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
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.


Featured PBS Resources
Online NewsHour: Profile of a Terrorist http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/july-dec01/

Gwen Ifill and four civil rights and terrorist experts weigh the problems and merits of the racial profiling system to improve national security, and discuss the potential costs to Arab-Americans and U.S. civil rights.

Online NewsHour Forum: Security vs. Civil Rights http://www.pbs.org/newshour/forum/october01/civil_liberties.html
An analysis of how the government is working to balance protecting citizens against future terrorist attacks with a commitment to protecting civil rights.

Online NewsHour: September 11 Dragnet http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/jan-june02/

Margaret Warner and guests debate whether the federal government violated the rights of its detainees from the September 11 investigation.

Global Connections: The Middle East - Stereotypes http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/mideast/

The site presents a wealth of information about the culture of the Middle East in order to foster understanding and dispel common misperceptions and stereotypes.

Related Resources
"FBI Apologizes to Detainees"
A news article compiled from AP reports about the detention of eight Egyptian men from Evansville, Indiana held as part of a terrorism investigation just weeks after the September 11 attacks.

"New Federal Guidelines Ban Racial Profiling"
A report from CNN detailing new Justice Department guidelines designed to end racial profiling by federal agents in routine police work.

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
A statement from the Committee, which works to protect the rights of American-Arabs, regarding new racial profiling guidelines issued by the Justice Department.


Airport Security

The Ballad of Davids Nelson
Lyrics and audio file of a song about a man who is repeatedly stopped by airport security for having the same name as a terrorist. The song is based on a newspaper article from the Oregonian.

"Fliers Dubbed Security Risks Fight No-Fly Lists"

A news article from the Juneau Empire State News about the Transportation Security Administration's "No Fly" list designed to keep suspected terrorists off airliners.

Electronic Privacy Information Center
Passenger Profiling
The Center offers an overview of the Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System (CAPPS II) proposed by the Transportation Security Administration. The site presents includes legal, policy and technological considerations and a history of the system.

DARPA's Information Awareness Office
Resources from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Information Awareness Office. The office develops information technologies, components, and information systems designed to counter terrorist threats by achieving total " information awareness."

"Telling of Terrorist-Tracking Tech Tools"

An article from PC World detailing the concerns of civil liberties groups and some lawmakers about the gathering of personal information for use in government databases.

Air Line Pilots Association
The Association presents a comprehensive overview of the guns in the cockpit debate and an update of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, which is training pilots to carry firearms.


The USA Patriot Act

Featured PBS Resources
The Online NewsHour: The Homefront and the War on Terrorism

An in-depth report covering domestic security on the homefront and the quest for civil liberties protection during the war on terrorism.

The Online NewsHour: Libraries and Liberties

Correspondent Spencer Michels looks at the impact of the Patriot Act on public libraries and book stores in Santa Cruz, California.

NewsHour Extra: The USA Patriot Act http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/

Specifically targeted to students, this special section of the NewsHour Extra includes reading and discussion questions in addition to a complete overview of the Patriot Act.

Online NewsHour: The Patriot Act http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/

Tom Bearden takes a look at how civil liberties are faring in the war on terrorism with a detailed look at the Patriot Act a year-and-a-half after its signing.

NOW with Bill Moyers
This special feature of the site contains an examination of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 (Patriot Act II). Resources include a timeline of civil liberties after 9/11 and an interview with Chuck Lewis, the Executive Director of the Center for Public Integrity.

Related Resources

The Library of Congress - Bill Summary and Status
A summary of the USA Patriot Act bill and status from the Library of Congress' THOMAS database. The documents posted include full text of the legislation, related bills and congressional sponsors.

The American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. The site contains a timeline and overview of the Patriot Act as well as information about the proposed Patriot Act II.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
A grassroots, not for profit group concerned with American civil liberties. The site contains updates on local civil liberties actions, tools for activists, a legislation watch and policy briefs on the Patriot Act.

Center for Democracy and technology
The Center works to promote democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. The site links to a comprehensive list of documents analyzing the Patriot Act and related legislation.

Congressional Research Service
This legal analysis of the Patriot Act from Congressional Research Service contains an outline of key provisions and legal implications.

The Department of Homeland Security
The Department's site offers information about Homeland Security legislation, the President's Homeland Security proposal and a complete analysis of the department.


Discussion Groups

Conversation Café
Conversation Cafés is sponsored by the New Road Map Foundation, a non-profit educational and charitable organization teaching people skills to be effective human beings, citizens and agents of social change.

National Issues Forums
The National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of organizations joined together by a common desire to discuss critical issues. The Web site contains the discussion guide, "Terrorism: What Should We Do Now?"

Public Conversations Project
PCP promotes constructive conversations and relationships among people who have different values, worldviews, and perspectives about divisive public issues. The site contains "Constructive Conversations about Challenging Times" a resource for people who want to conduct conversations about divisive issues with neighbors, colleagues, fellow worshippers and family.

Study Circles Resource Center
The Study Circles Resource Center is dedicated to finding ways for all kinds of people to engage in dialogue and problem solving on critical social and political issues. SCRC helps communities by giving them the tools to organize productive dialogue, recruit diverse participants, find solutions, and work for action and change.


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