Portland is Pro Civil Liberty

8 09 2006

The New York Times has an interesting article about the city attorney of Portland, OR – my former residence.

Two months after the attacks of Sept. 11, Attorney General John Ashcroftasked local police forces across the country to help federal agents interview 5,000 young Middle Eastern men as part of a nationwide anti-terrorism effort.

Portland, which has long marched to a distinctive civic drummer, was the first city to refuse, citing an Oregon law that forbids such questioning if the subject is not a suspect in a crime.

Not interrogating people who haven’t been charged with any crime?  What a novel idea. 

Unfortunately in this day and age it is a novel idea.  There are those in our government who not only thing interrogation is OK – but it is also ok to torture and imprison people without ever having accused them of any crime.  It appears that along with the thousands of victims of September 11th – we should also count basic civil liberties among the dead.

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