Letter: The New York Times, Nov 19, 2001

From: Faisal Jawdat
Date: Mon Nov 19, 2001  02:11:17 AM US/Pacific
To: letters@nytimes.com
Subject: "Despite Some Concerns, Civil Liberties Are Taking a Back Seat"

To the Editor,

Your article, "Despite Some Concerns, Civil Liberties Are Taking a Back
Seat" (November 18, 2001) states "Precedents were set long ago, making
Mr. Bush only the latest of many presidents to restrict civil liberties
in wartime."

This is incorrect.  Congress has declared no war, and we are no more in
wartime now than we were during the years of the "war on drugs" or the
"war on poverty".

The "war on terrorism" is not a war, it is the description of a campaign
against an idea.  As Vice President Cheney points out, this campaign may
continue forever.  When we agree to give up the Bill of Rights under
these conditions, we are agreeing to give it up forever.

It is vital that we punish those responsible for the attacks on America,
but we should not let our rhetoric attack American liberty.

Respectfully,
Faisal Jawdat