Discussion 3

  • Uncategorized



TheCounterterrorism Impacts on Civil Rights and Liberty

Monthsafter the attack on September 11, 2001, the American governmentfocused on implementation of strategies and infrastructures toenhance national security and prevent further terrorist attack. Suchactivities involved all government departments with CIA, FBI, and NSAspearheading most of the operations (Damrosch etal.,2015). In purpose, most of these strategies are perceived effective.However, they require actions incompatible with principles ofhumanism and social development (Bonino, 2013). Therefore, wecannot defend terrorism without abridging the civil rights ofimmigrants and American Muslims.

LegitimateMeasures to Counter Terrorism

Theissue of counter-terrorism and civil rights represent a controversyAmerican people cannot solve. However, there are legitimate wayssecurity departments can address terrorism while at the same timeways safeguarding civil rights (Stern, 2015). One, they can obtainlegal permit or warranties to carry out activities likely to infringepersonal rights. Second, the agents can arrest, investigate andinterrogate suspects in open settings without torture, kidnapping orkilling (Damrosch etal.,2015). In this case, the government should develop policies tocriminalize such activities by police, FBI or NSA agents (Stern,2015). Finally. The government should implement policies that ensureconcrete evidence before detaining people or holding people thoughtto have important information about an attack.

TheIllegitimate Measures Used in to Counter-terrorism

Sincethe attack on 9/11, the government official has demonstratedunacceptable and illegal practices such as hijacking and monitoringtelephone conversations (Bonino, 2013) which is an abuse of the USPatriot Act and including passengers in a no-fly list withoutevidence (Ghazali, 2011). Also, these agents have conspired to surveycitizens to obtain information even at their homes thereby infringingpersonal liberty and privacy (Ghazali, 2011). Worst, many AmericanMuslims and immigrants have been kidnapped, tortured and killed inthe name of enhancing national security.

Inbrief, civil rights and personal liberty are important in thepromotion of humanism and peace and liberty. Although the governmenthas considered personal privacy and liberty in the Constitution, theyare subject to suspension, and violation by the same agents trustedwith maintaining national security. Therefore, the government shoulddevelop policies that will see that these agents safeguardconstitutional rights in their activities.


Bonino,S. (2013). Preventing Muslimness in Britain: The Normalisation ofExceptional Measures to Combat Terrorism. Journalof Muslim Minority Affairs,33(3), 385-400. doi:10.1080/13602004.2013.853977

Damrosch,L., Massimino, E., Moore, N., Mora, A., &amp Grossman, C. (2015).Closing Plenary: Preventing Torture in the Fight against Terrorism.American Society of International Law: Proceedings of the AnnualMeeting, 109355-364.

Ghazali,A. (2011). CivilFreedoms – 2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties’ erosion inAmerica.Civilfreedoms.org.Retrieved 15 October 2016, from http://www.civilfreedoms.org/?p=7260

Stern,J. (2015). Obama and Terrorism. ForeignAffairs,94(5), 62-70.

Witkowsky,A. (2012). PreventingTerrorism: Strategies and Policies to Prevent and CombatTransnational Threats.U.S.Department of State.Retrieved 15 October 2016, fromhttp://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/rm/2010/150068.htm

Close Menu