Patriotism, Civil Liberties & Terrorism
Program #GLAI001. Recorded in Santa Barbara, CA on December 03, 2001."He that is not for us is against us" proclaimed the Federalist Gazette of the United States, immediately after President Adams passed the Alien & Sedition Act of 1798. This act had the power to jail critics of the president and government policies. Editors of newspapers and Congressmen were thrown in jail for their opinions. In an eerie parallel, George W. Bush declared, "Either you're with us, or you are with the terrorists," in response to the September 11th attack. He then quickly enacted the Patriot Act and signed it into law. With its broad definition of terrorism and even broader powers of surveillance, detention and prosecution, the Patriot Act can put any dissenter into jail. Even protesting the Patriot Act is grounds for incarceration. Opponents of the vast increase in government policing powers worry that basic liberties are being eroded. They say that only a change in U.S. foreign policy will make our citizens and the world safer. What if they are right? Should their voices be silenced?
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