Terrorism and the Constitution

 By Professor Leon Newton

Immediately after the constitution became the supreme law its detractions warned that to much unstrained powers had been given to the central government. Thomas Jefferson was among those who embraced the constitution but feared that without certain clauses the document did not protect individuals. The result was a list of ten additional articles limiting the powers of the federal government. The bill of rights established how things will work.

When members of the radical Islamist Cult Al Qaeda flew fully fueled jumbo jets into the World Trade Center on September11, 2001,nation paid attention. Fear gripped the nation and people lashed out at fellow Americans who dared to say or do anything that did not follow lock-step with what the administration.
The host of the talk show politically incorrect, Bill Maher, responding to the George Bush stated opinion that the September 11 events were cowardly acts, said this on the air.
The show sponsors, Federal Express and Sears, pulled their advertising and the network ABC pulled the Show.

White House spokes person Ari Fleischer commented with these chilling words: all Americans need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This was the death of the first amendment. Some Americans were saying we were sacrificing the very freedoms we were claming to be defending.
Most Americans feel that in a time of war, the United States should be a model of civil liberties and civil rights protecting individual rights under the constitution.

Civil liberty since the USA-Patriot Act was to make the country a safer place for Americans citizens by expanding the reach of law enforcement.
It included sweeping changes in definitions and descriptions of what constituted suspicion, denied due process to huge numbers of people.
It even created new and incredibly ambiguous acts that appear to be intended to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.

Terrorism and the constitution is always a problem of trying to keep a balance of both competing interest of the government and the rights of people protected by the bill of rights and the constitution.
Civil liberties the personal guarantees and freedoms that the federal government can not abridge by law.
The civil rights the government protected rights of individual against arbitrary discrimination because ethnicity, especially after 911.
The Bill of Rights and the fourthteen amendment of the constitution are major corner stones of the constitution and should never be allowed to be subvert in this era of terrorism.

Leon Newton is a Professor of Political Science and teach Terrorism and International Relations. He is the author of the book, TERRORISM 101 A LIBRARY REFERENCE AND SELECTED ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY. http://www.outskirtspress.com/terrorism101
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