Challenges to Civil Liberties
In reaction to the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration enacted a series of strong counter-terrorism measures. These policies included aggressive detention procedures, extraordinary rendition of prisoners to various countries, harsh interrogation tactics, and a sweeping domestic and international surveillance policy. While these anti-terrorist policies were all pursued in the name of protecting the country, some contended that they represented a serious threat to civil liberties. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the nation’s oldest and largest civil liberties organization, vigorously opposed these policies from their inception, fighting them in courtrooms and legislative bodies, with varying levels of success. Both supporters and opponents of former President Bush are closely watching the Obama Administration to see what policies he will pursue in the ongoing war on terrorism. President Obama has already made significant changes, such as his executive order closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay within a year and his order prohibiting the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods. Will Obama’s policies in the war on terrorism be consistent with civil liberties? Can the new administration adequately protect the country from future terrorist attacks without infringing upon traditional civil liberties?
Nadine Strossen is former President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008).
civil liberties, 9/11 attacks, U.S. military, ACLU, counter-terrorism, surveillance policies, interrogation, terrorism
Defense and Security Studies | Law
Strossen, Nadine. "Challenges to Civil Liberties." Ensemble video, 01:20:49. April 02, 2009. https://ensemble.dickinson.edu/Watch/Hc8n6SMd