9/11 Ethical Dilemmas

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The country found itself in utter terror and a sense of paralysis immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American soil by the al Qaeda network. “In the aftermath of the first attack on the American continent since the War of 1812, and the deadliest in the nation’s history, the country rallied behind the president” (Milkis & Nelson, 2012, 445). During this heightened time of support, the Bush Administration worked to expand the presidential powers. One of his most immediate decisions was to work with the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor communications traffic between the United States and foreign countries in an effort to catch unknown terrorists before they acted against the United States again. According to Eichenwald, …show more content…

Over the years following 9/11, facts about the secret surveillance program started to surface. As an investigation started being conducted, it was found that the program was not just listening in on calls and emails from abroad by quite of bit of activity monitoring was taking place within the United States causing a lot of controversy in the fact that people did not like the idea that their private information was being invaded by the NSA on authority of the president. Furthermore, there was a rise in concern for the Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure violations of having individual’s emails taken and used against them without warrants. The Bush Administration worked with Congress immediately following the 9/11 attacks to pass and sign into law the USA Patriot Act that was “an overnight revision of the nation 's surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government 's authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court” (ACLU,

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