I was going to write a long post about how, if we allow our civil liberties to be taken away, then the terrorists have won. I would have mentioned my brother's insisting to me before the war that "they hate us because we're free" (which I still think is utter bollocks).
But someone else has written it much better than I could.
Rachel was a victim in the July 7 bombings. Here's her take on the anti-terrorism legislation that nearly passed in Parliament:
But I know one thing: to defeat terrorism and hate-filled individuals we need to draw strength from each other, to co-operate and talk with each other, whether white or black, Muslim or Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Jew or atheist. Just like we did when the lights went out and the tunnel filled with smoke and we heard the screams of the dying; we drew together, we held hands, we prayed and we did not panic.
I do not see why this ill-thought out macho posturing, which can only destabilise and divide us, by robbing men and women of the ancient and fundamental right of habeas corpus, and making sections of the community afraid, is going to defeat terror.
And I will not meekly accept claims that this is to be done in my name. This is panicking, this is fearful, this is not helpful. I expect better than this, and I deserve better than this. We all do.
Go read the rest, and then contact your senator and ask him or her to vote for the Bingaman amendment, which cancels out Lindsay Graham's anti-freedom amendment. (Yes, the evil doppelganger of the anti-terrorism, anti-freedom bill is making its way across the pond to the U.S. Senate.)
If you aren't sure about habeas corpus, here's a history lesson: King John in 1215 signed the Magna Carta, which guaranteed the right of habeas corpus, as well as certain fishing rights on the Thames.
It's worked out pretty well for us so far. Don't let you senator take it away.