Critics Say White House Successor to USA Patriot Act Threatens Further Erosion of Civil Liberties.
Under "secret" Domestic Security Enhancement Act, detainees could lose U.S. citizenship Interview with Nancy Chang, Center for Constitutional Rights, conducted by Between The Lines'Scott Harris
Almost a year and a half after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., civil liberties advocates are continuing to assess the damage done to the American Constitution and Bill of Rights through the USA Patriot Act pushed by the Bush administration, passed by Congress and signed into law with little serious scrutiny or debate. The legislation has been widely criticized for unnecessarily curtailing civil liberties of citizens and non-citizens more sharply than at any time since World War II.
But as the White House prepares for war with Iraq, officials at the Justice Department have been working behind the scenes to further clamp down on constitutional rights. A document recently leaked to the Center for Public Integrity confirms that the Bush administration has drafted new legislation dubbed the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003." The bill, which remained secret even from members of Congress until leaked to the press, would prohibit the release of information on people detained as terrorist suspects, create a DNA database of individuals alleged to have links to terrorist groups and rewrite federal bail laws.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Nancy Chang, senior litigation attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She discusses provisions of the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act," and her fear that if signed into law, the bill would further erode civil liberties for all Americans.
Nancy Chang is the author of "Silencing Political Dissent,"published by Seven Stories Press. Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights by calling (212) 614-6464 or visit their Web site at: www.ccr-ny.org
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