Abuse of civil liberties
In a dangerous world nothing can be more important than protecting the people against people who wish them harm. Still these effort must be effective and protect peoples rights.
In 2009 Todd Hinnen, deputy assistant attorney general for law and policy in the department's National Security Division described Bush's War on Terror as "lawless response to terrorism" that tarnished moral credibility and standing abroad but also became Al Qaeda with recruiting material (1 ).
An eight member panel said that the war on terror seriously damaged human rights. It applied the rules of war when there was no armed combat and it "distorts, selectively applies and ignores otherwise binding rules" of international humanitarian, like Geneva Conventions on the conduct of warfare. It also said "The panel has no doubt that there is a real and substantial threat from terrorism in different parts of the world and that governments are under a duty to take effective measures to counter that threat," but reminded "That does not mean that well-established principles of international law can or should be ignored."(2).
At the start of 2009 it was reported that the departments of Defense, State, and Health and Human Services had not met the legal requirements meant to protect Americans civil liberties. All three had not appointed civil liberties protection officers that would report to Congress as a 2007 law demanded (3 ).
Former CIA analyst and special adviser to the chief of the bin Laden unit from 2001 to 2004 Michael Scheuer said "We are not at war because other people hate our liberties," and also said "We are involved in this war because of what our government does overseas not because of what we believe at home." And noted "Clearly the American government does not care about protecting Americans,". He cites numerous terrorist attacks on Americans on US personnel since 1992 and none received any reprisals, this happened under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Instead these administrations were more concerned about weapons deals and oil, than the American people (4 ).
A post 9-11-2001 warrantless surveillance program is based on "factually flawed" legal analysis. This is according to a report of the inspectors general of American intelligence agencies. The report noted "it was extraordinary and inappropriate that a single DOJ attorney, John Yoo, was relied upon to conduct the initial legal assessment" and also said "The lack of oversight and review of Yoo's work ... contributed to a legal analysis of the [program] that at a minimum was factually flawed,"(5 ).
Before the terror attack of September 11 2001 National Security Agency (NSA) officially mainly spied on foreign embassies within the United States and had gotten warrants to do so. After the attacks President Bush authorized the NSA to spy on people within the American borders without warrants, as many as 500 people within the US are spied on at any given time. Before retiring Dick Army said the Justice Department was "out of control" and "the most dangerous agency of government."(6 ).
The Justice department received 900 secret search warrants in 2001, 1200 in 2002 and more than 1700 in 2003 (7).