On The Anniversary of 9/11 A Renewed Commitment to the Constitution


As we mark the 10-year anniversary of the attacks on 9/11 and wade through the mountains of “never forget” memorabilia, we have a specific chance to take this tragedy and turn it on its heel.

After all, those attacks launched the never-ending “war on terror” and a firm step away from our core constitutional values. Now we torture. Now we engage in extraordinary rendition and indefinite detention. Racial profiling has expanded exponentially as has warrantless wiretapping.

Yet rarely, in the commemoration of victims do we commemorate our civil liberties. But we should. And then, we should set out to have the next decade be one where we mark a return to the rule of law and a return to the constitutional principles that separated the United States from our purported “enemies.”

On this point the Obama administration has offered little but disappointment, choosing to carry forward the lawless policies of the preceding administration. Congress has also proved all too willing to continue on with those policies, even hamstringing the administration when, like with the closing of Guantanamo, it does try to do the right thing.

Americans should demand our leaders start this new decade with a renewed commitment to the rule of law and to the fundamental constitutional principles of a respect for personal privacy, dignity and freedom from an unaccountable surveillance state. It can be done. We’ve done it before. And what more appropriate homage could be paid to the victims of those attacks than to double down on our Constitution?


Related Stories:

9/11 Memorial Set To Open On WTC Site-Slideshow

Code of Support-Giving Meaning to Support the Troops

For more coverage on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, click here.

Photo from thorneenterprises via flickr.


Vivianne Mosca-Clark

While remembering the Constitution....remember the preamble to it.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

David Anderson
David Anderson5 years ago

Marie W.
9:09PM PDT on Sep 9, 2011
The Constitution cannot survive the Patriot Act.

A most excellent point!

About 30 years ago, the Indiana legislature did something revolutionary--it repealed ALL state laws other than those specifically exempted from the repeal act, which is why Indiana's books are cleaner than those of most other states. I would suggest that the federal government needs to do the same thing. That would be a good way to get rid of such aberrations as the grossly misnamed PATRIOT act.

Tim Cheung
Tim C5 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

The Constitution cannot survive the Patriot Act.

Robby C.
Past Member 5 years ago

David A- I'd have just sent you another green star if I could have....

David Anderson
David Anderson5 years ago

I feel as if I am in a small minority noticing that both parties have gleefully trampled on the Constitution alternately ignoring enumerated rights of the people and responsibilities of the government toward the people and then establishing contrived extraconstitutional 'rights' and governmental authority. In the end, most people have no problem with constitutional abuses that suit their own preferences, only with those contrary to their preferences. Upholding the Constitution is a yes or no question, not one that can be answered peacemeal. Similarly, many here routinely scream that those with whom they disagree should be silenced. If I can be silenced, so can you! Don't EVER forget that.

In the French revolution, the guillotine started with the monarchists and then progressively worked its way to the left until a significant percentage of the original revolutionaries had experienced their heads and shoulders becoming complete strangers. Soviet Russia had purges immediately after solidifying control of teh country and several times thereafter. One of Hitler's first projects after solidifying absolute power was the extermination of most of the brownshirts responsible for propelling him to power.

Don't ever think you can abuse or tolerate abuse of those with whom you disagree. They may get the axe today, but you likely will tomorrow.

Read the Constitution, do what it says, don't do what it doesn't say.

Christopher Fowler

If we are to claim superiority over our enemies, then we should, as a nation treat our citizens better than our enemies do.
That means that we must, more than ever, adhere to the principles set down in our Constitution, which power-mad politicians have so eagerly tossed aside at the cost of our civil liberties and our rights as established in that same Constitution that they swore an oath to obey and protect.

Fascist cowards have no business in power. Semper vigilans, lest we continue to lose our freedoms.

tiffany t.
tiffany t5 years ago

We Reap What We Sow

Lois Jordan
Lois Jordan5 years ago

Bravo! Great article. I agree 100%--we've lost so many of our civil liberties...I refuse to fly until they get rid of those "enhanced feel-ups". There is nothing to "celebrate" on this anniversary of 9/11. After years of busily raising kids, my "wake-up call" was 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Have I ever gotten a political education in the past 10 yrs! I've signed so many petitions, written letters and called my Congress critters hoping for the change I voted for--and will continue my endeavors. First we have to get rid of Corporate cash in elections and make sure the votes are counted correctly--get rid of those cheating machines. I agree with other posters that America is NOT a Christian nation--that type of thinking just further divides us.