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Open Letter to Politicians: Don't Exploit the Boston Tragedy to Restrict Civil LibertiesWe are all deeply saddened by the recent events in Boston, and our hearts go out to those most directly impacted by them. (This has hit close to home for Demand Progress, as our organization has been largely based in New England.)
Sadly, some politicians are already invoking the Boston tragedy as cause to increase surveillance, reduce Americans' due process rights, engage in racial profiling, and even to pass entirely unrelated cyber snooping legislation.
It's highly unlikely that expanded powers would have prevented the bombings. And as Benjamin Franklin admonished us, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
The coming days provide a critical window of opportunity for us to help shape the national discourse in the wake of the events of the last week. Please add your name at right to sign on to our open letter to lawmakers.
Here's a far-from-complete sampling of the government's and lawmakers' reactions to date:
- Following the capture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, officials decided not to Mirandize the suspect under a “public-safety” exception. Leading political figures in Washington have called for the suspect, an American citizen, to be treated as an enemy combatant.
- Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and others have argued for racial profiling of Muslims.
- Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) cited the events in Boston while arguing for the passage of CISPA, the so-called cyber security legislation which the House passed last week.
OPEN LETTER TO LAWMAKERS: "We are all deeply saddened by the recent events in Boston, but they are not reason to increase surveillance, reduce due process, or otherwise restrict our dearly-held, hard-won rights and liberties."Next, please use these links to share this letter and the Benjamin Franklin quote with your friends:
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