Losing our rights is not helping the war on terror

October 3, 2007 at 9:38 pm | Posted in civil liberties, terrorism | Leave a comment

The Bush administration has taken the position that it can lock up anyone anywhere in the world — including US citizens — without any hearing whatsoever, without any access to a lawyer, simply because the president considers him to be, in his words, “a bad guy.” We’ve sacrificed the principles of the First Amendment’s right of association in the name of punishing people for their association with quote/unquote terrorist groups — groups that have been labeled terrorist. We’ve seen sacrifices in commitments to due process because of the Bush administration’s notion that the government can coercively interrogate people to try to get information out of them.You argue that we’ve been made less safe by this.

The stated justification for these measures is indeed to keep up more safe, but our argument in this book — based on the six years of evidence we’ve had to assess how the administration has done — is that we are in fact less safe as a result of these measures. We show that many of these tactics have captured few if any terrorists; have disrupted few if any terrorist plots; and have had tremendous negative consequences, both in terms of immunizing people who are bad from being brought to justice (because the information on them was tainted because it was gotten by torturing somebody) and in terms of prompting a tremendous amount of resentment against the United States.


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