God Bless Big Brother Indeed
Salon.com has posted an article expressing concern over the apparent receptiveness of the US Congress to pass more stringent anti-terrorist legislation. As a result, civil liberties of individuals, especially immigrants, will be considerably curtailed. The lead of the article states as follows:
"Northwest Airlines kicked three Arab-American men off a flight from Minneapolis to Philadelphia Friday, simply because other passengers refused to fly on the same plane with them. The airline defended removing the men from the plane, saying that security rules gave it permission to "reaccommodate" passengers. The Council on American-Islamic Relations reacted immediately: "This is racial and religious profiling of the worst kind. Both the passengers and the airplane personnel should be ashamed of their actions." Even as Arab-Americans face daily affronts to their civil liberties, Congress is crafting new legislation to further limit their freedoms -- and everyone else's. And while there is some dissent being expressed behind closed doors in Congress, an "anti-terrorism" bill is expected to be formally introduced next week. Given the current climate of fear and anger, most observers expect easy passage."
The full text is found here.
In the Philippines, anti-terrorist legislation has been consistently defeated in the Philippine Congress since the time that former President Fidel V. Ramos was still Pres. Cory Aquino's defense secretary. Foremost among this anti-terroris legislation is the proposal for the national ID system that creates a presumption that those without national ID's are rebels. We may expect the revival of this proposal soon, especially that Mr. Ranos's supporters are also supporters of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In the event that anti-terrorist legislation is passed by Congress, the same may be challenged only in the Supreme Court which will then test its validity as against the Philippine Constitution.