In the wake of 9/11, the U.S. government falsely arrested thousands of innocent Americans


Under common law, any cop (or anyone else, for that matter) who arrested another person without probable cause to believe a crime was committed was AT LEAST liable for false arrest. (Actually, under 19th-century common law, actual guilt and not mere probable cause was the standard.)

But after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the U.S. government “called in” 80,000 foreign nationals for “special registration,” sought out some 8,000 for involuntary “interviews,” and detained 5,000 men without charge. NOT ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS STANDS CONVICTED OF ANY CRIME related to terrorism or national security.

If America’s civil rights laws worked properly, the agents of government who committed these acts should have been punished with judgments, penalties and fines totaling millions of dollars.

Yet the government was never punished.

Source: David Cole & Jules Lobel, “Less Safe, Less Free” 10 (2007).