16
Jun
2005

Violations of Civil Liberties are an American Tradition

by Gene C. Gerard

President Bush is currently lobbying Congress to reauthorize portions of the Patriot Act that are scheduled to expire. While the Patriot Act contains provisions much needed in the war on terrorism, it also has elements that are in conflict with the civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution. Many of the provisions are violations of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Patriot Act allows the government to search someone’s home or office without informing them. It allows the government to obtain an individual’s library records, medical history, and financial documents, among many other items, without any probable cause of a crime. It requires judges to approve of wiretaps without knowing whom the suspect is. Immigrants and non-citizens can be jailed for an indefinite period of time, without any requirement that the government demonstrate that they are a threat to national security. It’s not surprising that the federal government is attempting to strip people of their fundamental rights and freedoms. During the last two centuries, this has been a common occurrence in America during a time of war...

//www.dissidentvoice.org/June05/Gerard0616.htm
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