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Letter to the Editor: Congress should rescind portion of security bill

Friday, February 14, 2003

To the editor:

I'm disappointed the Southeast Missourian hasn't take a position on the homeland security bill, which is an assault on our civil liberties. The bill was supported by the president and passed by Congress in the name of patriotism. It allows American citizens to be arrested and held without due process and to be tried by military tribunals. This doesn't sound very patriotic to me.

If there is one issue liberals and conservatives should be able to agree on, it is the unconditional protection of those liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

This administration is not the first to stifle individual rights. Other examples include Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. History shows these were mistakes and stained their legacies.

This is a major mistake by this administration. Government does not enhance individual freedoms by restricting them. Even though you fully support this president, this is no time for partisan politics. The stakes are too high. If just one American's constitutional rights are violated, we all lose.

Blame the liberals if you must, but encourage your readers to demand both Republican and Democratic members of Congress to rescind that portion of the bill that threatens our democratic freedoms. This is one way all Americans can demonstrate their patriotism.

When you suspend due process and prosecute civilians by military courts, is censorship of the press next? That's scary. I'd miss those letters to the editor and Speak Out calls.

PAUL J. ALLEE

Jackson