The current cornerstone of the American law, indicator of democracy and traditions is the existing human rights and freedoms. The intelligence processes indulgence in personal privacy, property privacy and non interference of the state authorities in the private affairs is the main formation of the modern organization of the American society. For a couple of years, courts have been majorly concerned with safeguarding rights of citizens against unreasonable intrusion of the government and as a result giving an interpretation of the bill of rights and constitution to be of preference to the human rights. But towards the end of the 21st century, there have been several issues which so much impacted on the homeland security and constitutional rights and as a result a number of intelligence gathering processes have been put in place and impacted by the constitutional rights.
One of these processes is the domestic intelligence gathering. This is whereby the law enforcement agencies have involved themselves in investigating both aliens and citizens who have not committed any crime. This is as a result of the USA efforts in combating terrorism and protecting the constitutional rights of the citizens. The domestic intelligence has been concerned with investigating domestic organizations that are majorly composed of U.S citizens and the foreign based organizations and non- citizens. The process has proceeded beneath a particular statutory authority of the American constitution and allowed a range of permissible conduct of law officers to carry out their roles.
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These guidelines were put in place in broad terms that were subjected to a number of interpretations. Before the 9/11, the processes were in general terms and were not narrowly interpreted by the FBI and other organizations that have a check on the FBI activities and operations, in particular the US congress and the department of justice. These processes have also resulted into development of strong facets of political correctness at play which have resulted into a reluctance to single out the Muslim and Arab terrorism as the main security threats to USA nation. But this process towards political correctness has been reinforced by the Arab and Muslim’s lobbying and propagandizing efforts that have tempted to portray initiatives that are counter terrorism that are geared by both the ill conceived attempts towards civil liberties and racial animus. The intelligence processes in the USA have also made the congress to review issues contained in the patriot Act in order to make determinations on its future applications. But the civil liberties of the American citizens are of concern that the Act is the most public debated and a controversial legislative step taken by the federal government due to 9/11 attack. Hence, contentious aspect of the act involved the application of certain techniques by the justice department and the FBI. These techniques included wiretapping, access to business records, search and seizure of the same.
According to Washington post, another intelligence gathering process is the electronic surveillance technology. This process has been applied in America in gathering information and investigating a number of suspected activities. This has made the law enforcement agencies in America to have powers of intruding in workplaces, private homes and private lives. Thus, making it to impact on the constitutional rights of individuals because, people’s rights should not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful invasion of their privacy by state agencies in investigating a suspected activity as it is considered a violation of constitutional right of the American citizens.
The intelligence processes have greatly impacted on various components of the USA constitution. For instance the congress house voted 14 permanent provisions and placed 10-year terms on section 215 and 206. On section 206 of the wiring provision, investigators are allowed to conduct secret searches and interpret electronic conversations without necessarily identifying the suspect. While section 215 of the constitution allows federal agencies to access tangible items such as medical records, library and medical records, as well as allowing the legislation to impact on the constitution by restricting government powers on the legality of the same which required these agencies to obtain higher principles of proof.
The passing of the patriotic Act have been subjected to a number of oppositions but despite of this, President George Bush emphasized to the American people the importance of decisive and quick actions to curb the growing national threat. The oppositions argued that the patriotic Act tore down the bureaucratic and the legal wall that prevented the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence personnel from sharing important information on terrorism attacks. This has made the American’s law enforcement agencies to prosecute terrorist operatives and their followers using this vital tool. For instance the American government invaded Pakistan and killed the Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
To sum up, the intelligence process should be put in use without violating the rights of Americans. The patriotic Act together with other components of the constitution as provided in the civil liberty congress should include: the expansion of the judicial authorization, mandatory reports to congress, inspector oversight and privacy officers to prevent invasions of private properties and violation of people’s rights.