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We’re Only Beginning to See the Consequences of the Bush-Era Assault on Civil Liberties

Published: September 15, 2019
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Source: rollingstone

A judge last week ruled the federal government’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), which secretly categorized more than 1 million people as “known or suspected terrorists,” is unconstitutional.

Like a number of “War on Terror” reforms instituted in the Bush years, the TSDB’s unconstitutionality was obvious from its inception. Indeed, the very idea that we needed to “take the gloves off” in our post-9/11 “State of Exception” was an original selling point of some of these programs.

The TSDB is cousin to the No-Fly List (a different and more restrictive list ruled unconstitutional in 2014), the Distribution Matrix (the drone assassination program also known as the “Kill List”), the STELLAR WIND warrantless surveillance program, multiple expansions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the broadened use of National Security Letters to obtain private data without warrant, the “Enhanced Interrogation” program the rest of the world calls torture, and countless other War on Terror initiatives that were and are clear violations of the spirit of the constitution.

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