This section of DiscoverTheNetworks examines a host of organizations that claim to promote civil liberties -- i.e., freedoms that protect individuals
against excessive government intrusion into their
private lives -- but whose true purpose is to promote radical agendas.
The major organizations in America’s contemporary civil-liberties establishment include, among others, the Center for Constitutional Rights; the American Civil Liberties Union, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and the National Lawyers Guild. These groups share an ideological framework
that casts the United States government as an "oppressive" regime at
home and an imperialist intruder overseas; that depicts America as a nation which discriminates heavily against nonwhites, women, homosexuals, Muslims, and people with disabilities, to name just a few designated "victim" groups; and that egregiously violates the civil liberties of terrorist and criminal suspects in the name public safety and homeland security. Similar perspectives are also held by such Muslim advocacy organizations -- which also profess to be defenders of civil liberties -- as the American Muslim Alliance, the American Muslim Council, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada.
Accusing the U.S. government of waging a post-9/11 attack on the Bill of Rights, these organizations were united in condemning the George W. Bush administration for trampling on civil liberties by expanding the authority of security agencies to conduct wiretaps and surveillance on suspected terrorists; denouncing policies which permitted the detention of suspected terrorists for longer periods than ordinary criminals; complaining that law-enforcement agencies were engaged in “racial profiling” when they sought to interview Middle Eastern men in the U.S. on temporary visas; lamenting that the new Patriot Act regulations which permitted law-enforcement and intelligence authorities to share (with one another) information about possible terrorist plots amounted to assaults on people’s privacy; protesting an FBI anti-terrorism initiative to count and document every mosque (where calls for violent jihad often originate) in America; lobbying against the heightened scrutiny of individuals from terrorism-sponsoring countries at airports and border checkpoints; and opposing the Computer-Assisted Passenger Profiling System used by airlines to check for various passenger characteristics that historically have been correlated with terrorist motives.
At the root of these civil-liberties organizations’ positions is a belief that the U.S. has literally brought terrorism upon itself; that terrorism would stop if only America would improve its behavior; and that the perpetrators of Islamist terrorism are in fact rational individuals who are merely trying to air legitimate grievances. By logical extension, civil-liberties groups are typically inclined to defend even self-declared enemies of the United States such as radical attorney Lynne Stewart, an avowed enemy of capitalism and a staunch defender of Muslim jihadists, to whom she refers as "forces of national liberation."