We can't let the coronavirus lead to a 9/11-style erosion of civil liberties
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: March 30th, 2020
My adulthood has been punctuated by severe national emergencies. The first my generation experienced was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The government quickly responded by attempting to achieve two things: one, expanding executive power, and two, transferring public wealth into private corporations. The second national emergency my generation experienced was the 2008 housing bubble collapse and subsequent recession. Again the federal government ... sought to exploit the crisis to move vast wealth from the public treasury into private bank accounts. A staggering $14tn was transferred from taxpayers to private hands. [The] latest iteration is the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again, the federal government appears poised to exploit this emergency to expand executive power and move wealth from the public treasury into private bank accounts. As we witnessed with the authoritarian reactions to 9/11, emergency violations of civil liberties are not easily rolled back, and often aggregate over time. In the wake of 9/11, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which gave sweeping powers to the executive branch. In 2012, Obama signed an expanded version into law, which gave the president the power to hold individuals, including US citizens, in military detention indefinitely, which means for life. We must reject such authoritarian measures wholly.