who we be:
Alex Bruno Jeff jUnKyMoNkEy Katie Lizzi Morgie Nora nujums park super.KFinn() THE Te$$anator Will zacky Zofia



well,. ok Zack, but you better read it unlike that Locke thing, cause I spent a lot of time on this essay, if any of you would like to read some of my research, just ask to see my bibliography (it's 3 pages long) and this paper is 6 pages long when printed---loooong---enjoy!!

The War On Civil Liberties

After the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, the United States Congress and judicial system have allowed the restriction of civil liberties in the name of combating terrorism. In reality, these restrictions are often unconstitutional. However, the current administration has demonstrated a willingness to allow these abridgements in return for a supposed increase in the safety of the country against the threat of terrorism. One specific piece of legislation, designed for this purpose, passed about a month after the September 11th attacks, is Public Law 107-56, commonly referred to as the US Patriot Act. It provides that many rights, especially those of due legal process, can be stripped from any “alien” thought to pose a terrorist threat to public safety. The restrictions of civil liberties in the United States of America in response to President Bush’s war on terror are ineffective, unconstitutional, and lack the necessary checks and balances to prevent abuse.
In many other countries in the world, restrictions of civil liberties have been commonplace for years as attempts to deal with rabid terrorism. However, none of these places has experienced a significant decrease in the threat of terrorism. In Germany, everyone is required to register with the local police before they can get a phone line or bank account. However, this did not alert the German authorities to the fact that three of the nineteen terrorists from the September 11 terrorist attacks lived there as students prior to the attacks. If the terrorist attack of September 11 had been directed against Germany instead of against the US, the attacks would probably still have been successful because the German authorities were unaware of the terrorists living among them. According to a statistic by the US State Department, “Armed groups committed significant acts of terror in 29 countries last year [2000]. In many of these countries, security precautions are part of daily life after decades-long deadly conflicts” (LA Times, Sept 21, 2001). Even though a large number of the 29 countries which experienced terrorist attacks last year had precautions in effect, they still had terrorism carried out against them. Israel has been plagued with terrorism since the moment the country was formed in 1948 through the present day. Israel has one of the highest rates of acts of terrorism in the world. Additionally, Israel commits some of the worst civil liberties violations in the world against its citizens, especially against the Arabs living in Israel. However, many of these same Arabs turn around, strap bombs to their torsos, and blow up whole streets. Even though civil rights are heavily restricted in Israel, it is not unusual to hear of suicide bombings as frequently as once a month. Obviously, these restrictions have little impact on the terrorism in Israel. In fact, many times, the restrictions make terrorism more virulent because of the added animosity caused by the restrictions.
The current restrictions on civil liberties in the United States of America are unconstitutional. The restrictions are contradictory to clauses present in the Fourth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, and Eighth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution stipulates that, “People [have a right to be] secure in their persons, houses, papers and effect, against unreasonable search and seizure…” (www.house.gov). The US Patriot Act allows for secret wiretaps and secret requisitions of records, including credit and library records. When the government requests this information from someone, they are not allowed to tell anyone that the information has been gathered, not even the accused. A search of information that the accused is not even aware has occurred is most certainly an “unreasonable search”.
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, states that, “ In all criminal prosecution, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial” (www.house.gov). However, provisions in the Patriot Act, and the forthcoming “Patriot II” allow for secret arrests, detentions, and deportations. “Secret Arrests, [are] a practice common in totalitarian regimes but never before authorized in the United States” (The Nation, March 17, 2003). The US has always prided itself on being anti-totalitarianism, but by allowing secret arrests, it has gone against over 200 years of precedent of just law for all. These secret arrests result in detention for as long as the government deems it necessary. The person who is being held need not be suspected of anything more then possibly having links to terrorist organizations,. These secret arrests and indefinite jail sentences are certainly not what the Constitution means by a “speedy and public trial” and, in fact, the secret arrests are quite contradictory to the Constitution. Jose Padilla, an American citizen and suspect in an attempted detonation of a “dirty bomb”, has been held at a naval prison in South Carolina. He has been classified an enemy combatant and, therefore, does not have the intrinsic right to a lawyer because access to a lawyer could compromise months of interrogation. A federal judge has ruled that Padilla must be allowed to meet with a lawyer to try to change his enemy combatant classification. However, the government claims that the court has no right to review the classification. The US, one of the worldwide examples of fair law practices, has suddenly reversed all precedents and even contradicted its own Constitution, the example that many others in the world are based on.
The Eighth Amendment states, “cruel and unusual punishment [shall not be] inflicted” (www.house.gov). However, the US has been engaging in what is known as “torture lite” (The Guardian, March 25, 2001) at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, where 641 prisoners from Afghanistan are being held. This torture consists of such things as sleep deprivation and constant exposure to bright light. This torture is so demeaning that several inmates have attempted to kill themselves. Torture has often been seen as the worst of the cruel and unusual punishment. There is no excuse to say that merely because the US is investigating terrorism, it should be allowed to break its own conventions and Constitution. If the founding fathers meant for the Constitution to be disregarded in times of war or in times of extreme need, there would be a clause written in for that. However, aside from some very small sections, there is none, because the Constitution is supposed to be followed no matter what the situation or need.
One of the biggest concerns regarding the restrictions on civil liberties is that many times the laws that allow these abridgements do not allow for the proper system of checks and balances to prevent abuse. The US Patriot Act allows such actions as secret searches, electronic searches, and secret arrests and, furthermore, these powers can be used unilaterally by the executive branch of the United States government without any oversight. Just like the Constitution, the American system of checks and balances was not meant to be thrown out when it is inconvenient. These checks and balances allow for judicial review of laws to see if they possibly infringe upon existing laws or the constitution. In most cases, people can bring lawsuits arguing that a law is unconstitutional in an attempt to get it repealed. However, the US has set up the system such that the government is the only filer of claims upon the Patriot Act, and other related acts, so, therefore, the judiciary, and the people who appeal through the judiciary have no real representation regarding this law. In fact, one case against the Patriot Act has already been overturned on the basis that it would be very inconvenient for the government to fight terrorism and lawsuits at the same time. However, when the system is the most inconvenient is when it is most needed. The system is the most inconvenient when the most sweeping changes are being made, ones that will affect the American people the most. Therefore, it is now, when the checks and balances are most inconvenient, that they are most needed.
Another way the restrictions do not allow for the proper series of checks and balances is that the Attorney General can sometimes personally order the deportation or jailing of an alien without any review of the Attorney General’s action. The Attorney General should not have this much power because no one should have that capacity. Furthermore, the Attorney General is not an elected official. It is completely inappropriate that someone who is not elected by the people of the USA should wield this amount of power. Should Patriot II ever get passed into law, the powers could be utilized against US citizens, and would allow the Attorney General to strip someone of his or her citizenship. This would, in effect, allow the Attorney General to take out a vendetta against someone for purely personal or political reasons without any real need to prove that the person is involved in any way in terrorism.
The infringement and many times blatant disregard shown for civil liberties in trade for a “more secure America” is simply wrong. The entire system of government of the United States of America must not be disregarded when the country is at war. At many times in the past in this country, the judiciary has found it correct to question decisions made by the legislature and executives in a time of war. The US cannot simply claim that the US needs to show a unified front in the war on terror and not question the government’s judgment. Questioning the government’s judgment has been necessary before, and will be again. Restrictions of civil liberties in order to fight terror are unacceptable, unneeded, and must not be allowed.


oops---i appoligize will, that was my bad--ya know, red and red.....anyway it really is a great question and the president does have a lot to confess to----BTW, someone in california has circulated a petition asking for Bush's impeachment for disobeying international law and misleading the public

That was actually WILL with the good question. I really don't know a lot about the state of civil liberties right now, but I do know that I would rather be free than secure. Isn't there some kinda RIGHT to a fair trial and representation? I think most things that are wrong with the world right now ar Georoge W. Bush's fault. My mom sent me a VERY interesting e-mail:
Subject: Presidential Confession

I attacked and took over two countries.

I spent the U.S. surplus and bankrupted the US Treasury.

I shattered the record for the biggest annual deficit in history (not

I set an economic record for the most personal bankruptcies filed in any 12
month period.

I set all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the stock

I am the first president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.

In my first year in office I set the all-time record for most days on
vacation by any president in US history (tough to beat my dad's, but I did).

After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, I presided over
the worst security failure in US history.

I set the record for most campaign fund raising trips by any president in
US history.

In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their jobs.

I cut unemployment benefits for more out-of-work Americans than any other
president in US history.

I set the all-time record for most real estate foreclosures in a 12-month

I appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any
president in US history.

I set the record for the fewest press conferences of any president, since
the advent of TV.

I signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any
other US president in history.

I presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and refused to
intervene when corruption was revealed.

I cut health care benefits for war veterans.

I set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take
to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for
protest against any person in the history of mankind.

I dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history.

I've made my presidency the most secretive and unaccountable of any in US

Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history.
(The poorest multimillionaire, Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named
after her.)

I am the first president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union
simultaneously struggle against bankruptcy.

I presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud in any market in
any country in the history of the world.

I am the first president in US history to order a US attack AND military
occupation of a sovereign nation, and I did so against the will of the United
Nations and the vast majority of the international community.

I have created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history
of the United States, called the "Bureau of Homeland Security"(only one
letter away from BS).

I set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases,
more than any other president in US history (Ronnie was tough to beat, but I did

I am the first president in US history to compel the United Nations remove
the US from the Human Rights Commission.

I am the first president in US history to have the United Nations remove
the US from the Elections Monitoring Board.

I removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of
congressional oversight than any presidential administration in US history.

I rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.

I withdrew from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war and by default
no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.

I am the first president in US history to refuse United Nations election
inspectors access during the 2002 US elections.

I am the all-time US (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign

The biggest lifetime contributor to my campaign, who is also one of my best
friends, presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in
world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).

I spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in US

I am the first president to run and hide when the US came under attack (and
then lied, saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)

I am the first US president to establish a secret shadow government.

I took the world's sympathy for the US after 9/11, and in less than a year
made the US the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest
diplomatic failure in US and world history).

I am the first US president in history to have a majority of the people of
Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and

I changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government

I set the all-time record for the number of administration appointees who
violated US law by not selling their huge investments in corporations bidding
for gov't contracts.

I have removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any
other president in US history.

I entered office with the strongest economy in US history and in less than
two years turned every single economic category heading straight down.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES: I have at least one conviction for drunk driving in
Maine (Texas driving record has been erased and is not available).

I was AWOL from the National Guard and deserted the military during time of

I refuse to take a drug test or even answer any questions about drug use.

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas have been spirited away to my
fathers library, sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All records of any SEC investigations into my insider trading or bankrupt
companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All minutes of meetings of any public corporation for which I served on the
board are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

Any records or minutes from meetings I (or my VP) attended regarding public
energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.


The White House,

Washington, DC
Though obviously not written by Dubya himself, all of that is true (though I'd like to see the proof for that "secret shadow government"). Know your enemy.

PS: Alex, post that essay, it's ok if it's long.

an excellent question zack---Civil Liberties are absolutely teh most important things we ahve here in the US today, and since 9/11 they have constantly infinged and repressed by the government. The government can now hold suspected terrorists for as long as they feel like, with no real charge, and no access to a lawywer, and the US has even particiaped in what is called "torture lite" so....BAD----if anyone wants a more detailed, well thought out, longer essay on this, just ask me to email you my critical thinking essay from last year

since we just passed Sept. 11, what do you think sould be done (or undone) with the US govt.'s policies on "homeland security", "the war on terror", and, on another note, the economy, taxes, and deregulation of the media industry and corporate america in general? also, what do you think about the way civil liberties have been treated since 9/11/01?


yeah,but not much


This used to be the most exciting site I knew of. What happened? Does anyone even LOOK anymore?

someone post.

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