I am horrified at how many Americans complacently accept the gouging of sacred freedoms our fathers fought and died for. Some people have seen me in front of the courthouse Tuesday holding a sign saying, "You're losing your rights." One man accused me of being un-American for doing this. I venture to say he has no idea of what being American is all about.
The duty of a true patriot is to research how the hastily passed "USA Patriot Act" shoots holes through our First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments. Today one of these rights is being directly challenged: our 6th Amendment right to a speedy, public trial with access to a lawyer.
According to a Monday article by the Press Association, "[American citizen] Abdullah Al Mujahir has been moved from a civilian jail to a high-security US Navy prison in South Carolina … a US Justice Department official said there are no plans to make him face a military tribunal set up for alleged terrorists because these are only for non-Americans. Nor are there any plans to press criminal charges against the al Qaida suspect."
What makes us think we have more rights than Abdullah Al Mujahir? What's to stop John Ashcroft from accusing you of being a member of al Qaida and locking you up with no evidence and cutting you off from your family and a lawyer? Apparently, nothing at all.
I'd like to challenge all the Real Americans out there to do their civic duty and defend the constitutional rights we are being cowed into abandoning for the sake of a little security. As Ben Franklin said, "Those who are willing to give up their freedom for a little security deserve neither freedom nor security."