Spying on the Homefront
Spying on the Home Front The Unites States has always held the claim that terrorism is bad and that nothing justifies terrorist acts . This view of terrorism has been objective since the U .S . did not have to deal with attacks on its home front . Because of this , freeing the world of terrorists had not been the United States ' first priority . Then on September 11 , 2001 , terrorists struck on U .S . soil . The attack on the World Trade Centers sent shock waves throughout the country . Questions of how this could happen were
The Unites States has always held the claim that terrorism is bad and that nothing justifies terrorist acts . This view of terrorism has been objective since the U .S . did not have to deal with attacks on its home front . Because of this , freeing the world of terrorists had not been the United States ' first priority . Then on September 11 , 2001 , terrorists struck on U .S . soil . The attack on the World Trade Centers sent shock waves throughout the country . Questions of how this could happen were
followed quickly with discussions on ways to stop this from ever happening again . The Bush administration 's cry of outrage began the `war on terror . Government agencies began searching for terrorists on U .S soil and the home of the free began to change . Freedoms that United States citizen have long taken for granted were restricted . The Bush administration claimed that the executive powers of the government must be expanded in to stop terrorism and win the `war on terror . The Bush administration 's eagerness to capture `Al Qaeda ' and win the `war on terror ' has caused the administration to set aside established laws that guarantee the rights and freedoms of U .S . citizens . According to the administration , it is a necessity but according to other lawmakers and legal minds , they have gone too far
To capture terrorists , the administration 's first of business was establishing The Patriot Act , which allows the government to investigate U .S . citizen without the usual justifiable means . Then the administration brought in the NSA . The National Security Agency (NSA is the largest and most secretive of U .S . intelligence agencies .its historic mission has been to gather communications intelligence on enemies abroad a cardinal rule was `hands off Americans at home (www .pbs .org /wgbh /pages /frontline /homefront / preemption /nsa .html . That cardinal rule has changed via direct s from the Bush administration . No one is off limits . The NSA has wiretapped the phones and Internet communications of thousands of citizens without a warrant and without the individuals ' knowledge
Since the terrorist attack on New York City , the government has received tips that `Al Qaeda ' is going to attack other cities . Train stations , bus stations , airports and other important business buildings have been cited as potential targets . In 2003 , a tip came in about Las Vegas being a potential target of `Al Qaeda . As a result the FBI demanded records from all hotels , airlines , rental car agencies , casinos and other businesses on every person who visited Las Vegas in the run-up to the ' time of the potential threat (www .pbs .org /wgbh /pages /frontline /homefront / view .html . The government gathered personal and financial information on over 250 ,000 individuals without a warrant . This invasion of privacy was not only unnecessary it was unfruitful . No terrorists were found
When visitors to Las Vegas found out the government has investigated them , most were horrified . Where were their legal rights ? What happened to innocent until found guilty ? Stephen Sprouse and Kristin Douglas of Kansas City , Mo , object to being caught in the FBI dragnet in Las Vegas just because they happened to get married there at the wrong moment Says Douglas , `I 'm sure that the government does a lot of things that I don 't know about , and I 've always been OK with that -- until I found out that I was included (www .pbs .org /wgbh .pages /frontline homefront .html
Many lawmakers oppose the Patriot Act and the Bush Administration for just such a reason as The Las Vegas situation . Unlimited power equals abuse of power . The forefathers of this country instituted a balance of power to prevent the situation that is occurring today . The Bush administration has no legal ground to set aside the laws that have carried this country through decades . Laws and acts instituting cannot circumvent the Constitution . Allowing the NSA , FBI or CIA to tap phones calls , read emails , search homes / businesses or put individuals under surveillance without a warrant is a violation of the first , fourth and ninth amendments
Even government officials with experience since 9 /11 are nagged by anxiety about the jeopardy that a war without end against unseen terrorists poses to our way of life , our personal freedoms . `I always said , when I was in my position running counter terrorism operations for the FBI 'How much security do you want , and how many rights do you want to give up ' Larry Mefford , former assistant FBI director , tells Smith `I can give you more security , but I 've got to take away some rights . Personally , I want to live in a country where you have a common-sense , fair balance , because I 'm worried about people that are untrained , unsupervised , doing things with good intentions but , at the end of the day , harm our liberties (www .pbs .org /wgbh .pages /frontline /homefront .html
The actions of the Bush administration are not only illegal but they are also immoral . The end does not justify the means . When looking at what the Bush administration has done , the word `right ' cannot be used The administration has invaded the privacy of hundreds of thousands of citizens and broken countless laws . By overlooking and setting aside key laws of this country , they have opened the door for further tampering with constitutional laws . Can we truly continue to call ourselves `the land of the free ' when people cannot make a phone call or send an email without fear of the government reading it ? If someone disagrees with the agenda of the administration , does that make them a terrorist ? On their quest to win the `war on terror , the administration has left a legacy of distrust of the government . By expanding the scale of executive powers , this administration has opened up something that may not be easily contained .References
2007 . Spying on the Home Front . Frontline . Retrieved February 18 2008 from http :www .pbs .org /wgbh .pages /frontline / homefront .html
2007 . Inside the NSA . Spying on the Home Front . Frontline . Retrieved February 18 , 2008 from http : www .pbs .org /wgbh /pages /frontline /homefront preemption /nsa .html
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