Civil Rights Watchdogs Preemptively Criticize Officials For Thwarting Terrorist Attacks
Civil rights watchdog groups such as the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and German Shepards Against Human Rights Atrocities have launched preemptive attacks against the British and American officials who thwarted a major terrorist attack on planes bound for the United States, accusing them of racial profiling, premature and unwarranted action, and of stomping on the human rights of suspected terrorists.
As both governments remain tight-lipped about the circumstances behind the alleged plot and its disruption, these groups are calling for all information to be divulged to the public to account for all human rights violations that they contend must have occurred.
Said Amy Goodman, host of popular news show "Democracy Now!": "Did they have a warrant? Probably not. Did they adhere to proper procedure? Doubt it. Did they violate the civil and human rights of the would-be-terrorists? They must have. How else could they have caught them?"
In the name of proper investigative techniques and due to the highly sensitive nature of the situation, information regarding the thwarted attacks has been slow in the coming, which many say smells of a rat.
"We demand to know why the police were targeting these people, and the flimsy guise of 'preventing terrorism' is no excuse," announced Henry Wagner of the American Civil Liberties Union of Philadelphia. "There was not one person of European or American decent amongst those arrested in the supposed terrorist plot, which is only further proof that law enforcement officials are targeting and bullying the Muslim community. And the fact that authorities are not immediately releasing all details of the bust only further proves that this is an act of unconscionable racism."
Government officials laud the efforts of investigators and operatives who abrogated of the terrorist plot that Secretary of Homeland Security Department Michael Chertoff has called "The Big One". Still, there is a growing voice of concern over whether or not bringing down the terrorists who were in the final stages of bringing down up to 20 passenger airplanes in mid-flight was the right thing to do.
"Thank God no one was killed," said Hillary Guffman of Human Rights Watch at the UN headquarters in New York. "It would have been so easy for [security officials] to murder one of the suspected perpetrators at any point in this bust, which in of itself is a gross violation of the rights of these individuals as civil dissidents whose only connection to mass murder is based on circumstantial evidence. The loss of a single human life without due procedure is a crime against all humanity, and we might not be so lucky the next time government spooks pull a stunt like this."
According to Homeland Security Department officials, the planned attacks had the earmarks of al-Qaeda written all over the planning and execution -- including several documents bearing the al-Qaeda masthead -- which isn't swaying a number of civil rights groups and concerned individuals from changing their restive stance against anti-terrorism measures. Similarly, many are blaming the antagonistic policies of the Bush administration on what they expect to be gross violations of international law once all the facts are revealed, despite Bush having nothing to do with the British breakup of the plot.
"How could they prove that these people actually had intent to use the bombs they were assembling before they even went off?" asked Indiana University junior Justin Fisher of the School of Arts and Humanities. "Without a smoking gun. there can be no burden of proof. I’'d like to see the dossier on these poor people [who were arrested in connection to the would-be bombings], because I'm sure it will vindicate them all and shed further light on the Bush Administration's attacks on the freedom and liberty-loving people of this world."
The investigation into the terror plot has revealed so far that up to 21 men of Muslim decent were planning to destroy mid-flight airplanes with combinations of volatile liquids. Human Rights Watch has concurrently opened up 21 lawsuits alleging criminal mistreatment and torture of 21 as-of-yet-unnamed individuals, while also hinting that a fight over the right to bear volatile liquids may soon be underway.