Report: Post-9/11 Counterterrorism Policies Pose Major Threat to American Freedom
While individuals around the country mourn the tragic events of September 11, 2001 this weekend, the ACLU is marking the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks by drawing attention to another tragedy: the erosion of civil liberties in post-9/11 America.
In its new report, A Call to Courage: Reclaiming Our Liberties Ten Years After 9/11, the ACLU notes:
Ten years later, as we remember and mourn those who died on September 11th, our nation still faces the challenge of remaining both safe and free. Our choice is not, as some would have it, between safety and freedom. Just the opposite is true. As President Obama recognized in a 2009 speech, “our values have been our best national security asset—in war and peace; in times of ease and in eras of upheaval.” Yet, our government’s policies and practices during the past decade have too often betrayed our values and undermined our security.
The report examines four major aspects of post-9/11 America: the never-ending "war on terror," the legacy of the Bush administration's torture policy, rampant racial and religious profiling, and our "massive and unchecked surveillance society." As we know, all of these policies have been sold to us under the guise of "necessary security measures" -- but all of them have led to unacceptable rollbacks of our rights and liberties and the transparency of the government over the past decade. The report concludes:
We look to our leaders and our institutions, our courts and our Congress, to guide us towards a better way, and it is now up to the American people to demand that our leaders respond to national security challenges with our values, our unity – and yes, our courage – intact.
Read the full report here.