Law Enforcement after 9/11
Published 23 Feb 2017
“Life is a place where it is necessary to move gently. Whether it be in thought, speech, or action, the rhythm must be controlled; the law of harmony must be observed in all that one does.” The importance of the fuction of law enforecement is often ignored in many countires, but its true value was realized by US citizens after the 9/11 attacks. National security is and must be given utmost importance but does that mean we neglect all ethical barriers and social norms, resort to illegal, harsh and questionable methods. Is that the only way the government of US can protect its national boundaries? Has US law enforecement agencies kept in mind consitution, before blatantly accusing, harrasing citizens that have been a productive part of the US economy be it Arabs, Egyptians and majority of the midleasten countries. (Inayat, 2000)
In the time following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade center, the government of the Unitated States of America designed laws to prevent any future attacks. But drawing attention to existing ones like the fourth amendmennnt of the constitution of the United States of America states “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” On the contrary every entity of this amendment has been violated to the utmost extreme. Young men and old alike pilled out of their homes and work places, maltreated abused both physically and mentally. Is all this justified by law or religion? Is this the way the United States of America guards its country? Hardly the case.
Before the events that occurred on 9/11 US governments and troops where interested in peace and promotion of peace. Post 9/11 all ethics and moral guidelines thrown out the window to take revenge or show exactly how powerful America is. This is exactly what has happened in America. Bringing the history of America into context where brutality and discrimination as existed, first it was the colored people and now the Muslims. Post 9/11 the main issue for most is that freedom is under fire. Government intolerance has invaded into private lives. Events like Baseball Hall of Fame cancelled after stars like Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon spoke against the war. Isn’t that what America is known for? “The land of the free”. America is simply letting fear govern them instead of values. South Asians especially Muslims from the Middle East have been made targets of hate crimes, surveillance by government, deportations and other acts of oppression.
Post 9/11 many changes have been observed in the United States of America. Firstly the number of surveillance cameras installed on every nook and corner. Policemen having the right to stop search and question anyone whom they consider a threat to national security. But the fact of the matter is that the law enforcement agencies of America are flirting with the thin line between protection and harassment.
Americans are in the midst of a security paradox. The citizens of USA expect the government to protect their well being, but in return the responses they get make them more insecure. USA PATRIOT Act was rapidly and over-whelming passed by Congress with very little debate. The USA PATRIOT Act “broadens definitions of terrorism, toughens sentences for convicted terrorists, and generally makes it easier for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to gather and share reams of information – some related to terror investigations and some not”(Robinson, M. 2007). Since the rapid passing of the USA PATRIOT Act, many Americans have feared that the Act abolishes many rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of The United States. The USA Patriot Act has added fuel to this burning fire. Acts like these have reduced trust and confidence in local law enforcement agencies. In majority cases police brutality has been a matter of concern and mostly Arab Muslims are at the receiving end. (Kevin, 2005)
Reports suggest that a considerable change in the priorities of agencies like Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigations on normal financial crimes have reduces and counterterrorism investigations have increased by 183%, Isn’t this a drastic change in the attitudes of law enforcement agencies towards expatriates who have been residing in the United states for decades and this is how they get treated. No one argues the empirical importance of National security but at the cost of capitulating trust of the citizens. (Henderson, 2006)
With all new laws being imposed, the immigration and deportation laws have been spiked up in security as well. Students applying for student’s visa are suffered as well as families planning migration. This strictness was not only observed in legislation but physically at airports as well. Men with long beards and women with their traditional hijabs were detained and questioned, harassed and abused. The root of all this hatred comes from the notion that all Muslims are terrorists. (Nobrerg, 2007)
The patriot Act allows surveillance against terror, follow sophisticated terrorists, question without tripping off others, it helps law enforcement readily obtain warrants and monitor computers along with obtaining business records. The ACLU diligently claims that the patriot act expands terrorism but in reality the patriot act actually restricts particularly domestic terrorism. The fact of the matter is that the Patriot act protects all Americans First
In conclusion, the intended purpose of the patriot act seems legitimate, to deter and punish terrorism. Although it strengthens the government it gives birth to a breeding ground for manipulation and corruption, as it includes the ability to use previously deemed illegal methods like surveillance and sharing vital information. The only foreseen benefit to this is that the Department of Homeland Security can process cases without much interference.
In the worlds most democratic society its is an abomination that anti terror laws provide restriction on citizens first amendment rights. The severe impact of anti-terrorism legislation in USA could be significant if not adapted or construe by the judiciary in a manner that confers to basic freedom of expression, association and religion. It can be concluded from this that law enforcement have not adhered to the U.S constitution. The concerns for national security have bent and manipulated ethical boundaries. These changes have made a great impact on the proceedings of criminal prosecutions.
- American Civil liberties Union, Dissent in post 9/11 America. Freedom under fire, Retrieved February 25, 2008, from 4. http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/dissent_report.pdf
- Henderson, Nicole (2006 June). Publications. Retrieved February 26, 2008,
- Inayat Khan, Hazrat (2000). Quotes Bout Law. Retrieved February 26, 2008,
- Johnson, Kevin (2005). USA today. Retrieved February 25, 2008, Web site: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-17-Copmisconduct_N.htm
- Longley, Robert (2004). After 9/11 job openings abound. Retrieved February 25, 2008,
- Moore, Kelly (2007 November 26). Trillium 2000. Retrieved February 26, 2008, from Lewis & Clark College , Portland, Oregon, USA
- Norberg, John (2007 October 25). Philippe Legrain: Muslims aren’t all the extremist that any non-Muslims think they are. Retrieved February 26, 2008, from Philippe Legrain
- US constitution, (2006). Fourth amendment. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from Find Law