After the bombings, the border restrictions and protections were questioned. How did it come to be that the suspected hijackers managed to obtain visas easily and to use them freely? Thus, the U. S. –Mexico border was rigorously restricted but, quite confusingly, fewer restrictions were placed upon European, Asian and Middle-Eastern countries, resulting in hundreds of non-immigrants passing through the country where the government had no actual control. They were allowed to engage in activities in violation of their visas.
Over and above that, a major aspect seriously affected by the actions taken by the government against terrorism was the civil liberty (Schey, 9). After the 9/11 bombings, the nation was swept with investigations and questionings. Many, mostly from the Middle-Eastern communities, were arrested and detained. There were people who were secretly indicted just because of several false statements in their Social Security card application; statements they made because they needed to work.
A great number of the detained suspects of the 9/11 bombings, including the suspected terrorist group members and supporters of terrorist groups, cannot be charged with any crimes because of lack of evidence or the prosecutors could not really indict them with anything based on the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Still, they were “jailed for “questioning” or as material witness, detained on “immigration holds” (often without any charges that they violated any immigration laws), had their bank accounts frozen, or their businesses shut down.
Because they have not been charged with any crimes, the victims of the Government’s post-September 11 nation-wide dragnet have few constitutional protections, and for the most part are unable to defend themselves because there are no known charges to defend against. ” (Schey, 9) The Government refused to release the names of the detained, the reasons for the arrests and where they were being detained. It was obvious the detainees had no access to representation.
Efforts in formulating workable policies on terrorism are also seen in the laws during the 107th Congress where the domestic security against terrorism with Section 101 stipulated the Counterterrorism Fund. This fund is established in the Treasury of the United States as a separate fund that is available without fiscal year limitation. This fund shall be used to reestablish the operational capability of an office or facility that has been damaged as a result of any domestic or international terrorism incident. The fund will also be used to provide the budget in investigating and prosecuting terrorists.
What is worth noting here is the clause “without limitation in paying rewards ion connection with these activities. (The National Strategy for Homeland Security). The most recent weapon to combat terrorism is the Military Order, which was applied to all persons who are not United States citizens, issued by President Bush. It is under this Executive Order, suspected terrorists and suspected supporters of terrorists, which cause harm or oppose the United States’ national security, foreign policy or economy may be arrested.
Any evidence linking the arrested to terrorism, even that obtained in torture or threats, resulted in a conviction by the Military Commission (2001 November Terrorism). The Patriot Act, said to have been passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, is an act “to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement regulatory tools, and for other purposes” (107th Congress 1).
The act is said to grant greater powers to federal officials in tracing and intercepting the communication of terrorists for the purposes of foreign intelligence and law enforcement, (Doyle 2) Aside from this, the act is also said to prevent terrorists from launching future terrorist attacks through the reinforcement of anti-money laundering laws designed to choke the terrorists access to financial resources (Doyle 2).
The act also “tightens immigration laws to close to the borders to foreign terrorists and expel those among us” (Doyle 2). The act is said to create several new federal crimes, such as the designation of terrorist attacks on mass transit as a federal crime with corresponding punishments, and increases the penalties for several other crimes. Lastly, the act is said to introduce several changes in procedures, such as those extending the statute of limitations for terrorism crimes (Doyle 2).