives the National Security Agency the authority to eavesdrop, or wiretap, on phone lines and communication devices of international calls. The wiretap is authorized without a warrant. These international calls either come into the United States or are dialed out from the United States. The wiretaps are used in spying on suspected terrorists and those that have a link to Al-Qaeda.
One of the reasons that I believe the program should be continued is because there is a continued threat to American soil by terrorists and those that have already attacked the United States. In a recent speech given by President George W. Bush, he states that there have been formulated plans to attack us here in the United States. One such plan was to attack the famous Library Tower, which is the tallest structure located in Los Angeles. There have also been plans to attack the Los Angeles International Airport. Both of these plots involved the use of hijacked planes. Fortunately, in both cases, the United States learned about these plans and were able to prevent them with the help of international cooperation. The United States needs a secure defense against these kinds of plans, and the eavesdropping program helps the President to discover where attacks are imminent.
A second reason that the wiretapping program should be continued is that America is safer with it, and the majority of Americans approve the program. Since September 11, 2001, there have been no attacks on American soil. This isn’t because Al Qaeda or any other terrorists have not tried. In fact, there have been several instances where the United States has intercepted plans on attacks within this country. Furthermore, Vice President tells us in a recent speech that if this wiretapping program were put into place before the World Trade Center attacks, then those would have been prevented as well. Also, in a country where majority rules, America approves of this wiretapping program. A recent poll by Fox News in January 2006 reports that 58 percent of Americans feel that the President should have the power to conduct these wiretaps before getting formal approval. In addition, one is six Americans say that they are okay with the National Security Agency listening in on international calls (www.foxnews.com).
Although some people feel that wiretapping without a warrant will lead to other rights and privacies of Americans being violated, this simply is not true. Although it is true that the President is giving the National Security Agency the authority to wiretap communications without a warrant, there are limitations on these communications. First, the communication being intercepted has to have a reasonable suspicion as a link to Al Qaeda or another terrorist. While some people think that if the President authorizes the wiretapping of international communication, this means every single call going out internationally. This would be near, impossible, however, because a recent report shows that in 2003, Americans held nearly 200 billion minutes of international conversations (www.foxnews.com). So the communications intercepted has to have a reasonable suspicion about them. Second, the President is not giving authorization to wiretap communication wholly inside the United States. Only those calls internationally are wiretapped. Furthermore, if a conversation that has been wiretapped has an American citizen on one end, a warrant is then required to take any further action against that particular American individual.
A final reason that the President should continue the wiretapping of international communications is that he has the constitutional authority to do so. Quoting the sacred document that was written many years ago, the United States’ Consitution gives the “power to the executive branch of the government to preserve order and insure the public safety in times of emergency, when other branches of the government are unable to function, or their functioning would itself threaten the public safety” (US Constitution). This means that after the destruction of the World Trade Centers, which was an emergency, the President has been given the authority to protect the American people. He has the power to protect them, even if this means using his power to authorize the wiretapping of international calls to prevent another attack on America.
In conclusion, one can now understand that, indeed, the President should continue his program of eavesdropping on international communication. Not only is there a continued threat to America now as we are in a time of war, but there is also the power for the President written in the Constitution to use his power to conduct these wiretaps. Furthermore, the majority of Americans agree with the President and his use of power, and generally feel safer when the President uses his power given to him. All in all, the wiretap program that President Bush has put into play is a very good and successful plan to protect America and her people. Just because there are a few people who disagree with him does not mean he should stop using his power to the fullest extent possible to make America safer.