Homeland Security

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1. The Legal Process Project corresponds to the following course objectives:

  • Describe the structure of the Constitution and the powers and rights conferred in it.
  • Name historic threats to homeland security and describe how the nation formed policies to address them.
  • Describe how public policy evolves into law through the interaction of the legislative and executive branches.
  • Describe how the judicial branch reviews laws and creates
    public policy by finding that the laws sponsored by the legislative or
    executive branches are consistent or inconsistent with the Constitution
    or other existing laws.
  • Identify and discuss the pertinent legislative acts of the Global War on Terror.

(II) Tasks

(a) Analysis of the Constitution

Read and analyze the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Choose
the institutional power and the personal right you believe to be the
most important, and explain why; choose the institutional power and the
personal right you would remove, and explain why; and add a power and a
right that you would include, and explain why (two to four pages,

  • Two Examples of Homeland Security Issues in Art or Popular Culture

For this task, identify two expressions, representations,
statements, etc. of a homeland security topic and explain the relation
and significance of the work.

For example, English singer Billy Bragg wrote and recorded
“Help Save the Youth of America.” Take a look at the lyrics online and
see below for a sample commentary:

In the song, Bragg presciently identifies a number of
topics that will become central in the homeland security dialogue.
Written in 1986, some 15 years before the events of September 11th,
Bragg’s core theme circles around the familiar accusation that U.S.
foreign policy is too isolationist. This accusation has been made
numerous times, most notably during the twentieth century’s two world
wars. This is an ironic argument since the United States ultimately
became a major contributor, and arguably—perhaps even obviously—the
catalyst for victory in each conflict.

Bragg also opines upon globalization, U.S. military
engagement, illegal immigration, consumerism, crime, and the general
narcissism/naïveté of American culture. These topics …

  • Identification of Two Pre-9/11 Homeland Security Events

As we study this new concept of “homeland security,” we quickly
learn that threats to national security are not new. In fact, the
United States faced major threats to its existence even before it was
officially a nation. Identify and describe two such events in U.S.
history that occurred prior to September 11, 2001, and explain why this
event/threat was similar to current homeland security events.

  • Legal Counsel Exercise

Assume that you are legal counsel for the Scorpions, a militant
nongovernmental subset of a Serbian political opposition group, the
Bosniak Srpska. During a strategic planning meeting with top officials,
Scorpion Subcommander (there are no commanders in the Scorpions in order
to mitigate assassinations) Bensayah Belkacem is discussing his plans
to commit violent attacks against U.S. citizens and property.
Subcommander Belkacem confides that these acts will be performed on
behalf of the internationally recognized government of Pasdora, a small
country in Southwest Asia near the Caspian Sea.

Subcommander Belkacem knows that you have been educated in the
United States and have studied legal and political issues involving U.S.
domestic and foreign policy, particularly in the areas of homeland
security and the U.S.’s professed Global War on Terror/Overseas
Contingency Operations. During the meeting, your opinion on the
following matters is asked:

1) If the United States learns about the Scorpions’ plan, is
President Obama empowered to order a military attack against us? If
yes, how would he most likely justify his actions?

2) If U.S. Army soldiers detain our fighters and transfer
them to Saudi Arabia (a country known to torture people) for
questioning, what is this process called? Does U.S. public policy allow
for such a practice? If the current U.S. policy is to allow such a
practice, is this policy lawful?

3) As part of its Global War on Terror, the Bush
Administration took many captured fighters to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. If
our soldiers are taken there, is it likely that they—none of whom are
United States citizens—will be able to access the U.S. federal court
system and wage litigation warfare? What is the background and current
status of this issue?

4) What is a military tribunal? Has the United States used
military tribunals in the past? Is the United States currently using
military tribunals and, if so, what is their status?

5) Is it true that the United States spies on its own
citizens? What are some of the governmental organizations/agencies
involved in doing this? Is it lawful for the military to participate in
this type of domestic activity?

6) If we believe the United States is going to attack us, is it lawful for us to attack them first? How would we justify it?

7) We understand the United States has a document called the
Constitution. Describe its framework and the main concepts, powers, and
rights that it contains?

8) Which branch of the U.S. federal government is the most powerful?

(e) Statute Draft

For this task, you need to identify the next great idea in
homeland security. Articulate and format your idea as the introduction
to a new legislative act. Below are a few paragraphs from the USA
PATRIOT Act as an example of how to format the task:


To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and
around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and
for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


(a) SHORT TITLE–This Act may be cited as
the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools
Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of



(a) ESTABLISHMENT; AVAILABILITY–There is hereby established in
the Treasury of the United States a separate fund to be known as the
“Counterterrorism Fund,” amounts in which shall remain available without
fiscal year limitation—

(1) to reimburse any Department of Justice component for any costs incurred in connection with—

(A) reestablishing the operational capability of an office or
facility that has been damaged or destroyed as the result of any
domestic or international terrorism incident;

(B) providing support to counter, investigate, or prosecute
domestic or international terrorism, including, without limitation,
paying rewards in connection with these activities; and

(C) conducting terrorism threat assessments of Federal agencies and their facilities; and

(2) to reimburse any department or agency of the Federal
Government for any costs incurred in connection with detaining in
foreign countries individuals accused of acts of terrorism that violate
the laws of the United States.

(b) NO EFFECT ON PRIOR APPROPRIATIONS–Subsection (a) shall not
be construed to affect the amount or availability of any appropriation
to the Counterterrorism Fund made before the date of the enactment of
this Act.


(a) FINDINGS–Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, and Americans from South
Asia play a vital role in our Nation and are entitled to nothing less
than the full rights of every American.

(2) The acts of violence that have been taken against Arab and
Muslim Americans since the September 11, 2001, attacks against the
United States should be and are condemned by all Americans who value

(3) The concept of individual responsibility for wrongdoing is
sacrosanct in American society, and applies equally to all religious,
racial, and ethnic groups.

(4) When American citizens commit acts of violence against
those who are, or are perceived to be, of Arab or Muslim descent, they
should be punished to the full extent of the law.

(5) Muslim Americans have become so fearful of harassment that
many Muslim women are changing the way they dress to avoid becoming

(6) Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted
heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed
Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is
believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue
assistance and is now missing.

(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS–It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans,
including Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, and Americans from South
Asia, must be protected, and that every effort must be taken to preserve
their safety;

(2) any acts of violence or discrimination against any Americans be condemned; and

(3) the Nation is called upon to recognize the patriotism of fellow citizens from all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.


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