The Civil Liberties Of The American Constitution

864 Words4 Pages
The American Constitution gives every U.S. citizen basic civil liberties that provide protection from the federal government through the Bill of Rights and the Amendments added throughout American history. Civil liberties entitle U.S. citizens to the freedom of the press, of speech, of due process, and so many other rights to protect them from the possibility of a tyrannical and unfair federal government. However, the national government has repeatedly taken away these significant liberties during every war or crisis. Today, the government’s war on terrorism stirs up controversy all over the globe. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 fired fear into the citizens of the U.S., and fear tends to change the dynamic of crucial protection from the government. In other words, the fear and anxiety many citizens had after 9/11 made them frantic to temporarily give permission to the government to suspend their civil liberties during a war, so that they could feel protected. Profiling specific people suspected to be threats based on specific qualities they have is a huge problem in America today, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. The supporters of the government’s detainment of non-citizens and the NSA’s surveillance of data from Internet Service Providers for example, claim that being safe and secure takes priority over traditional, established values. From Gary Colombo’s historical account uncovering the American “utopian” myth to the issue of the detainment of non-citizen terrorists in Charles D. Stimson’s article, it is clear that the U.S. has a debilitating dilemma with preserving itself in times of crisis and conflict. A clear law that outlines how the government would treat civil liberti... ... middle of paper ... ...rates how the law perceives contemporary racial profiling, as she states: “Furthermore, racial or religious profiling is ineffective because it keeps law enforcement from digging deeper into criminal investigation… when law enforcement practices are perceived to be eased, unfair, disrespectful, communities of color and other minority groups are less willing to trust and confide in law enforcement” (1195). In the war against terrorism, racial profiling has shifted toward Arab American, immigrants and anyone looking like a Middle Easterner, just like the Japanese internment during the Second World War. Arab Americans are now the target of deep profiling in the war against terrorism, and discrimination against this ethnicity existed before the war, revealing that America seems to have trouble with maintaining a wartime balance with civil liberties and national defense.
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