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The War On Terrorism Is An Attack On American Civil Liberties

832 words - 3 pages

The War on Terrorism is an Attack on American Civil Liberties

After the attacks on 9/11 our country has been forced to confront the issue of terrorism.  The war on terrorism has ignited a war on our civil liberties.  Our civil liberties have been affected by the passing of the Patriot Act, the violation of privacy, and an increase in racial profiling.

Civil liberties have been affected immensely by the Patriot Act.  A brief definition of the Patriot Act is; uniting and strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism.  The Patriot Act modifies the rules on searches.  It allows third party holders of your financial, library, travel, video rental, phone, medical, church, synagogue and mosque records. These records can be searched without your knowledge or consent provided the government says it's trying to protect against terrorism.  The FBI only needs to say the search will protect against terrorism and they don't need probable cause or evidence.  A judge has no authority to reject this application.  The person doesn't have to be a terror suspect themselves as long as the government's purpose is an authorized investigation to protect against internal terrorism.  The Patriot Act also violates everyone's constitutional right to privacy.  The ACLU shows a funny but scary illustration of what the government can do with the information they obtain by violating the right to privacy.  Basically, the Patriot Act allows the government to monitor anyone and everyone's life whenever they choose.  While some say the Patriot Act violates civil liberties, it was designed to support the effort against terrorism. The Patriot Act also created a counter-terrorism fund and increased funding for the FBI.  The Patriot Act is geared toward preventing money laundering, border protection, the strengthening of criminal laws and providing for victims of terrorism (Lithwick).  

The Patriot Act violates the civil liberties of immigrants living in this country.  Five to ten thousand Middle Eastern men have been called in for questioning based solely on the fact they are Middle Eastern.  As implied in the Patriot Act, anyone and everyone are subject to the unethical scrutiny of their personal lives.  As well as monitoring phone and personal conversations, the government can also follow internet activity.  According to John Ashcroft, those whose conversations are being monitored have been informed beforehand. Also, they will only be prosecuted on information pertaining to terrorism. John Ashcroft has also said the Patriot Act has allowed suspension of due process from non U.S. citizens. This way the government can pick up and hold anyone suspected of...

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