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Abuse of Rights Under Pretext of Homeland Security No. 271


Adopted 2003

Amended 2005

Reaffirmed 2006

Reaffirmed 2007

        In the name of “homeland security” and the “war on terror,” President Bush has led an attack on many of our country’s basic principles. With the passage of the Homeland Security Act, Transportation Security Act, and the Patriot Act, as well as the possible passage of Patriot Act II, this country is poised to create conditions not seen since the internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during World War II. These violations of our constitutional and human rights go against the very character of this nation.

        Since September 11, 2001, the American people have witnessed the following events:

  1. The President has restricted the rights of individuals to freely express themselves in all forms without fear of reprisal, detention, deportation, and other sanctions.
  2. The President has allowed for the violation of the attorney-client privilege.
  3. The President has permitted the indefinite detention of individuals without charges, access to a lawyer, or access to evidence and witnesses used against them.
  4. The President established military tribunals, secret courts in which defendants have limited right to counsel, limited access to evidence and witnesses against them, no right to confront their accuser, and no access to federal court.
  5. The President established military prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as some secret locations for detention of so-called “enemy combatants.”
  6. The President denied employees of the Homeland Security Department and the Transportation Security Agency the right to organize into unions.
  7. Finally, and possibly most significant, further action degrading such fundamental rights of individuals is unknowable given the unprecedented secrecy, silence, and blind unanimity of this administration.

        But areas that are essential to national security remain under-funded and, in some cases, not funded at all, thus passing the funding burden to state and local governments and Indian nations. We believe that federal Homeland Security funds should be allocated to localities based on threat assessments and actual need.

        The Bush Administration is following a path that erodes American freedoms and is likely to encourage rather than eliminate further terrorist activities.ADA advocates a more equitable and just approach founded upon fundamental tenets of full and complete preservation of all constitutional and human rights.

        ADA deplores the administration’s unconstitutional and unwise so-called “war on terror,” “homeland security,” and “anti-terrorism” actions. We call upon Congress to reverse these policies and practices and set this country on a course toward freedom and justice for all.

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No. 271 Politics and Government Commission