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... it comes to terrorism. Others raise the question of the legitimacy of revolutionary terrorist violence. Some revolutionary movements, such as the Palestine Liberation Organization and the African National Congress have given official diplomatic status and have accepted in principle, an obligation to act within international law (Goertzel, Ted. 1988). Thus, ethical dilemmas arise at all levels.
Individuals are often faced with ethical questions. More often than not, the answers to these questions are difficult because it involves weighing of values. Conflicting values in a given situation are not capable of compromise. One has to choose one over another. Sometimes, the ethically correct course of action is clear, and hopefully individuals act accordingly.
But the answers are often not simple. Necessarily, the tragedy of the September 11, 2001 stunned the world and revealed in bloody horror that globalization is a two-edged sword. Bitter arguments exist as to whether or not globalization has spurred the growth of terrorism. Since the Sept. 11 tragedy, anti-Americanism has become an integral part of world politics. The debate over the war in Iraq and the war itself, invoke even more anti-Americanism in the Arab and Muslim world, as well as in other parts of the world. This is significant because now, geopolitics and security concerns have once again become the central issue reshaping our thinking about global politics (Wikipedia).
Until now, terrorism is a weapon used by splinter groups to wage war against a strong system or government to achieve their political, personal or religious missions. It is conducted in the most gruesome and extreme methods by these groups to get world attention or influence policies of their target governments. Terrorism is a clear and present danger to all forms of governance system from democratic, communism to totalitarian leadership that must be addressed by world leaders to lessen its effect on our society. It is also a threat to humanity's existence because of the availability of weapons of mass destructions and other high end weapons that are available today (Archive 70). The availability of weapons of mass destructions from rogue states is an alarming reality today, which maybe used against countries that adopt democracy as a way of life.
This makes terrorism not only a threat to democracy, but also to the stability of the world as a whole, and most importantly, the preservation of human race. After the bombings, the border restrictions and protections were questioned. How did it come to be that the suspected hijackers managed to obtain visas easily and to use them freely? Thus, the U. S. Mexico border was rigorously restricted but, quite confusingly, fewer restrictions were placed upon European, Asian and Middle-Eastern countries, resulting in hundreds of non-immigrants passing through the country where the government had no actual control.
They were allowed to engage in activities in violation of their visas. Over and above that, a major aspect seriously affected by the actions taken by the government against terrorism was the civil liberty (Schey, 9) After the 9 / 11 bombings, the nation was swept with investigations and questionings. Many, mostly from the Middle-Eastern communities, were arrested and detained. There were people who were secretly indicted just because of several false statements in their Social Security card application; statements they made because they needed to work. A great number of the detained suspects of the 9 / 11 bombings, including the suspected terrorist group members and supporters of terrorist groups, cannot be charged with any crimes because of lack of evidence or the prosecutors could not really indict them with anything based on the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Still, they were jailed for questioning or as material witness, detained on immigration holds (often without any charges that they violated any immigration laws), had their bank accounts frozen, or their businesses shut down.
Because they have not been charged with any crimes, the victims of the Governments post-September 11 nation-wide dragnet have few constitutional protections, and for the most part are unable to defend themselves because there are no known charges to defend against. (Schey, 9) The Government refused to release the names of the detained, the reasons for the arrests and where they were being detained. It was obvious the detainees had no access to representation. A new rule was issued by the Department of Justice giving INS the power to decide whether to release the immigrant detained on a reasonable bail or not. The stay of release was effected until the Attorney General reviews the case and determines appropriate action, which could happen in months, even years. The most recent weapon to combat terrorism is the Military Order, which was applied to all persons who are not United States citizens, issued by President Bush. Under this Executive Order, suspected terrorists and suspected supporters of terrorists, which cause harm or oppose the United States national security, foreign policy or economy may be arrested.
Any evidence linking the arrested to terrorism, even that obtained in torture or threats, resulted in a conviction by the Military Commission (2001 November Terrorism). All these were in the name of patriotism. But these restrictions and laws clearly violated the right to civil liberty. Almost a hundred years ago, the United States faced the same crisis on civil liberty.
Military order was issued because of the fight against terrorism. Military officers were used to arrest and sentence suspected persons that defy the government. The government was rocked with criticisms, as it is now. The difference was who had the authority to declare the state at war and to establish a Military Commission combating attacks to the defense of the nation.
It was not the President with the power but the Congress. The 1940 s Supreme Court denied interference to cases of the unlawful combatants, those who enter the territory of a state at war to undertake acts of sabotage, because it was the jurisdiction of the Military Commission. On the other hand, lawful combatants, those who are detained as prisoners of war, were tried in a civil court (Schey, 13) The post 9 / 11 restrictions threw away the justice repeatedly called for by the administration. The rules of justice were tossed out as hundreds of innocent people were jailed without charges, access to legal counsel or courts. The rules of justice were abandoned when likely thousands were killed in the war to topple those who oppressed them, and, of course, to find Bin Laden (Schey, 27). Many innocent people suffer because of thirst for revenge and war.
If these restrictions keep defying civil liberties, there will come to be civil wars as well as world wars. The innocent are punished along with the guilty. And all is rooted in one reason: the principles of constitutional liberty are thrown away. Slowly the world is devising standards of ethical standards for revolutionary conflicts. In order to gain acceptance, critical issues need to be defined and settled. When all parties gain knowledge of the nuances and implications of the issue, only then can the issue on a real ethical standard for terrorism be settled.
VI. Conclusion: No to The Patriot Act The case of domestic wiretapping by the NSA will be perhaps a first of many cases that will require the examination of the nations laws on such. It has been found out to be a violation of a persons civil liberties. However, the nations circumstances at the moment demand that wiretapping and surveillance be heightened on the mainland as well. Therefore, the protection of the nation against those working against it on the mainland should still be a priority of the government. Checks and balances may still be installed in both the houses of the Senate and Congress in order to ensure that such kinds of surveillance are not abused by those executing them.
Given the criticisms of the general lack of check and balance on the expanded powers of the federal government under the Act, the arguments on the lack of proven civil liberties violations because of the act do not hold water, because the conditions predispose government to go overboard at any point in the future, making the threat to civil liberties ever-present. The expanded powers jeopardize the basic freedoms of Americans as cited above, and this essay finds the arguments against the continued existence of the Act compelling. For these reasons, the reauthorization of The Patriot Act should be opposed. Works Cited American Civil Liberties Union.
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