Torture and Brutality
- Civil Rights and Racism
- Countering Terrorism
- Homeland Security
- Security Versus Privacy Lesson - Grades 9 - 12 (New York Times)
"In this lesson, students evaluate the possible effects of the United States government's Fidnet plan, which would involve creating a computer monitoring system to protect the nation's crucial data networks...." 5-02
- Civil Liberties and National Security (PBS.org - Moyers)
Provides resources on key events related to civil liberties and national security. 11-04
- Support of Liberties While Pursuing Security (Electronic Privacy Information Center)
Provides sources of information in support of civil liberties while pursuing national security. Quotes (Supreme Court) Justice William Brennan that encroachments on civil liberties in the name of military necessity should be viewed with skepticism. "The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security 'necessities' to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism." 3-02
- -01-28-09 Supreme Court Affirms Shield from Employer Retaliation (Christian Science Monitor)
"In an eight-page decision written by Justice David Souter, the high court cast a broad blanket of protection over American workers struggling in a hostile work environment. Those employees who help identify and root out allegedly discriminatory actions by senior managers and supervisors – even though they may not have filed a formal complaint – are nonetheless protected from retaliation, the court said."
"The decision puts managers and supervisors on notice that they face legal consequences if they use their power in the organization to try to cover up their own discriminatory actions by retaliating against complaining employees. In addition, the decision puts employees on notice that, when they come forward to help expose discrimination in the workplace, they clearly enjoy the protections of the law." 01-09
- -011-04-09 Italy Convicts 23 Americans for C.I.A. Renditions (New York Times)
"In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, an Italian judge convicted a C.I.A. station chief and 22 other Americans accused of being C.I.A. agents of kidnapping in the 2003 abduction of a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan."
"An enormous symbolic victory for Italian prosecutors, the case was the first ever to contest the United States practice of rendition, in which terrorism suspects are captured in one country and taken for questioning in another, presumably one more open to coercive interrogation techniques. The case was widely seen as an implicit indictment of the measures the Bush administration relied on to fight terrorism." 11-09
- -02-01-06 Google's Dilemma on Privacy (Christian Science Monitor)
"It's an age-old business dilemma caught up in the new age of globalization: When governments demand something that compromises the interests of customers, what's a company to do?" 01-06
- -03-13-08 Bush and Congress Clash Over Surveillance Program (PBS.org)
"President Bush threatened Thursday to veto the House version of the terrorist-surveillance reauthorization bill. A measure to protect telecommunications companies from prosecution is at the heart of the dispute. Legal experts examine the privacy debate." 03-08
- -06-11-07 Bush Cannot Order Indefinite Military Detention (BBC News)
"President George W Bush cannot order the indefinite military detention of a Qatari man accused of being an al-Qaeda agent, a US appeals court has ruled."
" 'To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the president calls them "enemy combatants", would have disastrous consequences for the constitution - and the country,' the court opinion said." 06-07
- -06-20-08 House OKs Surveillance Bill (Time.com)
"The House Friday easily approved a compromise bill setting new electronic surveillance rules that effectively shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits arising from the government's terrorism-era warrantless eavesdropping on phone and computer lines in this country." 06-08
- -06-22-07 Court Gives Email Privacy Protection (Time Magazine)
"In a startling decision this week, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ordered the feds to keep their mitts off e-mail stored with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Yahoo! unless they notify the sender first or show that he doesn't consider the e-mail private. The ruling was based on the conclusion that most people think e-mail, like letters or phone conversations, is private, and protected under the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable government searches and seizures."
"That seems a pretty fair conclusion, but the amazing thing is that no court has ever reached it before. In other words, we've been living under a legal regime that essentially assumes we don't much care if, say, Alberto Gonzales sees our e-mails after they leave our outbox. So for a federal appeals court to upend that regime is a big deal, as experts like Professor Orin Kerr at George Washington University Law School will tell you."
" 'If this case sticks around,' says Kerr, 'it's the most important decision involving the Fourth Amendment in a long time for new technologies.' " 06-07
- -06-23-08 Behind the Compromise on Spying (Time.com)
"A compromise deal to extend the federal government's domestic spying powers, passed by the House on Friday and expected to sail through the Senate next week, has drawn attacks from both sides of the political spectrum. The right is unhappy at concessions made to protect civil liberties; the left is furious that the Democrats allowed the domestic spying powers to be extended in any form." 06-08
- -06-26-08 Congress to Pass Surveillance Law (Time.com)
"The bill amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is a compromise reached after a monthslong standoff and weeks of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. In exchange for telecom immunity, the inspectors general of the Pentagon, Justice Department and intelligence agencies will investigate the administration's warrantless wiretapping program." 06-08
- -06-27-07 White House and Cheney Subpoenaed on Spying (CBS News)
"The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush's controversial eavesdropping program that operated warrant-free for five years." Visitors sometimes misspell as supenaed or supoenaed. 06-07
- -07-06-07 Court Dismisses Challenge to Domestic Spying (MSNBC News)
"A federal appeals court ordered the dismissal Friday of a lawsuit challenging President Bush’s domestic spying program, saying the plaintiffs had no standing to sue." 07-07
- -07-08-08 Judge to White House: Gitmo Gets Priority (MSNBC News)
"A federal judge overseeing Guantanamo Bay lawsuits ordered the Justice Department to put other cases aside and make it clear throughout the Bush administration that, after nearly seven years of detention, the detainees must have their day in court." 07-08
- -08-01-07 Behind the Surveillance Debate (MSNBC News)
"A federal judge's secret ruling restricting the intelligence community's surveillance powers helped spur a Capitol Hill bid to grant Bush new authority." 08-07
- -08-03-07 Senate Votes to Expand Eavesdropping Power (MSNBC News)
"The Senate, in a high-stakes showdown over national security, voted late Friday to temporarily give President Bush expanded authority to eavesdrop on suspected foreign terrorists without court warrants."
"The House, meanwhile, rejected a Democratic version of the bill." 08-07
- -08-17-07 Commentary on the Padila Conviction (PBS.org)
"He was essentially convicted of presenting himself, volunteering to become an al-Qaida trainee at a camp in Afghanistan. The main piece of evidence against him was a form that he filled out back in 2000 to join the al-Farouq camp, which was one of the biggest and supposedly best in Afghanistan." 08-07
- -08-21-07 Warrantless Wiretaping Law Extension May be Reviewed (Christian Science Monitor)
"The administration's warrantless wiretapping program looks set to be the subject of renewed and bitter wrangling between Congress and the White House when lawmakers return to Washington in September." 08-07
- -10-09-07 Congress to Introduce Replacement Wiretap Bill (Time.com)
"The Justice Department would have to reveal to Congress the details of all electronic surveillance conducted without court orders since Sept. 11, 2001, including the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program, if a new Democratic wiretapping bill is approved." 10-07
- -10-31-09 Obama to Toss Wiretap Lawsuit (CBS News)
"Attorney General Eric Holder says a lawsuit in San Francisco over warrantless wiretapping threatens to expose ongoing intelligence work and must be thrown out."
"In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration's position on the case but insists it came to the decision differently."
"A civil liberties group criticized the move Friday as a retreat from promises President Barack Obama made as a candidate." 10-09
- -Editorial on the Padila Conviction (New York Times)
"On the way to this verdict, the government repeatedly trampled on the Constitution, and its prosecution of Mr. Padilla was so cynical and inept that the crime he was convicted of — conspiracy to commit terrorism overseas — bears no relation to the ambitious plot to wreak mass destruction inside the United States, which the Justice Department first loudly proclaimed. Even with the guilty verdict, this conviction remains a shining example of how not to prosecute terrorism cases." 08-07
- American Padilla Found Guilty on Terrorism-Related Charges (CNN News)
"The jury in the Jose Padilla terror trial has found the American guilty of conspiracy to support Islamic terrorism overseas." 08-07
- Report on Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Cover-ups by the Bush Administration (AfterDowningStreet.org)
This Minority Report summary was produced at the direction of Representative John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and " 'concerns “The Downing Street Minutes and Deception Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-ups in the Iraq War;' and Part II, released in June 2006, concerns 'Unlawful Domestic Surveillance and Related Civil Liberties Abuses under the Administration of George W. Bush. ' (At the conclusion, we include an Addendum including additional matters which have come to light since Part I of the Report was issued in December, 2005 and Part II was written in May, 2006)." 04-08
- Terrorism Case Against American Jose Padilla (CNN News)
"Jose Padilla was convicted with two co-defendants charged with supporting al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups." 08-07
- -01-05-06 Report: Whistle-Blower to Testify Against Bush Administration (ABC News)
"A former official at the supersecret National Security Agency is reportedly prepared to tell Congress what really went on in the domestic-spying program that was revealed last month."
"The Washington Times reported today that Russ Tice, who was fired from the NSA last year, has written and told House and Senate intelligence committees that he knows the government undertook electronic surveillance without obtaining permission from a special secret court." 01-06
- -Editorial: Are Checks and Balances on the President Gone? (Newsweek)
"What if we faced a constitutional crisis and hardly anyone noticed? As he quietly mastered the tiresome cat-and-mouse game inside the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Judge Samuel Alito gave few hints of where he stood on a matter that goes to the heart of what it means to live in a republic. With a few exceptions, the media coverage didn't help."
"I wasn't expecting Alito to say whether he thought that President Bush broke the law when he admitted authorizing warrantless wiretaps on American citizens, which is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)."
"The 'momentous' issue (Alito's words) is whether this president, or any other, has the right to tell Congress to shove it. And even if one concedes that wartime offers the president extra powers to limit liberty, what happens if the terrorist threat looks permanent? We may be scrapping our checks and balances not just for a few years (as during the Civil War), but for good." 01-06
- -National Defense Autorization Act and Civil Rights (Wikipedia.org)
"The most controversial provisions to receive wide attention are contained in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled 'Counter-Terrorism.' In particular, sub-sections 1021 and 1022, which deal with detention of persons the government suspects of involvement in terrorism, have generated controversy as to their legal meaning and their potential implications for abuse of Presidential authority."
"The American Civil Liberties Union has responded that despite claims by the Obama Administration to the contrary, 'The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision... [without] temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.' "
Editor's Note: Among the most basic of human rights is freedom from arbitrary detention. The right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus, to be brought before a judge to determine if your detention was lawful, seems to be suspended by this Act. 01-12
- -Study: Checks and Balances on the President (Congressional Research Service)
Provides a technical review of Presidential authority in surveillance as it applies to the current controversy of the President violating current law regarding his authority. "From the foregoing analysis, it appears unlikely that a court would hold that Congress has expressly or impliedly authorized the NSA electronic surveillance operations here under discussion, and it would likewise appear that, to the extent that those surveillances fall within the definition of 'electronic surveillance' within the meaning of FISA or any activity regulated under Title III, Congress intended to cover the entire field with these statutes." 01-06
- Americans Fear Loss of Civil Liberties (CBS News)
"It is nearly two years since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and while most Americans still believe another attack in the U.S. is likely in the near future, this feeling is the lowest it has been since before the war with Iraq."
"But another worry is on the rise: most Americans are at least somewhat concerned that the anti-terrorism measures enacted by the Bush Administration will cost them some of their civil liberties." 9-03
- Amnesty International Asserts U.S. Violates International Law (CBS News)
"The effects of the U.S.-led war on terror have been far-reaching, Amnesty said in a statement." " 'Far from making the world a safer place, [the war] has made it more dangerous by curtailing human rights, undermining the rule of international law and shielding governments from scrutiny. It has deepened divisions among people of different faiths and origins, sowing the seeds for more conflict,' the statement said."
"In a separate press conference Wednesday, William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said U.S.-led events of 2003 generated deleterious effects."
"The war on Iraq provided an excuse for other countries 'in the name of anti-terrorism or in the name of national security' to crack down on opponents of their regimes, he said."
"Schulz said the Iraqi war was a 'distraction of the world's attention from horrific human rights abuses elsewhere,' and gave ammunition to countries that circumvent the United Nations and 'use the excuse the United States itself does not respect international law.' " 5-03
- British View of Liberties vs. Security (Guardian Unlimited - Mano and Wilcox)
Provides short responses from specialists in the issue of reconciling civil liberties and security. 11-01
- Bush Administration Violates One of the Most Basic Common Law Rights, Habeas Corpus (MSNBC News)
"Human rights groups count dozens of detainee deaths for which no one has been punished or that were never explained. The secret prisons — unknown in number and location — remain available for future detainees. The new manual banning torture doesn’t cover CIA interrogators. And thousands of people still languish in a limbo, deprived of one of common law’s oldest rights, habeas corpus, the right to know why you are imprisoned." 09-06
- CIA Charged With Criminal Abductions (International Herald Tribune)
"The extraordinary decision by an Italian judge to order the arrest of 13 people linked to the CIA on charges of kidnapping a terrorism suspect here dramatizes a growing rift between American counterterrorism officials and their counterparts in Europe."
Milan's deputy chief prosecutor said "I feel the international community must struggle against terrorism and international terrorist groups in accordance with international laws and the rights of the defendant." "Otherwise, we are giving victory to the terrorists."
"Besides their objections to the American rendition policy, European counterterrorism officials also partly blame a lack of access to terrorism suspects and information held by the United States for their failure to convict a number of their own high-profile terrorism suspects."
" 'The American system is of little use to us,' a senior Italian counterterrorism investigator said. 'It's a one-way street. We give them what we have, but we are given no useful information that can help us prosecute people.' " 6-05
- CIA's License to Kill (CBS News)
"American citizens working for al Qaeda overseas can legally be targeted and killed by the CIA under President Bush's rules for the war on terrorism, U.S. officials say." Human rights groups are divided on the legality of the policy. 12-02
- Checks and Balances Protection (ChecksBalances.org)
The chairman of this effort to restore checks and balances on the President is conservative Republican and former Senator Bob Barr. 01-06
- Civil Liberties and War - Timeline for the USA (PBS.org - NOW)
Provides a history of legislation in the USA that affects civil liberties during a time of war. 2-03
- Civil Liberties in a Time of Crisis (American Bar Association - Dempsey)
"The debate over terrorism is often framed as a trade-off between liberty and security. This is a flawed calculus, in several respects. First, many civil liberties, far from being at odds with security, actually enhance the ability of the government to defend the common good. We guarantee the right to confront one’s accusers, for example, not only as an element of human dignity but also because cross-examination exposes lies and forces the government to continue looking until the truly guilty party is found." 7-02
- Coast Guard: Gaps in Port Security (Bloomberg.com)
"The U.S. Coast Guard said questions about foreign influence, employees and operations made it impossible to assess the threat posed by a state-owned Dubai company's purchase of a firm that manages some terminal operations at six U.S. seaports." 02-06
- Database to Color-Code Air Passengers for Intensive Screening (CBS News)
"Precautions in the name of air security are about to taken to a level unimaginable in the United States only a few years ago."
"The Washington Post reports the Bush administration is expected to order as soon as next month the first step in setting up databases on all air passengers, to be used to color-code each air traveler according to his or her potential threat level." 1-04
- Detainees Protest Lack of Trials or Charges (BBC News)
"Inmates' lawyers say some 200 men have taken part in the fast which began in August. About 20 are being force-fed."
"Amnesty International disputes US figures and says that 210 detainees are currently refusing food, protesting against their detention without trial or charges."
"Many of the detainees have been held at the camp since it was set up in 2002, after the US-led offensive against the Taleban regime in Afghanistan." 9-05
- Editorial - Loss of Civil Liberties and the Patriot Act (PublicInterestPictures.org)
" 'We created Unconstitutional to show Americans the extent to which our civil liberties and our freedoms have been trampled upon by our government since 9-11,' said Robert Greenwald, the film's executive producer." 9-04
- Editorial: Bill Threatens "Unwritten Constitution" (FindLaw)
"Last week, the Senate unanimously approved a defense authorization bill which, if approved by the House, will dramatically curtail the ability of prisoners held at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to challenge their detention in federal court."
"The Amendment's key provision would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction to entertain habeas corpus petitions from Guantanamo Bay detainees--except in two circumstances."
Editor's Note: The purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to release a person from unlawful imprisonment. The writ addresses whether lawful procedures were used to imprison the person, not whether the person is guilty of a crime. 12-05
- Editorial: Checks and Balances on the President Have Been Lost (Al Gore)
"We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law."
"I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, 'The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will.' " 01-06
- Editorial: Crumley Argues that Moussaoui Should Be Retried (Time.com)
"It isn't easy to have sympathy for Frenchman Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in connection with the September 11 terror attacks."
"Moussaoui's courtroom antics and declarations were outrageous but the prosecution of his trial was a farce nonetheless. Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema repeatedly criticized certain aspects of the prosecutors' efforts to win a guilty verdict as both underhanded and illegal. At one point in the trial, Brinkema rebuked prosecutors for illegally coaching a witness from a federal agency."
"But Moussaoui had been in jail nearly a month when the attack occurred, meaning he couldn't have been directly responsible for it."
"His mother Aicha el-Wafi, told TIME that Moussaoui informed her that he pleaded guilty in the fatalistic belief the process had to be rigged, that no American court would ever give a sworn enemy a fair chance."
"The Frenchman should be re-tried for what he actually did, rather than what he says." 07-09
- FBI Illegally Used the Patriot Act (CBS News)
The FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA Patriot Act to secretly obtain personal information about people in the United States, a Justice Department audit concluded Friday."
"At issue are the security letters, a power outlined in the Patriot Act that the Bush administration pushed through Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The letters, or administrative subpoenas, are used in suspected terrorism and espionage cases. They allow the FBI to require telephone companies, Internet service providers, banks, credit bureaus and other businesses to produce highly personal records about their customers or subscribers — without a judge's approval."
- Human Rights and Constitutional Law (Columbia Law School - McKeever and Rosenbaum)
Provides information on efforts to protect human rights by country, nationality, region, program, and other criteria.
- Human Rights and the War on Terrorism - An Interview With Saad Eddin Ibrahim (World Press Review - El Amrani)
Provides the views of an Egyptian human rights activist. 2-02
- Judge: Charge Him or Release Him (CBS News)
"Lawyers for 'dirty bomb' suspect Jose Padilla want the Supreme Court to step in and rule on the U.S. citizen's indefinite military detention, arguing that the judiciary needs to rein in the Bush administration's conduct in the war on terror."
" 'Neither the president nor the Congress can be sure of their respective powers and duties in shaping the nation's response to terrorism, an uncertainty that does profound disservice to the American people and the democratic political process,' Padilla's lawyers wrote."
"A federal judge ruled in favor of Padilla, saying that a ruling in favor of indefinite detention as the government wants 'would not only offend the rule of law and violate this country's constitutional tradition,' it would be a 'betrayal of this nation's commitment to the separation of powers that safeguards our democratic values and individual liberties.' "
“ 'The court finds that the president has no power, neither express nor implied, neither constitutional nor statutory, to hold petitioner as an enemy combatant,' Floyd wrote in a 23-page opinion that was a stern rebuke to the government. He gave the administration 45 days to take action." 3-05
- Judge: Justice Can Be Served Within the U.S. Constitution (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said the successful prosecution of Ahmed Ressam should serve not only as a warning to terrorists, but as a statement to the Bush administration about its terrorism-fighting tactics."
" 'We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant or deny the defendant the right to counsel,' he said Wednesday. 'The message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart.' " 7-05
- Liberties vs. Security Debate (ACLU)
Provides a review of the new USA Patriot Act to combat terrrorism in terms of losses of civil rights. 11-01
- Military Collecting Data on High School Students (ABC News)
"Working with the private marketing firm BeNow, Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., the Pentagon has created a huge database of millions of high school students, aged 16 to 18."
"But privacy advocates say it violates a federal law that restricts the government's ability to gather personal information. They say they understand the military's need to recruit but this type of information-gathering goes too far."
"A growing number of parents were already upset about the military's recruiting techniques. A little-known provision in the 2002 'No Child Left Behind' education law requires every public school to provide the military with the names, addresses and phone numbers of students."
"Last month, Louise Wannier went to her daughter's high school to submit an opt-out letter, which prohibits recruiters from accessing personal information."
"She learned today about the new database, which may have much more information on her daughter than she'd ever imagined." 6-05
- Military Tribunals for Terrorist Suspects (CNN - Wallace)
President Bush signed a rule allowing the government to provide a military trial for terrorist suspects instead of a civilian trial. 11-01.
- Military Tribunals for Terrorist Suspects - Against (Time.com)
Discusses concerns by conservatives and liberals that President Bush will compromise American values in the USA and abroad if he uses military tribunals to try suspects of terrorism. "The proceedings, whose exact rules will be set on a case-by-case basis by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, can be secret. They may take place in the U.S. or abroad. Hearsay can be used as evidence. The defendant has neither the absolute right to challenge the evidence against him nor the right to hear it. He may not have access to the lawyer of his choice. Guilt need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The verdict need not be unanimous. Executions are allowed. There may not be provision for appeal. Legally, at least, the terrorists have their wish." 11-01
- Military Tribunals for Terrorist Suspects - Against (Wall Street Journal - Levy)
Argues against the use of President Bush's type of military tribunals in the current situation. "Astonishingly, the only rule that Mr. Bush's executive order lays out with specificity is that the accused can be convicted and sentenced--to life in prison or death--if two-thirds of the panel agree. Even military courts, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, require unanimity in capital cases and provide for several stages of appellate review." 11-01
- New Video Spying Technology for the Military (CBS News - Sniffen)
"DARPA described a hypothetical terrorist shooting at a bus stop and a hypothetical bombing at a disco one month apart in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a city with slightly more residents than Miami."
CTS should be able to track the day's movements for every vehicle that passed each scene in the hour before the attack, DARPA said. Even if there were 2,000 such vehicles and none showed up twice, the software should automatically compare their routes and find vehicles with common starting and stopping points."
"Joseph Onek of the Open Society Institute, a human rights group, said current law that permits the use of cameras in public areas may have to be revised to address the privacy implications of these new technologies."
" 'It's one thing to say that if someone is in the street he knows that at any single moment someone can see him,' Onek said. 'It's another thing to record a whole life so you can see anywhere someone has been in public for 10 years.' " 7-03
- Patriot Act of 2003 and Civil Rights (PBS - Moyers and Lewis)
"The Patriot Act was passed six weeks after 9/11. We know now that it greatly changed the balance between liberty and security in this nation's framework. What do you think — what's the significance of this new document, called the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003?" 2-04
- Pentagon Concerned About Interrogation Techniques (ABC News)
"The interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in 2002 triggered concerns among senior Pentagon officials that they could face criminal prosecution under U.S. anti-torture laws, ABC News has learned."
"Notes from a series of meetings at the Pentagon in early 2003 — obtained by ABC News — show that Alberto Mora, General Counsel of the Navy, warned his superiors that they might be breaking the law." 6-05
- Possible Free Speech Violations by the Bush Administration (Christian Science Monitor)
"Concern is mounting that the US government is using antiterror laws - namely, the Patriot Act - to revive a now-discredited practice common during the cold war: the prevention of foreign intellectuals who are critical of administration policies from entering the country and sharing their views with Americans."
"The practice, called ideological exclusion, became illegal in 1990. But a recent lawsuit - brought by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the PEN American Center under the Freedom of Information Act - is asking the Bush administration to explain its decisions to revoke or deny visas to several foreign scholars, and why they don't violate free-speech protections." 11-05
- Questions and Answers on Military Tribunals (BBC News)
"The Military Commissions Act 2006 sets up commissions or tribunals, held in Guantanamo Bay, to try terror suspects who are not United States citizens."
"The new law followed a ruling by the US Supreme Court that an earlier plan for commissions ordered on the authority of the president alone were unconstitutional." 06-07
- Rights of U.S. Prisoners Upheld (Washington Times)
"A federal judge in Washington ruled yesterday that some suspected terrorists detained as 'enemy combatants' at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have constitutionally guaranteed rights to challenge their confinement in U.S. courts." 1-05
- Secret Arrests - Hady Omar (CBS News - 60 Minutes)
"The government was able to hold Omar and hundreds of other Muslim detainees by charging them not as criminals but as visa violators. The law says criminals, even murderers, must be charged with a crime quickly – usually within 48 hours – or released."
Immigration laws used to work the same way, but after 9/11, the justice department rewrote the rules so that suspected visa violators could be held in jail as long as the government wants – without any charges filed against them."
"The government may believe that extraordinary circumstances equals extraordinary treatment. But Rubin believes this certainly doesn’t justify denying Omar access to legal counsel and his wife and child, who are both U.S. citizens." “ 'Any concern that the United States may have had about Omar being a security risk, a terrorist threat, could have been easily resolved in a number of hours, if not days, of humanized treatment -- not the kind of dehumanizing conditions that he was subject to,' says Rubin." "With the help of Rubin, and a legal team from the firm of Morrison and Foerster, Omar has filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming that his civil rights were violated and that his treatment could be characterized as torture." 4-03
- Secret Arrests - Mike Wahash (FreeMikeWahash.org)
"Mike Hawash is a U.S. citizen, and is being held without being charged with any crime." 4-03
- Secret Intelligence Courts Can Now Be Used (CBS News)
"The FBI has implemented new ground rules that 'fundamentally alter the way investigators handle counterterrorism cases, allowing criminal and intelligence agents to work side by side and giving both broad access to the tools of intelligence gathering for the first time in decades,' The Washington Post says in its Saturday editions."
"The result is that the FBI, unhindered by the restrictions of the past, 'will conduct many more searches and wiretaps that are subject to oversight by a secret intelligence court rather than regular criminal courts,' officials told the Post." 12-03
- Supreme Court Split on Rogue Prosecutors (Christian Science Monitor)
"The Supreme Court Wednesday heard arguments in a lawsuit brought by two Iowa men who spent 25 in prison after prosecutors allegedly fabricated evidence against them. Justices seemed divided on the issue of how much immunity prosecutors should enjoy." 11-09
- Supreme Court: No "Blank Check" for Bush on U.S. Prisoners (Bloomberg.com)
"The U.S. Supreme Court, denying the Bush administration a 'blank check' to fight terrorism, ruled that American citizens held as enemy combatants are entitled to assert their innocence before a neutral tribunal."
" 'A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens,' Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for four of the court's members." 6-04
- Terror Laws Used Against Common Crimes (CBS News)
"In the two years since law enforcement agencies gained fresh powers to help them track down and punish terrorists, police and prosecutors have increasingly turned the force of the new laws not on al Qaeda cells but on people charged with common crimes."
"A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months."
"Civil liberties and legal defense groups are bothered by the string of cases, and say the government soon will be routinely using harsh anti-terrorism laws against run-of-the-mill lawbreakers."
"The law, passed two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, erased many restrictions that had barred the government from spying on its citizens, granting agents new powers to use wiretaps, conduct electronic and computer eavesdropping and access private financial data."
"More than 150 local governments have passed resolutions opposing the law as an overly broad threat to constitutional rights." 9-03
- U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Guantanamo Detainees (BBC News)
"The United States Supreme Court has ruled that prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay can take their case that they are unlawfully imprisoned to the American courts." 8-04
- U.S. Supreme Court: Names of Detainees Can be Kept Secret (Bloomberg.com)
"The Bush administration can continue withholding the names of more than 750 people arrested following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by civil liberties groups."
"The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations said the `unprecedented secrecy' harmed efforts to learn whether the arrests were justified or the detainees were mistreated. A federal appeals court upheld the government's argument that releasing the names would interfere with the terrorism investigation." 1-04
- We Are Losing Our Privacy: Do We Care? (MSNBC News)
"Like it or not, increasingly we live in a world where you simply cannot keep a secret."
"The key question is: Does that matter?" 10-06