Flashpoints USA with Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill Photo: Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill
Episode Archive In Focus Discuss For Educators Resources
Sacrifices of Security - 7.15.03
In Focus
About the Series
Flashpoints USA with Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill is an innovative public affairs series from PBS that brings together both compelling examinations of critical issues and a dynamic pairing of two of the most respected names in journalism.

Television Poll What do Americans think about issues of security in the post-9/11 world? View the results of the Flashpoints USA nationwide survey.

Profiling Airport Security USA Patriot Act

Are Americans Trading Freedom for Security?
Do the new domestic security measures aimed at preventing terrorism compromise America's traditional civil liberties? And what impact do new security structures have on the day-to-day lives of American citizens?

Flashpoints USA examines these tough questions in an effort to help us understand the delicate balance between freedom and security. Before joining the discussion on this Web site, use the background information, transcripts and video clips provided in this section to understand the key points in this ongoing debate. Explore the issues at the core of the controversy — the use of ethnic profiling, the true state of airport security and anti-terrorism legislation such as the USA Patriot Act — then add your thoughts to the discussion.

Since September 11, the issue of ethnic profiling has captured a lot of media and public attention. The debate is fueled by stories like the Evansville 8 and new guidelines from the Department of Justice. Is the questioning of certain people based on their ethnic background a justifiable investigative technique or a violation of their civil rights? More...

Airport Security
Examine the true state of security in our nation's airports. Are procedures introduced since September 11 working? The federal "No Fly" list, designed to keep suspected violent offenders off airplanes, includes the names of terrorist suspects thought to pose imminent danger. Sounds like a good idea, but what if you are an innocent traveler who just happens to have the same name as a suspected terrorist? More...

The USA Patriot Act
This controversial legislation gives the government broad new powers to help law enforcement officials prevent acts of terrorism. The Act has been sharply criticized for infringing on civil liberties but is supported by some as an essential security measure in the war on terror. Is the government going too far in its quest to protect us? More...

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