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Alarm Grows In USA About Bush Administration Undermining The Constitution

December 2, 2001

As the 'war against terrorism' continues in Afghanistan, where the Taliban regime is close to total defeat and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden enters its end phase, there is growing concern in the United States about the extent to which the Bush administration is trampling on hard-won constitutional rights.

An editorial in today's New York Times is sure to stir the debate in coming days. The paper draws attention to the administration's use of the power to detention prisoners without charge, orders permitting telephone tapping of lawyers' conversations with clients, and the creation of military tribunals to try, sentence and punish offenders in secret.

A focus of the criticism is on the conservative Attorney-General, John Ashcroft. A number of commentators are starting to call for the Congress to fulfil its role as a check and balance against untrammelled executive power.

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