September 13, 2004

September 13, 2004 | Special Report on Department of Homeland Security

The Patriot Act Reader

The Patriot Act is a controversial law, some provisions of which will soon require reauthorization. In the post-9/11 world, it is important to understand just what the legislation permits and what it does not. While Congress and the President have constitutional obligations to protect Americans against attacks by foreign actors, that does not mean that the use of such power is always wise or necessary. The Patriot Act has come to symbolize an overstepping of the executive branch's power. Unfortunately, that image is based largely on misinformation.

This Special Report describes specifically what powers the Patriot Act grants, the need for these powers, the safeguards built into the Patriot Act, and how it has been used so far.

Contributors include former Attorney General of the United States Edwin Meese, III, Deputy Attorney General of the United States James Comey, Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson, William J. Bennett, legal analyst Paul Rosenzweig, and homeland security expert James Jay Carafano.

Read The Patriot Act Reader: Understanding the Law's Role in the Global War on Terror (PDF) - Edited by Paul Rosenzweig, Alane Kochems, and James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.

About the Author

Paul Rosenzweig
Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

Alane Kochems Policy Analyst, National Security
The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy

James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Vice President for the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and the E. W. Richardson Fellow