"Don't Let Terrorism Rewrite the Constitution," New ACLU Advertisement Urges

October 1, 2001 12:00 am

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NEW YORK–Our nation’s commitment to a free and safe society is more important than ever, the American Civil Liberties Union declared today in a new advertisement responding to the September 11 terrorists attacks on New York and Washington.

At the bottom of a page depicting a fading preamble to the United States Constitution are the stark words, “”Don’t let the Constitution be rewritten by terrorism.””

“”The acts of terrorism that struck our country on September 11th were intended not only to destroy, but also to intimidate, forcing us, as a nation, to take actions that are not in our best interest,”” the advertisement reads. “”If we allow these attacks to alter our basic freedoms, then the enemy will have won.””

The advertisement, which appears in the October 8 issue of The New Yorker, directs readers to a special section of the ACLU website related to civil liberties and terrorism, Safe and Free, which includes news releases, Congressional updates, and a downloadable animated Web image that says, “”Safe and Free in Times of Crisis.””

“”Civil libertarians are no different than anyone else, said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “”Like the rest of our nation, we grieve the loss of life and want our government to take action to increase our safety.””

“”At the same time,”” Romero continued, “”like the great majority of those who have spoken out since the attacks on September 11, we want our national leaders to protect our basic freedoms. The American Civil Liberties Union believes that security and civil liberties do not have to be at odds. We can be safe and free.””

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