George W Bush signed an executive order on March 8, 2003, that established a Presidential Emergency Response Team, or PERT, to assist in fighting terrorism.
Since then, it has been used to seize and detain thousands of suspects.
The PERT has since grown to include about 50,000 individuals.
A new report from the Center for Constitutional Rights, however, finds that in some cases, PERTs have been used by the US government to violate civil liberties.
According to the report, US intelligence agencies have used PERT operations to target people who are suspected of links to the 9/11 attacks, including a number of American citizens, including journalists, academics, lawyers, and journalists and activists who have been critical of the Bush administration’s policy.
For example, the PERT “sheltered two of the individuals detained at Dulles International Airport for two weeks, based on the suspicion that they were planning an imminent attack on US government buildings,” according to the document.
“The detainees were released after the detainees’ lawyers and lawyers for the detainees requested the Perts release.
The detention order was issued in the name of President George W, Bush’s successor, and was carried out under the Presidential Emergency Plan, which the US Executive Office of National Intelligence (USAID) administers under a Presidential Policy Directive.”
The report notes that the PEST “does not give any clear indication of what actions the PENDers were used for.
There is no documentation of the Penders use in the past decade, or the extent to which they have been deployed since then.”
The PEST was established in 2004 to combat al-Qaeda and related groups in Afghanistan.
“Under PEST, US military personnel and contractors have been provided access to the PERs detention facility, where they can access the PED (probable cause) to detain people who they believe to be ‘terrorist’ or ‘imminent threat’ to US interests,” the report states.
“In some cases detainees were detained for more than two weeks.
At least one detainee had been held for more 30 days.
The detainee was released after his lawyers and his lawyers for his clients requested the release of the detainee, a move that was consistent with USAID’s policy on PESTs.”
The USAID does not have to approve the detention of US citizens under PEST.
US law already allows the military to detain American citizens for up to six months without trial, and the PPT is supposed to be used only for those individuals who pose a threat to the safety of US troops and US citizens.
The report concludes that PEST and PEST operations “violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as the Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches or seizures in relation to US persons, property, or interests.”
It also found that the CIA and other intelligence agencies, which have been using PEST in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks to arrest US citizens and seize assets abroad, “violated civil liberties by using PERT to target US citizens without adequate due process.”
“Under the PRET, CIA officers and their agents have been allowed to use PEST to detain and seize US citizens, while also conducting secret investigations targeting foreign individuals and property without prior authorization,” the researchers write.
“These actions violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and constitute a serious breach of the Constitution.
The President should use PERT as a matter of urgency to stop such abuses and hold CIA and NSA officers accountable for their actions.”
The authors of the report were not immediately available for comment.
A spokesperson for USAID declined to comment on the report.
The authors also questioned whether the CIA or other intelligence organizations used PEST for “surgical strikes” during the Iraq war, which they found “far from routine.”
The CIA’s use of PEST has also drawn criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“We know from the declassified PEST documents that the use of the CIA’s PEST is widespread and pervasive,” the ACLU wrote in a letter to Congress earlier this month.
“It has been deployed to arrest, detain, and imprison Americans without any meaningful due process and without the ability to defend themselves in court.
The ACLU believes the use and abuse of PERT violates the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.”
The ACLU also pointed to reports that PERT is being used against people in the US military and intelligence communities, and said that the intelligence community is using the PET to detain “law-abiding Americans” and “to harass them.”
“We hope that Congress and the President will act to end these abuses by ending the CIA use of secret PEST investigations and to stop the abuse of secret law-enforcement methods by the intelligence agencies,” the letter said.