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Pad 540 Use of Force

In: Other Topics

Submitted By bulldogs06
Words 1316
Pages 6
Dr. Timothy Smith

PAD 540 International Public Administration

Shana Chew

February 16, 2015

Policy analysis is the process of researching or analyzing programs to give policy makers specific information about the range of available policy options and their advantages and disadvantages (Denhardt & Denhardt, 2009). The sources of this difficulty can be and are communication between the external and internal departments. Two ways an organization may attempt to overcome are: developing alternatives and updating existing policies.

News media influences behavior around the world. Just go back to the last 40-50 years to see the how the activity in the United States has dropped as the media has infrastrated our society. News media in public policy plays the role of watchdogs (Birkland, 2011). Their actions consist of persuading and influencing another to some course of action or the acceptance of something. The primary function of news media is agenda setting. Equally important, news media intertwines with institutional attention.

Even though, unofficial actors such as interest groups and news media are not required to participate in public policy there are equally important. “The way people, groups, and the press participate in public life has evolved and grown with the nation” (Birkland, 2011, p.108). Interest groups strive to change public opinion and politician views on certain topics. Information is the most important resource that interest groups can posses, specifically, “information that might be unavailable or less available to others” (Birkland, 2011, p.93). Often times, legislators draw on this information to make policy decisions.

Informing people on current issues and what their government is doing about it is the role of news media. The founding fathers, themselves, knew before hand that new media would play an essential role in public policy. They, too, had written in newspapers and pamphlets. News media educates and sway the opinion of people by deciding whether or not to disclose information. Policy does not magically happen. News media brings the issues to the forefront which sets the formulation stage.

What happens in government is determined on the amount of media coverage. News media holds government accountable and allows people to formulate their own opinion. The way this is done is researching policies, reporting on studies and allowing individual citizen the opportunity to voice any recommendations or suggestions. News media helps gains support for policies, kill the policies or help protect people by exposing negative provisions. Overall, news media does a good job representing both sides.

Like the news media, Congress has paid a great deal of attention to the attacks, but the expansion of the agenda was not as great as the media’s to the issue. News coverage of terrorism as a national issue remained high, but it never returned to the levels reached in the first two weeks after September 11 (Stillman, 2009). Congress, on the other hand, saw its terrorism agenda expand continuously in the six weeks following September 11, and the prominence of the issue actually peaked on the agenda.

In the heat of the moment after September 11 terrorist attacks, and in the midst of the frightening anthrax on Congress and on major media figures, the Congress quickly passed a law awkwardly titled “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act,” better known as the USA Patriot Act (Stillman, 2009). The goal of this act was greatly increase government powers to fight terrorism and related crimes.

It would be a mistake to argue that this law sprung from thin after the September 11 attacks. Many of the provisions of the act were long known to be among conservative policy makers’ preferred policies. Many of the provisions of the patriot Act were relatively noncontroversial, such as the money laundering aspects in Title III, or the support for victims in Title VI (D’Anieri, 2014). The most controversial provisions were contained in Titles II and Title IX.

The controversy that the Patriot Act generates is not whether the United States should defend itself against terrorism. The controversy is whether the act goes so far in the name of security whether it really promotes it or not that the very liberties on which the nation was founded are undermined. The Patriot Act includes a wide variety of provisions to empower intelligence and law enforcement agencies to pursue suspected terrorists, which have sparked fierce controversy (D’Anieri, 2014).

The ultimate goal of the law is provide government broader powers to fight terrorism. Operationally, the FBI focuses on gathering domestic intelligence. The CIA is empowered to direct FBI domestic surveillance operations for the first time, while the U.S. Treasury Department is required to establish a financial monitoring system that the CIA may access (Szypszak, 2011). The CIA also now has the power to acquire evidence obtained by criminal wiretaps and federal grand juries. While many of these provisions were due to expire under various sunset provisions in the original Patriot Act, most of these sections- or the substantive policies contained in the policies- remain in force, having been extended by legislative action 2005. Interestingly, this bill was overwhelmingly passed in the wake of the 2005 London bus and subway bombings. The main provisions that were not permanently extended were set to sunset on December 31, 2009; while Congress has enacted short-term extensions of the law, the long-term extension of these provisions has not been taken up by Congress, due in part to increasing political opposition to many Patriot Act provisions (D’Anieri, 2014).

After the September 11 attacks, it became clear to nearly all commentators, experts and lay people alike, that the aviation security system did not work, and that its failure greatly undermined public confidence in the safety of U.S. commercial aviation. As a result, in November of 2001, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) was enacted as both a means to improve security and as a way to attempt to restore public confidence in the nation’s civil aviation system (Szypszak, 2011).

We do know that, after September 11, substantial changes were made to aviation security. Regulations and laws enacted required locked cockpit doors on commercial airliners. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created to replace the private contractors that were hired by airlines as passenger screeners; these companies had poor records well before September 11 (Szypszak, 2011). The TSA screeners are, by and large, better educated, better trained, and more professionalism than the screeners they replaced. But the system was soon jolted by the so-called “shoe-bomber” attempt to destroy American Airlines flight 63, flying from Paris to Miami in December 2001.

A good case can be made that the ATSA and the TSA have addresses important issues, considering that they had been debated but hardly implemented since at least the late 1980’s. The challenge was to make sure that the TSA implemented the program contemplated in the law. This is perhaps a stiffer challenge than many of us can imagine, because terrorists have shown that they changed their tactics since the September 11 attacks, and have found other targets or methods to accomplish their goals.

References

Birkland, T. (2011). An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts and Models of Public Policy Making. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Chaikind, H., Copeland, C., W., Redhead, S. C., Staman, J. (March 2, 2011). PPACA: A Brief Overview of the Law, Implementation, and Legal Challenges.Congressional Research Service. R41664. Retrieved February19, 2015.

Denhardt, R. B., & Denhardt, J. V. (2009). Public Administration: An Action Orientation. (2010 custom Ed.). Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.

D’Anieri, P. (2014). International Politics: Power and Purpose in Global Affairs, 3rd Edition. Boston, MA. Wadsworth.

Risen, J. (2006). State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. New York: Free Press.

Stillman, R. J. (2009). (2010 custom Ed.). Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.

Szypszak, C. (2011). Understanding the Law for Public Administration. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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