Civil Liberties and Terrorism
Civil Liberties and Terrorism fin571
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Date Created: 11/11/15
HEAD RUNNING: Civil Liberties and Terrorism 1 Civil Liberties and Terrorism Your Name POL201 Instructor Name Date Civil Liberties and Terrorism HEAD RUNNING: Civil Liberties and Terrorism 2 “All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it” Alexis de Tocqueville. I personally believe that we do not need to restrict our civil liberties as stated in the Bill of Rights in order to protect American citizens from terrorist organizations. Civil liberties are the personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, either by law, constitution, or judicial interpretation which include the freedom from slavery and forced labor, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right to privacy, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to marry and have a family ( Conner, Sabato, 2011). Yes, it is very important for us to worry about terrorism and to defend our country but it is not necessary for our government to take away our civil liberties in the process. So where does this leave us? Do we let terrorism scare us into losing our civil liberties or do we ignore terrorism and keep our rights? I do not think we have to compromise our safety from terrorism to keep our civil liberties, there has got to be a common ground where everyone can keep their civil liberties and still be safe from terrorism. I believe that restrictions in civil liberties violate the underlying principles of American democracy greatly. It is not necessary to throw out everything this country stands for to prevent us from being hurt by terrorism. There are many other ways to fight terrorism without violating our rights as American citizens. I do not understand the governments need to tap into our conversations and violate our privacy and personal rights to prevent terrorism. HEAD RUNNING: Civil Liberties and Terrorism 3 What is the need for it? I mean I completely understand if there is suspicion of someone being a terrorist or if they have reason to believe they are a terrorist or planning to hurt the United States but there needs to be some limitations on this matter. As of right now, the government can do pretty much whatever they want without consulting or letting the person in question know they are being watched or phone tapped. It is truly sad to me that the government states that they are all for our civil liberties and rights as American citizens but yet they go behind out backs without warrants and search into our personal lives and personal information because they are suspicious. I understand that after 9/11 we need to take every precaution to keep our country and its people safe but this is not the way to go about it. The first and fourth amendments have changed immensely since the implementation of the USA Patriot Act. “The USA Patriot Act of 2001 clearly violates the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the residents of the United States, and the time has come for everyone to be united in raising awareness of such violations by questioning the actions of the government under the disguise of the Patriot Act” (Kashan, 2010). Not only is the USA Patriot Act flawed but it was also rushed.” According to Kam C. Wong, Chair, Department of Criminal Justice at Xavier University, The USA PATRIOT Act was ‘rushed’ passed Congress by the Bush administration without following the usual legislative procedure, i.e., agency review, public hearings, mark up, floor debate, and conference report, in both chambers. More significantly, throughout the entire USA Patriot Act legislative process, neither the Congress nor the Administration has HEAD RUNNING: Civil Liberties and Terrorism 4 systematically investigated, judiciously examined, openly debated, and comprehensively considered the relative merits” (Kashan, 2010). Because of this rushed process in the USA Patriot Act, the opposing sides were not given a chance to be heard which in turn cause many debates and controversies over the USA Patriot Act. There are many consequences because of the USA Patriot Act such as the dangerous expansion of the presidential powers, President Bush allowing the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans without court approved warrants and President Bush locking an American born citizen named Jose Padilla in solitary confinement for more than three years because he was accused of making a bomb plot and was refused the right to a trial. It is very clear, and all evidence above proves that the USA Patriot Act has not done any good and has done damage to not only our civil liberties as Americans but our governments’ infrastructure as well. The USA Patriot Act has done more harm than good and has made a mockery of everything our country stands for. We as Americans owe it to our country to stand up for what is right and cast out what is wrong. “Americans need to understand the significance of having their civil liberties dismantled. It doesn't just affect terrorists and foreigners, it affects us all” Bianca Jagger. The USA Patriot Act is completely unconstitutional and we need to rid ourselves of it completely because with this act still in place, it will lead to us as Americans losing all of our rights. As per the words of Abraham Lincoln “Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” HEAD RUNNING: Civil Liberties and Terrorism 5 Reference Page O'Conner, K., Sabato, L. J., & Yanus, A. B. (2011). American Government Roots and Reform (2011 ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. Kashan, S. (2010). The usa patriot act: Impact on freedoms and. Retrieved from http://dc.cod.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1123&context=essai Brainy quote. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/liberties.html
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