Terrorism: National Security vs. Civil Liberty
This paper looks at some of the issues raised since the September 11 , 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
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This paper discusses some of the many issues that have been raised in the debate between the protection of civil liberties and national security that has arisen since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. The paper looks at how and why the framers of the U.S. Constitution made the protection of civil liberties such an important part of the moral fabric of the country and how this may have in some way contributed to the difficulties in preventing such a devastating attack. The question of what needs to be done in order to prevent this from happening again, including discussion that may require changes in this basic tenet in American society, is also discussed. The author looks at some proposals for increased national security including profiling, that may, because of the nature of the Constitution, become impossible to enact. The paper also discusses why these changes must become necessary in order to protect the population against forces in society that were not in existence at the time the framers wrote the Constitution.
“With the attacks of the World Trade Center the society saw the government investigators beginning to randomly eavesdrop on phone calls. They began to read mails that had before remained confidential; suspects were rounded up in thousands and detained without warrants and without any charges being made against them. New rules have since been established that claim that the administration has the right to monitor the communication that is considered with “reasonable suspicion.” Racial profiling is being done as the FBI questions foreign nations within US soil on different visa statuses. Lists are drawn up and any person with even a remote link to the nations of the terrorist network al-Qaida is being rounded up. Justice officials say the men, all age 18 to 33 and with non-immigrant visas, are not suspects but are wanted for voluntary interviews.”