News & Politics

Mayor Bloomberg Wants to "Re-interpret" the Constitution in Order to Keep You Safe

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg can't stop politicizing the Boston Marathon bombings.

For the second time in two weeks, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has politicized and exploited the Boston Marathon attacks. Bloomberg is now using the attacks as an excuse to argue for the “changing” of constitutional rights.

Yesterday, Bloomberg said that the country’s interpretation of how the Constitution functions will have to change, reports Jill Colvin of the New York Observer's Politickerwebsite. “The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” said Bloomberg. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”

The mayor added: “We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That’s good in some sense, but it’s different from what we are used to.”

The comments are the latest attempt by Bloomberg to use the Boston attacks as a way to argue for more security and less privacy. Last Tuesday, the day after the attacks, he also warned against “special interests” looking to rein in the New York Police Department’s “security strategies”--an apparent reference to the NYPD’s practice of surveilling Muslim communities in the Northeast.

Ironically, Bloomberg also said yesterday that “what we can’t do is let the protection get in the way of us enjoying our freedoms. You still want to let people practice their religion, no matter what that religion is. And I think one of the great dangers here is going and categorizing anybody from one religion as a terrorist. That’s not true … That would let the terrorists win. That’s what they want us to do.” Yet the things he’s warning against are the exact same things the NYPD surveillance program does, a program Bloomberg has steadfastly defended.

The NYPD’s spying, launched because the police say its an effective tool to fight terrorism, targets people for practicing their religion. The overriding assumption underlying the surveillance program is that Muslims are uniquely situated to practice terrorism. The hypocrisy and utter lack of self-awareness from New York City’s mayor is shining through.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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