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By Cynthia Tucker | July 5, 2004
ATLANTA - The last three years have been difficult for thinking patriots - for those of us who believe that this grand democratic experiment demands dissent; for those who believe their duty is to form a more perfect union; for those who cannot forsake liberty in pursuit of security. We frequently have been denounced as traitors. Shortly after the terrorist atrocities of 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft deflected questions about the Bush administration's decision to use military tribunals by lambasting the critics: "Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve.
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By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2014
The American Civil Liberties Union released an online "toolkit" on Wednesday outlining ways local advocates can improve conditions for LGBT prisoners across the country. It also provides information on how LGBT prisoners can protect themselves. In its announcement, the ACLU said lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inmates in the United States face increased levels of sexual harassment, sexual assault and physical isolation. Transgender people often cannot live in spaces for those of their identified gender, and are forced to strip so guards can check their genitals.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 28, 1999
The Clinton administration has developed a plan for an extensive computer monitoring system, overseen by the FBI, to protect the nation's crucial data networks from intruders. The plan, an outgrowth of the administration's anti-terrorism program, has already raised concerns from civil liberties groups. A draft of the plan, prepared by officials at the National Security Council last month and provided to the New York Times by a civil liberties group, calls for a sophisticated software system to monitor activities on nonmilitary government networks by 2003 and a separate system to track networks used in the banking, telecommunications and transportation industries.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | June 14, 2013
The latest open debate over security and privacy is a welcome pivot from the irksome father-knows-best attitude that has prevailed too long regarding the government's contention of superior judgment in the realm of national security. As with most cases of governmental excess in the shadow world of intelligence, the attitude goes a long way back in American history. It can be traced at least to the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, and Abraham Lincoln's suppression of the habeas corpus protection that trampled civil liberties in the young nation and then in the Civil War. Later, there was Lyndon Johnson's defense of expanding the American military role in Vietnam based on the supposedly superior intelligence he possessed, and then Richard Nixon's arrogant contention that if the president of the United States did something, that automatically made it not only right but legal.
NEWS
By CAL THOMAS | December 21, 2005
ARLINGTON, VA. -- Iraq's huge voter turnout last week was a clear step forward for the Bush administration's policy and for a stable Iraqi government, if all sides can learn to live together. But what happened in Washington last week will undercut the war on terror and encourage those who want to reprise 9/11 on a much grander scale. It was probably not coincidental that on the same day the Senate voted against extending the USA Patriot Act, The New York Times printed a story it had held for a year that contained numerous anonymous, and therefore unaccountable, sources claiming President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on American citizens and others after 9/11.
NEWS
By RICHARD B. SCHMITT and RICHARD B. SCHMITT,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 17, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Republican-led congressional negotiators said late last night that they hoped to reach an agreement as soon as today to renew the expiring USA Patriot Act, but some lawmakers balked at the proposal, saying it fails to adequately protect the civil liberties of ordinary citizens caught up in terrorism investigations. GOP leaders unveiled what they described as a draft agreement to extend the terrorism-fighting law, and they expressed hope that they would be able to bring the measure to a vote in the House and the Senate this week.
NEWS
By Susan Goering | June 16, 2005
AFTER NEARLY four years, the debate over the Patriot Act is coming to a head. Despite broad public concern, some in Congress and the administration are rushing to make the entire Patriot Act permanent and to expand the broad authority it gave federal agents to seize private records - such as those held by doctors, hotels and libraries - without proper court review or probable cause. By all accounts, Congress is set to take up Patriot Act reauthorization well before the Dec. 31 deadline when some of the most troubling powers are set to expire.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 21, 2003
WASHINGTON - A new report by internal investigators at the Justice Department has identified dozens of recent cases in which department employees have been accused of serious civil rights and civil liberties violations involving enforcement of the sweeping anti-terrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act. The inspector general's report, which was presented to Congress last week and is awaiting public release, is likely to raise new concern among lawmakers...
NEWS
By David H. Schanzer | May 25, 2010
It's been almost nine years since Sept. 11, but we still have no established procedures for interrogating terrorism suspects detained inside the United States. The military-based system developed during the Bush administration disregards civil liberties. The criminal justice model used in many terrorism cases inhibits intelligence collection. We need a better system. To meet our counterterrorism objectives, Congress should enact a law that allows the government to interrogate a suspect for intelligence purposes, without counsel present, for up to seven days.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | June 14, 2013
The latest open debate over security and privacy is a welcome pivot from the irksome father-knows-best attitude that has prevailed too long regarding the government's contention of superior judgment in the realm of national security. As with most cases of governmental excess in the shadow world of intelligence, the attitude goes a long way back in American history. It can be traced at least to the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, and Abraham Lincoln's suppression of the habeas corpus protection that trampled civil liberties in the young nation and then in the Civil War. Later, there was Lyndon Johnson's defense of expanding the American military role in Vietnam based on the supposedly superior intelligence he possessed, and then Richard Nixon's arrogant contention that if the president of the United States did something, that automatically made it not only right but legal.
NEWS
February 20, 2013
Dr. Ben Carson deplores the moral decay in our society and argues that we are less civilized than we used to be ("Remarks vault Carson into the political arena," Feb. 18). I doubt, however, whether Dr. Carson would prefer to be living several generations ago when an African American was not even admitted into a venerable institution like Johns Hopkins, much less appointed to head one of its divisions. It was through the efforts of many individuals and groups, including progressive Democrats that he is now criticizing, that achieved this remarkable progress in our society.
NEWS
January 31, 2013
This week, the United States, Canada, and the 27 countries in the European Union "celebrated" Internet Privacy Day. However, it seems there is little to really celebrate; the past few years have given rise to the largest increase in electronic wiretapping our nation has seen. To be sure, access to information is important for fighting crime and terrorism. However, because the major laws that govern Internet privacy were written in 1986, they fail to protect the modern-day security needs of American citizens.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2012
Anne Arundel County police released hundreds of documents this week regarding media inquiries on topics as broad as gang investigations, cold cases and school shootings, but none of those are any use to the group looking into allegations against County Executive John R. Leopold, ACLU officials said. In response to a public information request made by the American Civil Liberties Union and area newspapers, police provided reams of documents detailing how the police department interacts with the media - but little information about Leopold and an "enemies" list the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland alleges he kept.
NEWS
February 17, 2012
In response to the recent coverage of gay marriage and transgender rights and the hearings in Annapolis, I am quite upset to think our elected officials are confusing the roles of the church and state. The Constitution requires civil liberties for all. Allowing the church to define the rules based on religion is not upholding the Constitution. This requires our government to keep church and state separate and to recognize the rights of all regardless of race, color, sex and religion.
NEWS
By Thomas F. Schaller | July 12, 2011
In case you hadn't heard, Michele Bachmann is running for president as a self-proclaimed "constitutional conservative. " The Minnesota congresswoman, who is surging in the polls, believes the label is a strong selling point for her among Republican primary voters. She's probably right. But what, exactly, is a constitutional conservative? Ms. Bachmann, who boasts two law degrees, recently defined it this way: "I believe our founders knew what they were doing when they designed a limited government with specific, enumerated powers.
NEWS
June 2, 2011
For nearly as long as there has been motorized travel, there have been shutterbugs taking pictures of trains, planes, automobiles and the like. And surely no form of transportation is more romanticized — or attracts a more dedicated fan base — than rail travel. So how is it that twice this year tourists taking pictures of light rail have been detained and hassled by Maryland Transit Administration police for the purported crime of photography? Worse yet, in both instances the victims were repeatedly told that it was illegal to take pictures of light rail trains while standing on public property.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF | February 8, 2003
Conservatives are in power again. They control the White House, both houses of Congress and many state houses across the country. And one of their most popular targets, the American Civil Liberties Union, has never been more popular. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the 82-year-old nonprofit organization has seen its ranks of members and supporters increase by 15 percent, to an all-time high of almost 380,000. Many newcomers signed up because they're concerned about the Bush administration's anti-terrorism measures, which allow closed military trials, expanded profiling of immigrants and government monitoring of everyday electronic transactions.
NEWS
By Thomas Healy and Thomas Healy,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 30, 2001
WASHINGTON - Most people would agree that the stories Brian Dalton wrote in his journal are reprehensible. He fantasized about children as young as 10 and 11 being locked in a basement, tortured and molested. But should Dalton's writings be considered a crime? That's a question that has sparked much disagreement since the 22-year-old Columbus, Ohio, resident pleaded guilty this month to making child pornography. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the offense. Civil libertarians have come to Dalton's defense, arguing that the First Amendment protects people from prosecution for private thoughts that are merely written down.
NEWS
By Robert Friedman | December 24, 2010
As members of Congress travel home for the holidays following the lame duck session, they should take a look around our nation's airports and ask whether the $8 billion that the Transportation Security Administration has spent since 2001 on new security technology was money well spent. With $30 million in investments for machines that puffed air to "sniff" out explosives residue on passengers now gathering dust in a government warehouse, Americans are justified in wondering whether the TSA is too quick to write large checks for technologically unproven security systems.
NEWS
By David H. Schanzer | May 25, 2010
It's been almost nine years since Sept. 11, but we still have no established procedures for interrogating terrorism suspects detained inside the United States. The military-based system developed during the Bush administration disregards civil liberties. The criminal justice model used in many terrorism cases inhibits intelligence collection. We need a better system. To meet our counterterrorism objectives, Congress should enact a law that allows the government to interrogate a suspect for intelligence purposes, without counsel present, for up to seven days.
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