Terrorism And The Constitution Act

1748 Words7 Pages
Terrorism and the Constitution is organized in four parts. The first provides an historical account of federal investigations of First Amendment activities, focusing on the FBI’s investigative activities prior to 9/11. The authors make a persuasive case that the FBI’s investigative power has frequently been used to harass those involved in controversial political activities, and to disrupt controversial social movements, even where no evidence of illegal activity has been noted. To do this, the authors begin the book with five stories, examples of “the recurring nature of the government’s misguided response to ideological threats.” The stories begin in the years of the Cold War and end in an account of law enforcement since 2001. In Part Three, Cole and Dempsey focus on the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996, a forerunner to the Patriot Act that helped to establish the legal framework for today’s domestic war on terror. The act allows the State Department to designate Foreign Terrorist Organizations in a process that is highly politicized and lacking sufficient objective criteria. It also makes it possible for government prosecutors to bring cases against individuals without proof that they have engaged in terrorism, aided or abetted terrorists, or planned to commit terrorism. Under the 1996 act, the government may freeze the assets of designated terrorist groups and use secret witnesses against those suspected of having links to terrorists. Because many of the 9/11 terrorists
Get Access