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Student Worksheet

Some Terms to Know

Note: The terms and abbreviations below have become part of our nation╣s vocabulary in the last five years, but it is difficult even for experts to identify and/or clarify the intersection of the many branches of government that have become part of the effort to combat terrorism and the perception of terrorism in the United States. The purpose of this exercise is to introduce you to some of the terms, not to make you an expert!

Directions: Working with a partner and using the Web sites below, write a sentence or two identifying the terms you have been assigned (one from Column One, and one from Column Two). During class discussion, write information for the terms that other students are presenting. Use the back of the sheet or another paper for your responses.

Column One
1. USA Patriot Act
Read Title I and Title II at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:HR03162:@@@D&summ2=m&
http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/01/ramasastry.patriotact2/index.html

2. "Warrantless Surveillance"
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2505896

3. "Sneak and Peek"
pro: http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/1997/feb975.htm
con: http://www.aclu.org/natsec/emergpowers/12481leg20011023.html
http://www.law.uga.edu/academics/profiles/dwilkes_more/36sneak.html

4. FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/50/chapters/36/subchapters/i/sections/section_1802.html
Column Two
1. Fourth Amendment to the Constitution
Find the text of the Amendment and annotations and commentary at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/

2. NSA (National Security Agency)
http://www.nsa.gov/about/index/cfm

3."National Security Letters"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/05/AR2005110501366.html

4.FBI (Counterterrorism branch)
http://www.fbi.gov/terrorinfo/counterrorism/waronterrorhome.htm

5. CIA
https://www.cia.gov/cia/information/info.html

Scenario A: "In Your Neighborhood"

Directions:
Consider the hypothetical scenario below and, using what you have learned about Constitutional protections and about tactics available to the U.S. government, develop a plan to guide law enforcement personnel. Remember, your task is not easy: you must balance civil liberties and public safety. Think carefully before you plan a course of action. Be sure to be able to justify your position. Feel free to revisit "Student Worksheet: Some Terms to Know" to refresh your memory. There is no single "correct" response.

Your neighbors, Joe and Cindy McGuire, have been involved in politics and political action for as long as you can remember. They have always been the ones with signs in front of their house, supporting a candidate or a cause. They have often carried petitions around the neighborhood, in favor of or against a cause. Over the years, they have become upset with American foreign policy, and the signs in front of their house have taken on a stronger, angrier tone, In addition, they have begun to have political meetings in their house several times a week, and, increasingly, those who are attending look as if they were not born in the U.S. Because you have been neighbors for so long, you receive the emails they have sent out, emails that seem to you to advocate increasingly harsh resistance to American policy. They even wrote in one email, "America deserved what it got on 9/11."

Are the McGuires national security risks?

Even if they are not, could people attending their meetings be security risks?

Should the police or FBI be able to get a court order to review the McGuires╣ email list?

If the FBI or police believe the McGuires will destroy their email lists if they know they will have to turn them over, should the government be able to do a "sneak and peek" or other warrantless search?

In other words, how will you handle the potential conflict between Constitutional guarantees and the need to prevent terrorism that people fear?

Scenario B: "I saw it on the way home."

Directions:
Consider the hypothetical scenario below and, using what you have learned about Constitutional protections and about tactics available to the U.S. government, develop a plan to guide law enforcement personnel. Remember, your task is not easy: you must balance civil liberties and public safety. Think carefully before you plan a course of action. Be sure to be able to justify your position. Feel free to revisit "Student Worksheet: Some Terms to Know" to refresh your memory. There is no single "correct" response.

A bookstore you pass on the way home has signs in the window featuring books by Muslim clerics about studying the Koran, histories of struggles in the Middle East, testimonials by American converts to Islam, and denunciations by American and foreign authors of American foreign policy. The bookstore does not pretend to offer a balanced array of books, and it allows its store to be used for readings by authors unsympathetic to American policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. The FBI and the Counter Terrorism Center have received a tip that the bookstore may be a front for terrorist activity.

How will you advise them? Should they obtain a warrant to seize credit card receipts of people who have bought books at the store?

Should they, instead, under authority of the Patriot Act, simply seize the receipts on the theory that the store will destroy them if they know they are about to be seized?

If they do seize receipts, should they tell people whose credit card information they have seized that they are under some suspicion?

In other words, how will you handle the potential conflict between Constitutional guarantees and the need to prevent terrorism that people fear?