Guantanamo Bay and Civil Liberties

College Politician

Feature: Guantanamo Bay

Introduction

Civil liberties are the cornerstone of modern democracy, granting a host of freedoms to citizens and ensuring that the government cannot intrude needlessly into people’s lives. If these rights are not applied universally, however, a nation can easily slip across the fine line between democracy and autocracy. Too many countries have experienced this erosion of liberties as a non-democratic government seized control, the people lost their rights to free speech, the press, religion, and perhaps most importantly, the rights of the accused. When people can be arrested without cause, held indefinitely without recourse, are not presumed to be innocent, cannot speak on their own behalf, are not allowed to challenge evidence against them, are not permitted legal representation, and are generally mistreated, degraded, and tortured, the government has virtually unchecked power. Once this occurs, if someone dissents or otherwise offends the government, they can be arrested…

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