The Score on The Bush Administration's Record on Civil Liberties
[Last Modified on 2006.12.03]
The Bush administration has shown a remarkable lack of regard for civil liberties and simple honesty. Now that Bush has been re-elected, anyone who defends our civil liberties is facing a difficult four years; most notably, the American Civil Liberties Union, which is gearing up for battle.
- The so-called Patriot Act was a laughable sham; ostensibly meant to protect our citizens from potential terrorist attacks, it has done much more to strip away our privacy and civil liberties than it has to protect us.
- The agenda of the Religious Right has become dominant in the Bush administration. As a result, some of the president's most publicized issues represent religious infringements upon civil liberties. This includes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, moves to give fetuses rights so that abortion can be criminalized, censorship, and severe restrictions on free speech.
- The Bush campaign for re-election in 2004 required individuals to sign what amounted to an "oath of fealty" to the Republican party before attending Republican rallies or conventions. This flies in the face of what our democratic republic stands for — the right to make an informed, educated choice as to who holds positions of power in our government.
- The "free speech zones" set up outside of political conventions and rallies were intended to isolate and "hide" protests, despite the claims of preserving the peace. This directly attacks the people's First Amendment rights of free speech and assembling peaceably.
- The Bush campaign of 2004 was notorious for arresting those who held — or were merely believed to hold — different views from their own. Highlights include the arrest and twelve hour detainment of a minor (without notifying his parents) who did nothing more than take a picture while on a class field trip, and the ejection of three female Bush supporters who did nothing more than wear shirts proclaiming "Protect our civil liberties" — this last being a quite telling sign of what the Bush administration itself thinks of its own record on civil liberties.
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[ Filed under: % Government & Politics ]