chapter  1
18 Pages

HOW LIBERTY IS LOST

In the wake of numerous changes made in U.S. law and that of many other countries following the September 11 terrorist attack, civil libertarians, libertarians, and many others have raised concerns that the nations involved are sacrificing their liberty to enhance their safety. Civil libertarian organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have described the government’s penchant toward obtaining new powers after September 11, 2001, as an “insatiable appetite,” characterized by government secrecy, a lack of transparency, rejection of equality under the law, and “a disdain and outright removal of checks and balances.”1 Articles in the popular press express similar sentiments. Writing in the American Prospect, Wendy Kaminer expressed the fear that by giving the “FBI unchecked domestic spying powers and instead of focusing on preventing terrorism, it will revert to doing what it does best-monitoring, harassing, and intimidating political dissidents and thousands of harmless immigrants.”2 In short, it has been argued that in order to protect ourselves from terrorists, democracy may be endangered, if not lost.