criminal justice oversight and accountability essay paper

criminal justice oversigt and accountability

A mastermind behind 9/11, Khalid Sheik Mohammad (KSM), was captured in Pakistan in March of 2003. Immediately following his capture, KSM was subjected to a series of controversial interrogation methods, often referred to as enhanced interrogation techniques. These techniques included the now infamous waterboarding technique. Waterboarding is a technique that involves immobilizing subjects on their back with their head inclined downwards. The subject’s face is then covered with a cloth, and water is poured over the cloth, which ultimately triggers the subject’s gag reflex and causes the subject to experience the sensations of drowning. This technique is not a new technique; it has been around for hundreds of years and is used by nations around the world to collect intelligence.

You are an intelligence research specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice and have been asked by the U.S. Attorney’s office to provide a written brief on the pros and cons of using waterboarding as a technique to collect intelligence.

Assignment Guidelines

  • First, revise your Week 4 Key Assignment. Below is the week 4 key assignment along with the Outline:

Week 4 Key Assignment Outline:

Title: Intelligence Policies and Legal Issues

Introduction

Thesis

This paper evaluates three of the sixteen provisions under USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 from this perspective, providing recommendations on each based on how they can be improved or enhanced to meet the initial objectives that underpinned their establishment.

Sec. 203 (d). Authority to Share Criminal Investigative Information (Foreign Intelligence Information)

Under 203(d), law enforcement agencies have the overall authority to share acquired data from crime investigations “notwithstanding any other provision of law” (Department of Justice, 2005, p. 10).

Sec. 201. Authority to Intercept Wire, Oral, and Electronic Communications Relating To Terrorism

One notable impact this provision had on the legal landscape was to amend 18 U.S.C. § 2516(1) to add contemporary extremely serious crimes that terrorists are expected to commit (ACLU, 2002).

Section 206: Roving Surveillance Authority under FISA

Prior to enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act, wiretaps that attaches to a suspect’s phone rather than a specific communication had been existing within the criminal investigations setting.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

Summary of main points

The legal landscape have changed significantly since its enactments

Recommendations

Most of the concerns over the 16 provisions of the USA PATRIOTIC Act of 2001 are grounded on privacy, civil liberties, and freedom of the targeted entities.

 

Week 4 Key Assignment Complete, just adding new information to this completed document based on the new information:

Introduction

The United States has taken strategic measures over the years since 9/11 to contain terrorism on American soil. Among these measures was the (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001, which aimed to prevent and punish terrorist acts in the U.S and worldwide. However, changes over the years in the legal landscape and forms of terrorism have seen such measures transition consistently. This paper evaluates three of the sixteen provisions under USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 from this perspective, providing recommendations on each based on how they can be improved or enhanced to meet the initial objectives that underpinned their establishment.

Sec. 203 (d). Authority to Share Criminal Investigative Information (Foreign Intelligence Information)

This provision has significantly changed the legal landscape. It gave the law enforcement agencies the authority to share criminal intelligence. Under 203(d), law enforcement agencies have the overall authority to share acquired data from crime investigations “notwithstanding any other provision of law” (Department of Justice, 2005, p. 10).

U.S. law enforcement and intelligence have used this provision in collecting and sharing data aimed at protecting the homeland on different occasions. For instance, the Department of Justice once reported using this provision to intensify its focus on terrorism funding inquiries and criminal money laundering on Muslim organizations since September 11 (Coble & Scott, 2021).

However, such actions present a significant threat to the constitutionally protected civil liberties and freedom of speech. Intense focus on Muslim organizations, such as the 2002 raids in Northern Virginia of non-profit organizations and private homes, did not materialize to any substantive outcomes in fighting terrorism, instead led to the loss of jobs and business for the affected populations (Coble & Scott, 2021).

To enhance the efficiency of this provision, the law enforcement agencies must base their actions on good faith rather than profiling. Also, more expressive legal oversight could be substantive in preserving the merits of data sharing while protecting civil liberties (Coble & Scott, 2021).

Sec. 201. Authority to Intercept Wire, Oral, and Electronic Communications Relating To Terrorism

This provision’s notable impact on the legal landscape was to amend 18 U.S.C. § 2516(1) to add contemporary severe crimes that terrorists are expected to commit (ACLU, 2002). This led to the correction of the anomaly that limited law enforcement and intelligence agencies from accessing information that could aid in comprehensive terrorism acts.

Since the USA PATRIOT Act enactment, Justice Department investigators have used this provision to investigate possible cases of weapons of mass destruction. By 2005, the Justice Department had, among three other cases, investigated a case that involved an Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux 3 Klan, who tried to buy hand grenades to bomb abortion clinics (Department of Justice, 2005). He was later imprisoned on several firearms and explosives charges (Department of Justice, 2005).

Apart from fears of this provision creating a haven for violation of civil liberties of cases with no probable cause for suspicion of terror attack in the U.S or citizens abroad, it has not received any significant criticism from organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFF had been critical of several provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act (Department of Justice, 2005).

To enhance its applicability and effectiveness, the information collection should be based on a probable cause to believe that U.S citizens with no ties to foreign terrorists intend to use weapons of mass destruction or chemical weapons. Also, issues on civil liberties should be given significant considerations (ACLU, 2002).

Section 206: Roving Surveillance Authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978

Before enacting the USA PATRIOT Act, wiretaps that are attached to a suspect’s phone rather than a specific communication existed within the criminal investigations setting. However, they were not available under FISA. However, they were required because foreign intelligence officers and international terrorists can change their communication systems, hence the necessity for the roving wiretaps in this context (Department of Justice, 2005). Without them, the terrorist were always two steps ahead of law enforcement agencies.

While no specific data exists on cases where this provision has been used to protect the homeland, its significance in the exact cause is worth noting. This provision has increased the effectiveness of FISA to address sophisticated terrorists because the rover can hover from subject to subject, not any specific communication system (Department of Justice, 2005).

This provision has been subject to criticism and controversies from several organizations. However, most of these critics focus on civil liberties and constitutionally given freedom. For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that this provision “poses a greater challenge to privacy because they are authorized secretly without a showing of probable cause of crime” (Department of Justice, 2005, p. 18).

For its enhanced effectiveness, this provision should be revised to address such claims addressed by the ACLU and several organizations. Such improvements should include substantial evidence that the wiretaps are targeted at individuals in high positions to thwart their surveillance.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

The USA PATRIOTIC Act of 2001presents a strong foundation for improving homeland security. However, the legal landscape has changed significantly since its enactments. This presents a challenge to apply most of the provisions, as seen in the above discussion.

Recommendations

Most of the concerns over the 16 provisions of the USA PATRIOTIC Act of 2001 are grounded on privacy, civil liberties, and freedom of the targeted entities. As a way for improving their acceptability, these cases should be proactively addressed. As noted above, one possible way is to ensure that the implementations of the provisions are based on meaningful judicial oversight.

References

ACLU. (2002). Surveillance under the USA/PATRIOT Act. American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 17 August 2021, from https://www.aclu.org/other/surveillance-under-usapatriot-act.

Coble, C., & Scott, S. (2021). Testimony of ACLU National Security Policy Counsel Timothy H. Edgar Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on the USA PATRIOT Act: Effect of Sections 203 (b) and (d) on Information Sharing. American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 17 August 2021, from https://www.aclu.org/other/testimony-aclu-national-security-policy-counsel-timothy-h-edgar-house-judiciary-subcommittee.

Department of Justice. (2005). USA PATRIOT Act: Sunset Report. Epic.org. Retrieved 17 August 2021, from https://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/Sunsets_Report_Final.pdf.

Week 4 Key Assignment above, is good and complete.You don’t need to do anything with it.All you have to do is to add the new elements to it and form one document. Also add new elements to the table of contents based on the new information.All you are doing is just adding new elements. Below are the new information that you need to work on and generate additional information that will be added to the week 4 document that is already complete including the Outline.

NEW INFORMATION

  • Address the following and include your responses in your Key Assignment Final Draft.
    • For this portion of the assignment, you must discuss the use of waterboarding to collect intelligence.
    • You must specifically discuss the legality of the technique, moral and ethical considerations, and the overall effectiveness of using this method.
    • In addition, you should also discuss the following:
      • What is the current U.S. policy on using waterboarding?
      • Why is waterboarding being considered as a technique now, when we have faced greater threats in the past?
      • Is there a difference between imitation torture and actual torture?
    • Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

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