Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

Comparing Two Controversial Executive Orders

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana

Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution requires that before U.S. presidents can assume their duties they are required to take the oath of office, affirming in part that they “will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. This post will review and compare two controversial presidential executive orders that were issued in the interest of national security, and that many believe violate various provisions and protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Among these are the First Amendment rule barring the establishment of religion, the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process of law, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order #9066

On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A total of 2,403 were killed, including 2,335 military personnel and 68 civilians. The United States entered World War II by declaring war on Japan the following day. A wave of anti-Japanese sentiment across the country was accompanied by widespread fear of a Japanese attack, especially on the vulnerable West Coast. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the Secretary of War to declare certain areas of the United States military zones in order to prevent espionage and sabotage.

Residents of Japanese Ancestry Awaiting the Bus at the
Wartime Civil Control Station, San Francisco, Apr. 1942
By Dorothea Lange, U.S. War Relocation Authority via Library of Congress [public domain]

Within weeks, all persons of Japanese ancestry–whether citizens or enemy aliens, young or old, rich or poor–were ordered to assembly centers near their homes. Soon they were sent to permanent relocation centers outside the restricted military zones defined by the order. Around 120,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born citizens of the United States, were forced into remote and desolate internment camps with armed guards and barbed wire for the duration of the war. There were 10 different sites across the country, including Tule Lake, California; Minidoka, Idaho; Manzanar, California; Topaz, Utah; Jerome, Arkansas; Heart Mountain, Wyoming; Poston, Arizona; Granada, Colorado; and Rohwer, Arkansas. Many lost their homes and businesses and were separated from loved ones for the duration of the war.

In 1942, 23-year-old Fred Korematsu, who was born in Oakland, California, to Japanese immigrants, refused to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing that Congress, the President, and the military authorities did not have the power to issue the relocation orders and that he was being discriminated against based on his race. The government argued that the evacuation was necessary to protect the country. In Korematsu v. United States (1944), the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the need to protect the country in time of war was a greater priority than the individual rights of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans. One of the three dissenting opinions, written by the lone Republican-appointed Justice Owen Roberts, stated that “I think the indisputable facts exhibit a clear violation of Constitutional rights.”

Protest Against Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban
By Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2017: President Donald J. Trump ‘s Executive Order #13769

Skip to 75 years later. One week after taking office, on January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order #13769, ordering a halt on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries–Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Two days later, the president released a statement which read, “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion–this is about terror and keeping our country safe.” The order sparked immediate protests both across the country as well as internationally.

The next day, a federal judge in New York blocked part of the order. On March 6, Trump released a revised travel ban that excluded Iraq from the list of Muslim-majority countries whose citizens were temporarily blocked. A federal judge in Hawaii then issued a nationwide restraining order on the revised travel ban March 15, ruling that it still discriminated on the basis of nationality. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling on May 25. The Trump administration then appealed to the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on the travel ban order in October 2017. Stay tuned.

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Terrorism Resources in eLibrary

Osama bin Laden Research Topic

Osama bin Laden Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

Next Tuesday, May 2, marks six years since Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The infamous terrorist leader of al-Qaeda had been wanted by the United States for a decade since he masterminded the attacks of September 11, 2001. While some may have thought that the success of Operation Neptune Spear would bring about some great sense of closure, the truth is that terrorism still never seems to be far from our minds. With the turmoil in Afghanistan and Iraq, the civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS and the churn of politics and the 24-hour news industry, it is difficult to get away from.

So, do you discuss it in class in the hope of helping students make sense of it or do you stay away for fear of stirring up anxiety? This post from a middle school teacher in which she talks about her experience and these guidelines from Operation250 and Facing History and Ourselves might give you some ideas on how to go about it.

If you decide to tackle the issue, eLibrary has many Research Topics that can provide your students information on terrorist groups, historical and contemporary incidents and the context with which to examine them. A good place to start is the ProQuest Research Topic Guide: Terrorism. This is a special page that compiles most of the terrorism Research Topics. You can use this page to easily see what we have and what you might want to use in the classroom, and you can even provide it to your students to allow them to browse. Of course, you and your students can also search around in eLibrary for more RTs and for up-to-the-day articles.

11 Facts About September 11

On September 11, 2001, the world changed forever when al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American airliners and used them to carry out the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in U.S. history.

Here are 11 facts about September 11 that you may or may not know:

A New York City firefighter looks at the ruins of the World Trade Center at dawn on Sept. 12, 2001, a day after the terrorist attacks. (Credit: Jim Macmillan/Philadelphia Daily News/MCT)

A New York City firefighter looks at the ruins of the World Trade Center at dawn on Sept. 12, 2001, a day after the terrorist attacks.
Image by Jim Macmillan/Philadelphia Daily News/MCT via ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

1. A total of 2,977 people were killed–including the passengers, crew and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes, those in the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon. Also killed were 343 New York City firefighters, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority officers who were responding to the attacks. Another 10,000 people were treated for injuries, many seriously.

2. Ben Sliney was on his first day on the job as the FAA’s National Operations Manager on September 11. Shortly after the attacks, he made the decision to ground all aircraft within the continental U.S., and all aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately. Within four hours, almost 4,500 planes had safely landed. For the first time in history, the entire airspace over the U.S. and Canada was closed except for military, police, and medical flights, and civilian air traffic was not allowed to resume until September 13, 2001.

3. In the days following the attacks most skyscrapers in major cities across the United States were closed, along with State capitols and many government buildings surrounding them, as well as many U.S. landmarks. The stock market closed for four trading days after the attacks. Most major sporting events were canceled or postponed until after Sept 16–including Major League Baseball, NFL and collegiate football games, NASCAR races, and the 2001 Ryder Cup of golf.

4. A third skyscraper–World Trade Center Building 7–a 47-story building and one of the largest in downtown Manhattan—also fell during the attacks. The building was the site of the command center of the city’s Office of Emergency Management.

5. Only 291 dead bodies were recovered “intact” from Ground Zero.

6. It took firefighters 100 days (until December 19) to extinguish all the fires ignited by the attacks in New York.

7. The Department of Homeland Security was created in response to the attacks. It merged 22 governmental agencies into one, including the Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

8. Cleanup at Ground Zero officially ended on May 30, 2002. It took 3.1 million hours of labor to clean up 1.8 million tons of debris. The total cost of the cleanup was $750 million.

9. According to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York, of the 2,753 people reported missing at the World Trade Center, 1,115 victims, or 41 percent of the total, have not been identified as of May 10, 2014.

10. The National September 11 Memorial Museum opened on May 21, 2014, in New York City.

11. As a result of the attacks, September 11 is now remembered each year in the USA as Patriot Day.

SIRS WebSelect offers editorially-selected websites with resources and information for educators and students on the 9/11 attacks, as well as thousands of other subjects. Learn more about that fateful day and its aftermath at these websites:

9/11: Timeline of Events

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Remembering 9/11

Understanding 9/11: A Television News Archive


SIRS Discoverer: Difficult Topics in the News

The news media is filled with current events that focus on terrorism, wars and other tragedies. Most kids are exposed to these stories and may want to know more or have questions. It’s important for elementary and middle school students to know about these topics and events even though they might be upsetting and difficult to understand. SIRS Discoverer articles provide background and context that help kids understand the FACTS of these situations. In addition to articles, editorially-selected photos and political cartoons provide perspective.

Ferguson_Day_6,_Picture_44 (1)

Protests in Ferguson, Missouri
By Loavesofbread (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

SIRS Discoverer provides in-depth coverage of these topics:

War in Syria

War has ravaged the country of Syria for the past few years at the hands of dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Terrorism in France

On January 7, 2015, two gunman opened fire in the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France.

Unrest Ferguson

After the shooting death of an African-American teenager by a white police officer, protests and unrest took place throughout Ferguson, Missouri.

Boko Haram in Nigeria

A terrorist group in Nigeria kidnapped over 200 girls from a school and has started to control parts of Nigeria.

Three ProQuest Resources on the Senate Report on CIA Torture


The 16-foot diameter CIA seal that is inlaid in granite in the lobby of the Old Headquarters Building of the CIA. [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a long-awaited 525-page executive summary of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program with its “enhanced interrogation” practices that were used on detainees accused of terrorism following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The enhanced interrogation included practices such as waterboarding, physical abuse and extreme sleep deprivation. Human rights organizations, President Barack Obama and others have described enhanced interrogation practices as torture. The Senate panel’s findings, obtained from a documentary review of more than six million pages of documents and other materials provided by the CIA, conclude that the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA at secret sites abroad were ineffective and even led to false leads. However, in a December 10, 2014, Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden, as well as three former CIA Deputy Directors argue that the report is one-sided and contains errors of fact and interpretation. The Senate panel findings have sparked widespread debate over the use of torture to gain information and raises critical questions about  the ethics and effectiveness of the CIA’s methods.

Below are three ProQuest products where you can find a wealth of resources – including primary sources — that will give your students a greater depth of knowledge on this topic:

1.  ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher contains a Human Rights Leading Issue, which includes sub issues on Torture and Internment. Here, students can find timelines with links, overviews and articles on multiple perspectives to support their research. Ideal for debates or papers analyzing more than one side to an issue, each sub issue contains an essential question with supporting pro con articles. The Torture essential question asks students the following question:

Is the use of torture on detainees who are suspected terrorists justifiable?


human rights

Visual Browse of the Human Rights Leading Issue, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

2. eLibrary offers dozens of well-crafted Research Topic pages on Torture and related issues, including Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and the 9/11 Attacks (2001). These pages are embedded with links to carefully selected articles and websites as well as a trove of primary source documents, videos and images.  Students can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the “Find your Research Topic here” link on the search page:

research topics

Torture (see below) is one such Research Topic page:

Torture Research Topic Page

Torture Research Topic Page, ProQuest eLibrary


3. DNSA (Digital National Security Archive) contains an online collection of significant declassified documents concerning U.S. foreign and military policy from 1945 to the present. One of the collections within DNSA is CIA Covert Operations: From Carter to Obama, 1977-2010. Here, you can access primary source emails, memos and other key documents that offer a unique insight into the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques.



ProQuest Digital National Security Archive

We are constantly adding new material to our products. If you have suggestions for new topics for consideration for either our eLibrary Research Topic pages or our SIRS Researcher Leading Issues, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

Get Your Students Ready for Choose Privacy Week



A man gagged with tape marked privacy. Photo by Tom Murphy [Public Domain]

 Choose Privacy Week, May 1-7, is an American Library Association  (ALA) initiative to teach librarians and library users about privacy rights in a digital age. And, this year’s featured event is a Webinar called Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts, which will offer advice on how to protect one’s privacy and personal data online.

Inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has criticized the surveillance of citizens by governments and advocated an online Magna Carta to protect the rights of users. In addition, recent polls, including ones conducted by USA Today/Pew Research Center and AP-GfK, show that Americans are increasingly placing more value on privacy over protection from terrorism. Yet, national security and law enforcement agencies argue that enhanced national security is needed to prevent terrorist strikes.

Choose SIRS Issues Researcher to help your students answer the following question:

Should governments engage in surveillance of their citizens in the interests of national security?

When you direct your students to our National Security and Privacy Leading Issue in SIRS, they will find the tools and information they need to answer this essential question. There, they can read an overview, gather statistics, and retrieve editorially-selected articles and images and formulate an opinion on this issue.

Is your school or library celebrating Choose Privacy Week? If so, let us know what you’re doing in the comments section below.

9/11 Anniversary: Commemorate and Educate

9/11 Remembrance Flag

A flag containing the names of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks on display inside the 9/11 chapel at the Pentagon.
(Credit: Olivier Douliery/abacausa.com/MCT)

The twelfth anniversary of the September 11th attacks is an opportunity for educators to help  future generations preserve the remembrance of one of America’s most recent historical tragedies. By incorporating lesson plans and projects with the Terrorism Leading Issue, you’ll have the opportunity to concurrently commemorate and educate.

Have students navigate through product features, such as the Terrorism Timeline, or the Pro/Con evaluation of nuclear arsenals. Instruct them to differentiate between the subsections of extremism, learning about the impact of cyberterrorism, bioterrorism, and agroterrorism. Or, with the Topic Overview, provide them with a jumping platform to explore the Leading Issue independently, sorting through a wealth of multimedia, statistics, and articles all related to the topic of terrorism.

Take advantage of tools in ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher that can help you and your classroom ‘never forget.’

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

"Identity Theft Graphic." Photo credit: International Real Estate Listings / Foter / CC BY-SA

“Identity Theft Graphic.” Photo credit: International Real Estate Listings / Foter / CC BY-SA

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Use this month as an opportunity to inform yourself on the Leading Issues surrounding your personal information on the Internet. Unlock the Identity Theft Leading Issue to understand how someone becomes a victim and ponder viewpoints and perspectives on how companies can protect consumer information. Prevent being a target by becoming informed with our overviews and selected quotes that provide different perspectives on the issue. Go deeper with our editorially-selected articles, primary source documents, websites, and multimedia. Critical Thinking and Analysis questions provide an additional avenue for exploration.

Wondering what can be done to protect you as a consumer? Some say the federal government should enact tougher regulations while others advocate self-regulation by industry to ensure that consumers are protected from identity theft and other abuses. You decide after examining our Consumer Privacy Leading Issue.

Cyber security and privacy is not just a personal issue but a national issue. Visit the National Security Leading Issue to examine the pros and cons of government’s surveillance of citizens’ personal information in the interests of national security.