Center for National Security Studies
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
1. On September 11, 2001 thousands of people lost their
lives in a brutal assault on the United States. We mourn
the loss of these innocent lives. Those responsible for
these heinous acts must be held accountable.
2. We recognize the importance of the government's responsibility
to prevent future attacks. We believe that law enforcement can
be most effective when it acts in a manner consistent with the
principles of a democratic society and the Bill of Rights to the U.S.
3. We welcome the statements by U.S. government officials
condemning intolerance and bigotry and promising to bring the full force
of law against those who commit hate crimes.
4. However, we have become increasingly concerned about
a series of measures by the government affecting the Arab American,
Muslim and immigrant communities. We are very concerned about a
strategy of " prevention" of terrorism that instead of targeting
terrorists casts suspicion on entire religious and ethnic communities. For
example, we are concerned about statements by Administration officials
suggesting without any evidence that hundreds of individuals arrested
for unrelated visa violations are involved in terrorist activity. Such
statements feed negative attitudes towards immigrant Arabs, Arab
Americans, and Muslim Americans.
5. We call upon the government and especially the Department
of Justice to act in accordance with the Constitution.
6. Individuals should not be targeted for investigation
or detention because of their race, religion, ethnic background
or appearance, including Arab Americans, Muslims, or immigrants
7. Immigration and other laws should not be selectively
enforced based on race, religion, or ethnic background.
8. Secret arrests and secret detentions are unconstitutional
9. Individuals seized in the United States should not be
detained unless they are charged with either criminal or
10. Individuals charged with crimes or immigration violations
should not be arbitrarily detained before trial on such
11. Individuals should not be confined under abusive or
unnecessarily restrictive conditions.
12. All persons have a right to effective assistance of
counsel. There should be no interference with the attorney-client
13. Secret evidence should not be used to deprive individuals
of their liberty or to try them for violations of criminal or
14. Military commissions should not be used to try civilians
arrested in the United States.
15. The First Amendment protects the rights of peaceful
dissent, free exercise of religion, and freedom of association. The
government should not use its law enforcement powers to disrupt
lawful political or religious activities, nor should it conduct investigations
on individuals or groups based on their lawful religious or political
speech or associations.
16. Secret searches and seizures, as well as secret wiretaps
without necessary safeguards, are unconstitutional.
17. Governmental compilation of databases on individuals
can pose severe dangers to freedoms of association, religion,
and speech and the right to privacy. The government
should not compile databases on individuals without procedures
to protect against labeling them as suspected terrorists on the basis
of their lawful religious or political activities, associations, or race,
religion or ethnic background.
18. Due process protections must apply to any closure or
wholesale seizure of the assets of charitable or religious
19. We express our deep concern regarding the assumption
of new powers by the executive branch that pose risks
to human rights and civil liberties, particularly when such
powers have not been authorized by the Congress and there
has been no public debate concerning them.
20. We call upon the Department of Justice and all law enforcement agencies
to act consistently with the above principles.
21. We call upon all Americans, our political leaders, and the
U.S. Congress to speak out and act to protect our cherished constitutional rights
and democratic values.