Now government was permitted
to listen in on attorney-client conversations without a court order,
sanction secret searches in the name of national security,
impose a gag on those who were searched,
jail Americans indefinitely without counsel,
and detain immigrants on secret charges,
while withholding their names and even
their numbers from the public.
Government agents have been dispatched to houses of worship.
With minimal oversight,
they are now allowed to monitor e-mail traffic,
discover which Web sites are being visited,
track some online purchases,
and more easily access medical histories,
credit files, and even library selections.
Hundreds of surveillance and bugging operations have been launched since 9/11;
113 emergency authorizations for secret warrants were issued in the first year
alone — more than twice the number granted in the previous 23 years, the most extensive investigation in the history
of the United States, as the Justice Department has noted.