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Congress made matters worse by enacting the Military Commissions Act, which strips detainees of their habeas rights, guts the enforceability of the Geneva Conventions’ protections against abuse, and even allows persons to be prosecuted based on evidence beaten out of a witness. The Growing Surveillance Society — In perhaps the greatest assault on the privacy of ordinary Americans, the country is undergoing a rapid expansion of data collection, storage, tracking, and mining.
Today the government is spying on Americans in ways the founders of our country never could have imagined.
This surveillance activity is not directed solely at suspected terrorists and criminals. Increasingly, the government is engaged in suspicionless surveillance that vacuums up and tracks sensitive information about innocent people.
Even more disturbingly, as the government’s surveillance powers have grown more intrusive and more powerful, the restrictions on many of those powers have been weakened or eliminated.
Warrantless Wiretapping — Soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks, President Bush issued an executive order that authorized the infamous National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless wiretapping program.
This secret eavesdropping program allowed the surveillance of certain telephone calls placed between a party in the United States and a party in a foreign country without obtaining a warrant through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Since 2002, some “enemy combatants,” have been held at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, in some cases without access by the Red Cross.
The ACLU enumerates the following top ten abuses of power since 9/11:  1.
The so-called War on Terror has seriously compromised the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of citizens and non-citizens alike.
From the USA PATRIOT Act’s over-broad definition of domestic terrorism, to the FBI’s new powers of search and surveillance, to the indefinite detention of both citizens and non-citizens without formal charges, the principles of free speech, due process, and equal protection under the law have been seriously undermined.
As Glenn Greenwald pointed out, the most disgraceful episodes in American history have been about exempting classes of Americans from core rights, and that is exactly what these recent, terrorism-justified proposals do as well.
Anyone who believes that these sorts of abusive powers will be exercised only in narrow and magnanimous ways should just read a little bit of history, or just look at what has happened with the always-expanding police powers vested in the name of the never-ending War on Drugs, the precursor to the never-ending War on Terrorism in so many ways.
In December 2005, the New York Times reported the National Security Agency was tapping into telephone calls of Americans without a warrant, in violation of federal statutes and the Constitution.