Law and Terrorism - North Mason School District / Homepage

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Transcript Law and Terrorism - North Mason School District / Homepage

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Law and Terrorism

Law during times of War Surveillance and Searches Detention, Interrogations, and Torture

Law during times of War

     During times of war, when Americans feel vulnerable, there is often a push to pass laws that allow the government to crack down of those who may pose a risk 9-11 The US passed the

Patriot Act

, at the urging of President Bush and with the overwhelming support of Congress  Allowed the government to – Trace the money used to fund terrorist acts – – – – – – – – Find and Detain terrorist who entered our country Intercept communications among terrorist groups Expanded the powers of the DOJ, FBI and CIA Required these groups to share information Track communications on the internet Wiretap phone and computer communications Access personal, educational, medical and financial information Created the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate efforts These expanded powers scared many. The believe it empowered the government to infringe on citizen’s rights Others believe it strikes a careful balance between the rights of citizens and the need of the government to keep America secure The government has taken away rights in past war times – Abraham Lincoln - Habeas Corpus – – Woodrow Wilson - Free Speech, Free Press Franklin D. Roosevelt - Due Process, Fair Trial, Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Surveillance and Searches

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Patriot Act

gives the government more power to conduct surveillance against everyone 1.

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FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) can authorize wiretaps without warrant (all in secret)

Protect America Act (2007)

further broadened government’s power Listen in on phone conversations, read e-mails, monitor financial transactions and faxes 2.

Obtain phone records from telecomm companies Critics believe these acts remove judicial oversight and leave innocent people subject to invasions of their privacy

Detention, Interrogations, and Torture

    Since 9-11, thousands of foreigners (mostly Arabs and Muslims) have been called in for fingerprinting, photographing and special registration Some have been interviewed or detained  Government claims this is necessary to deter terrorism  Critics say it is harassment Torture is illegal in the US and any confessions gotten this way cannot be used in a court of law (also against the “Geneva Conventions”) What exactly constitutes torture is argued.

 “aggressive questioning” or “enhanced interrogations” have been used to get information of suspected terrorists   Some criticize this as torture Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is the current target of critics   Not on US soils, so US Navy claims US laws do not apply Prisoners are “enemy combatants” rather than “Prisoners of War” (POW’s) • •  * held indefinately without an attorney or trial Congress passed law that requires ruling on status of prisoners and trials to be held Court challenge upheld that the prisoners did not have legal standing in US courts President Obama has promised to close GitMo