Bush's War On Terror and the Erosion of Civil Liberties
Nearly all the amendments in the Bill of Rights have been reduced since the beginning of the war. The fourth through eighth amendments have been especially hit hard by this “war.” Search & seizure, due process, a speedy and public trial with a jury, and cruel & unusual punishment have all been disregarded as part of the current administration’s policy. The “War On Terror” has effectively eroded the civil liberties that Americans fought centuries for.
Through the passing of the USA PATRIOT Act, the government can now search a “suspected” terrorist’s property without their knowledge and even without a warrant. Although this could be a well-needed exception to warrants, as it is the same way drug dealers and organized crime offenders have been investigated, identifying a “suspected” terrorist is not nearly as easy as an active criminal. As shown by the events of September 11, the terrorists that hijacked the planes were part of a “sleeper cell” which stays dormant until tipped off by somebody above them in the organization. This makes finding a terrorist before they strike near impossible. The chances of violating an innocent person’s rights are far too high for this act to be accepted.
Due process and rights to a speedy and public trial are granted to people, not only citizens, but the current policy abandons these fundamental facts. Since “Operation Enduring Freedom” began in 2001, prisoners of war have been detained at a military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Hundreds of the prisoners, called “enemy combatants”, have been held without charges being present or a reasonable timetable for trial. At the time of introduction to the Guantanamo Bay Camp, prisoners are not presented with any potentially committed crimes and have been held years without being able to speak to a lawyer or family. Some of these families don’t even know where their relatives are. When and if these...