Civil Liberties in the Aftermath of 9/11

1173 Words5 Pages
September 11, 2001 was a milestone in the history of the United States, which experienced a collective shock and trauma that has never been forgotten. Not since the McCarthy era in the 1950s have there been such restrictions on civil liberties, including the protections of free speech and against unreasonable search and seizure in the First and Fourth Amendments. The entire airline and tourist industry was driven to the edge of bankruptcy and would not have survived at all without a major bailout by the federal government. After that time, the airlines decided that they could never permit another attack like this or they would be driven out of business. As it was, their stock prices collapsed and passenger schedules did not return to pre-September 11th levels for four years. All previous security plans were judged to be useless and inadequate, and were taken out of the hands of private security contractors and turned over to the federal government. New and more restrictive laws like the Patriot Act came into being, and the U.S. launched an all-out war on Al Qaeda that has continued for eleven long years, often using methods like torture that violated domestic and international law. Given the magnitude of the disaster and the collective trauma the country experienced, along with the fears of Al Qaeda obtaining weapons of mass destruction made these new restrictions inevitable, and nothing about them was surprising except that were not even more severe and repressive than they
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