What is happening to Our Civil Liberties?

Posted By Levi

January 17th, 2012 8:26pm

Category: Civil Liberties


Sometime ago I commented on the steady erosion of our civil liberties., particularly the 4th Amendment which protects us from illegal searches and seizures. Law professor, Johnathan Turley, writing in the Washington Post, picks up on this theme. He examines how civil liberties, since 911, have been under assualt both by the Bush and Obama administrations. More frightening, though, Professor Turley looks at ten areas in which he sees signs that call into question the very idea of America being a free country. He writes:

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

In addition:

Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.
Assassination of U.S. citizens
Indefinite detention
Arbitrary justice
Warrantless searches
Secret evidence
War crimes
Secret court
Immunity from judicial review
Continual monitoring of citizens
Extraordinary renditions

 Anyone who believes in the importance of civil liberties in a free country should read this.

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