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Exit ArchiveArchive for March 8th, 2006
Permalink Comments Off on Civil Liberties vs. National SecurityComments Off on Civil Liberties vs. National Security By

There is a very good read over at Ars Technica. Take a peek. The author goes by the nickname “Hannibal,” and though I imagine this is more a reference to a certain general from Carthage, I can not help but think of fava beans and a nice Chianti FFFT FFFFT FFFFT FFFFFT! Regardless, Hannibal’s article is excellent, and I advise that you read it.

The article is partly a summary of a panel discussion at the University of Chicago called “Defending Democracy: Balancing the Fight for Civil Liberties with the Fight Against Terrorism” and partly a reaction to the panel. While I am still loath to support the adoption of harsher means of hunting and destroying terrorists, I know this is only because I fear the permanent consequences for the rest of us non-terrorists. But Hannibal has a more level-headed view, and is able to admit the need for change in how America finds and eliminates threats of terrorism. Take this great observation of his:

The sense that our polity, at whatever level we experience it—the “United States,” “Louisiana,” “Lake Charles”—is our responsibility, that it doesn’t go if we don’t make it go, is the signal quality that separates us as a free, self-governing society from anarchy at one extreme and authoritarianism at the other. The moment that we lose that sense of ownership by abdicating our responsibility for making the whole thing work to some group of specialists who offer to take care of it for us is the moment that we lose our ability to put the pieces back together again in the event that those specialist caretakers go away. And they always do go away eventually, for one reason or another.

Really, we need to change, but we have to be careful about what changes we allow. What think you? Do read it and comment back, if you have any time left.