The Real Civil Liberties Story

On July 4, Robert Bork, writing in FrontPage Magazine, offered a measured, balanced rebuttal to those who claim that Americans’ civil liberties have been eroded by the war against terror.
Bork’s article is too dense and too comprehensive to be summarized in an extract or two; I would really encourage everyone–especially those who fear that liberties are indeed being lost–to read the whole thing. With that caveat, here are a few samples:
On the detention of certain illegal aliens after September 11: “Stricter enforcement has also led to backlogs, as the Justice Department has proved unable to deal expeditiously with the hundreds of illegal immigrants rounded up in the aftermath of September 11. A report by the depart’ with the processing of these cases. There is no question that, in an ideal world, many of them would have been handled with greater dispatch, but it is also hardly surprising that problems that have long plagued our criminal justice system should reappear in the context of the fight against terrorism. In any case, the department has already taken steps to ameliorate matters. The only way for the problems to vanish would be for the authorities to cease doing their proper job; we have tried that route, and lived to regret it.”
On the “dirty bomber,” Jose Padilla: “A judicial system with rights of due process is crucial to a free society, but it is not designed for the protection of enemies engaged in armed conflict against us. Nor can we divert resources from the conduct of a war to the trial of every POW or unlawful combatant who wants to litigate. Besides, giving someone like Padilla a lawyer would frustrate the very purpose of his detention, and place American lives in danger. A lawyer


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