No Liberty or Security Ten Years After 9/11


But there is plenty of paranoia! – Brian @ NCT

by Robert Taylor   source: SF Examiner   Sep 16, 2011

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, many Americans have  unfortunately had a casual disregard for infringements on our civil  liberties that have occured since that fateful day.

The most glaring examples of government abuses include the TSA, warrantless wiretaps and searches, and  the violations  of financial and personal privacy by the PATRIOT Act.

But there are also smaller and creeping threats to civil liberties that have  not surfaced, but threaten to radically change basic constitutional protections  in America. The Department of Justice recently arrested and indicted Jubair Ahmad, a  24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, for the dangerously  vague crime of “providing material support” to a designated terrorist  organization. Ahmad uploaded a YouTube video showing Abu Ghraib photos, U.S.  Iraqi war footage, and Islamic prayers. For this, he faces more than twenty  years in prison.

As columnist Glenn Greenwald points out, “Let’s be very clear about the  key point: the Constitution – specifically the Free Speech clause of the  First Amendment – prohibits the U.S. Government from punishing someone for the  political views they express, even if those views include the advocacy of  violence against the U.S. and its leaders. One can dislike this legal fact. One  can wish it were different. But it is the clear and unambiguous law….”

Many Americans may not feel that it is wrong to target Muslims  for constitutionally-protected political speech, especially with 9/11 fresh  in our memories, but violations of minorities’ liberties always set a dangerous  precedent for governments to further abuse power in the future. Constitutionally  guaranteed rights exist precisely to protect minorities from arbitrary  aggression, all the way down to the smallest minority of them all: the  individual, whether Muslim, Christian, or atheist.

Ahmad’s case, sadly, is not rare. A recent report by Mother Jones and the  Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley reveals  that nearly every single supposed “terror plot” in the U.S. since 9/11 has  been orchestrated by the FBI.

Entrusted with the important goal of protecting our liberty and keeping us  safe, government agencies increasingly make a habit of spending tax dollars on  entrapment, violating liberty, and inflating threats to guarantee their  growing budgets. It is no wonder that the FBI and CIA failed miserably in  preventing less than two dozen hijackers from unleashing terror in multiple  American cities.

What a decade of post-9/11 policy has shown is not only the failure of a  large, centralized state to keep us safe and free, but the dangers it can  inflict when it attempts to do so. An empire that polices the world but ignores  its borders; using a blunderbuss to handle a problem that needs a scalpel; bleeding trillions of dollars in  large-scale military operations just like Osama bin Laden wanted. All of these policies have been  counterproductive, extremely costly, have contributed mightily to U.S. economic  woes, and have left Americans far less free than before.

Continue reading on Examiner.com No liberty or security ten years after 9/11 – San Francisco Sunset District Libertarian | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/sunset-district-libertarian-in-san-francisco/no-liberty-or-security-ten-years-after-9-11#ixzz1Y6AK9olr

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