Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Protect journalists, scholars, and others from indefinite incarceration because they contacted terrorists
An appeals court in Manhattan has enforced a law that allows the indefinite detention of anyone suspected of supporting radical forces, such as al-Qaida or the Taliban. The problem is that the law is too broad and therein can even apply to journalists who may unintentionally or unwittingly leak important information. Sign if you agree that the First Amendment rights of American citizens need to be defended.
Journalists, scholars, political activists, and others are right to be afraid. Merely contacting the enemies of the United States can result in their own country indefinitely detaining them, even if the contact was purely for academic or peaceful purposes. These are American citizens who are having their right to freedom stripped by a legislation that was passed when the United States was in the middle of a very heated war. Now that we are pulling out of the Middle East, laws like this should be challenged and diminished, not defended.
In the previous ruling, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that the law was “unconstitutionally over broad.” That was likely because the law is so unspecific that it can be abused to the point that it may affect innocent Americans more than those who mean us harm.
Urge Congress to further specify this law to protect journalists and other non terrorists from indefinite incarceration.
A free state is not one where every citizen is treated like a potential criminal, because — regardless of what we like to think — every free citizen of the United States is a potential criminal, leak, or spy.
America. It’s really a beautiful name, isn’t it? Originally, it probably had its own meaning, but that meaning has changed over the years. Now, America means a new life, a new start, a chance at happiness and love you never thought you’d ever have. This word, this name, needs to be protected from others as well as from ourselves.
Because the anti-terror law Judge Katherine Forrest ruled to be “unconstitutionally broad” is, in fact, too broad, it is a threat to the freedom of the American people, and therefore, needs to be made more specific if it is going to stand.
The federal appeals court has made a mistake. Please change the law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: monaxle via Flickr