News & Views » Columns

Liberty on the rocks

comment

As if we here at News Hits didn’t have enough to worry about (if a kindred spirit like the Sun tabloid is the target of some particularly virulent hate mail, can we be far behind?) we were exposed to some information this weekend that left us feeling more than a little queasy deep down in the pit of our collective stomachs. As the story in this week’s Metro Times points out, President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft are pushing legislation through Congress that will suspend many of the civil liberties that make us, well, American, in order to more easily spy on, interrogate and arrest suspected terrorists. As unsettling as that legislation is, what has the Hitters here feeling particularly ill is the fact that the administration gave U.S. House members mere hours to read the 200-page bill before it was adopted 337-79 on Friday.

According to U.S. Reps. John Conyers and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who attended a NAACP meeting Saturday at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center to discuss the legislation, the situation made a mockery of democracy. “We got totally jammed on the process,” Conyers told the audience of about 150 people. Conyers and Kilpatrick warned of the severity of the situation and urged people to speak out. “If you give law enforcement unfettered power, they’re going to abuse it. You can bet on it,” Conyers said. Kilpatrick had harsher words. “Some people in Congress and the White House are taking advantage of this situation to take our country back to the days that we fought so hard to come out of. … We believe our civil liberties have been threatened and attacked. We have to be vigilant, or we will be attacked from within.”

Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.