December 8th, 2001, 08:19 PM
The new counter terrorism bill signed by Bush this past month or so is an atrocity. By signing the bill he not only lets the government compromise your rights as citizens; as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, he also has instated the ability for the military to hold tribunals that can make decisions dealing with terrorism without the knowledge of any person(s) not involved. The congress has no power over what happens at the tribunals and by doing this congress has destroyed the delicate balance in the government.
The new bill gives the federal government abilities, which not only infringe on your Constitutional rights as a citizen of the United States of America, it goes against what we stand for as a country. The founding fathers of the United States created the Constitution to guarantee everyone had an equal rights. They did this because of the repressive rule of the British monarchy, and unfair trials, and lack or civil rights.
The first example that the bill is unconstitutional is that the federal government under this bill is given unlimited wire-tapping and other surveillance capabilities, which infringe on your right as a citizen. The fourth amendment clearly states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. ‘This amendment protects the rights of the accused. Capitol crimes are those that can be punished with death. Infamous crimes are those that can be punished with prison or loss of rights. The federal government must obtain an indictment, or formal accusation from a grand jury to prosecute anyone for such crimes […] (America: Pathways to the Present-17).’
The second infringement is holding of tribunals which infringes on the your 6th Amendment rights. The 6th Amendments states, ‘In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.’ It also goes against Article 3, Section 3. ‘The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.’ This means that anyone accused of a federal crime has the right to a trial by jury, with the exception of impeachments.
And my final reason we should repeal this bill is because by destroying our civil rights, the terrorists are winning this battle. By the United States passing this bill we have showed that the terrorists can make us change our ways and life styles. Now that we are vulnerable to this they will repeatedly commit acts of violence to the point that we will have to ask the government for permission to do anything from to talk. We are sacrificing our rights, the rights we were given when we became citizens, the reason we became citizens of the United States. Slowly we are begging to lose those rights, and eventually we will become a communist state like the Soviet Union.
If you walk in anothers footsteps you\'ll never leave your own mark.