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Acting Under Pressure

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Acting under pressure

In "Protecting Dr. King's Legacy: Justice and Liberty in Wake of September 11th", Nadine Strossen examines the changes caused by September 11th. Strossen shows how things have changed since 9/11, once this happened justice and liberty seemed to fly out the window for many Americans that had nothing to do with it. The government in times of danger crumbles and takes away rights as it feels fit; Strossen gives examples of this and provides good evidence to back it up.

Strossen jumps right into the statement by saying that many policies are just "placebos", that just make citizens feel safe but over all have no real effect. She then, jumps off topic to thank the Chairman for having her there, then right back to what she was saying like she had never stopped. Strossen's opening was a little unorganized but it still seemed to work.

Then she does a great job explaining how the government has started new tactics that raise a lot of constitutional questions. Strossen lists good examples, ones that really make the audience feel angry and frustrated with what the government is doing. She then makes a a comment that make an excellent point "...threats to the constitutional rights of one group endanger the constitutional rights of everyone" (140). This statement means the same as "all for one and one for all" a famous saying from the 3 Musketeers, meaning constitutional rights for all citizens or no rights for any. You cannot take away rights from one group of people with risking the rights to everyone else, if the government takes away rights from one class what is going to stop them from taking away other classes rights in the future.

Strossen's next part is written magnificently, she goes from statements to facts from newspapers, back to statements proving that what she is saying has evidence to back it up, that she has done her research and knows her stuff. She explains how many people were incarcerated for long periods of time because of their race. A majority of the detainees were Muslims or Arabs who were not citizens. The government targeted these people based merely on their looks and their country of origin. Strossen then gives a great example of this by showing how a semi-wealthy Egyptian citizen working as a dentist in California was held about a month in New York City, without being able to see his family or consult an attorney. This is against his rights based on the constitution and the rights given to him as a citizen, how could this happen in America? The public has no idea where people arrested based on citizenship are sent, no one can find out, are they being treated correctly? Do they get to see an attorney? How long have they been held, when they are supposed to be held no more then a few days?

In Strossen's next few statements she does a little "name dropping", she states that she along with a huge list of organizations filed suit in federal courts, after many run-arounds from the government and after they couldn't get any information on where detainees were, and what was happening to them. She really did not need to list every single organization that she worked with, this took away from the piece more then it helped it. Strossen says that she believes that a complete report on where everyone was being held, how long they were being held and what happened to them, would show that most of the detainees had nothing to do with 9/11 and that the government made it very difficult for them to have access to the counseling they needed.

It seems that in times of emergency the government passes regulations that seem unnecessary, individuals who over stay their visas are required to attend court before the immigration judge, which seems to be a way to keep them in the country longer because the judges ruling has no real meaning. INS makes the decision of when they go, so the required court attendance is just a long process of making individuals stay in the United States, which allows the government time to check, re-check and check them again to make sure they do not have any ties to any terrorist groups.

A badly written



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