Is it acceptable to impinge on certain civil liberties for the sake of national security?
A recent study by the International Commission of Jurists has found that Anti-terror measures worldwide have seriously undermined international human rights law, and many states used the public's fear of terrorism to introduce measures that were illegal, counter-productive or seriously impinged on civil liberties.
What are your opinions on this subject? Is it okay to impinge on certain civil liberties for the sake of national security, and if so, at what point do you have to draw the line?
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Well, Historically wise, yes.
now, ideologically wise, no. People will think "Bush wire taps calls being made to known terrorists, so that must be bad" and be done with it.
Now, terrorists do not have any American rights since they are not Americans. So the whole American Trial thing is complete bullshit. They are given Military Trials which is actually the most humane thing that America has done with its enemies so far. In fact, Guantanamo is much better than most American prisons (like a white collar prison). The only difference is that if you're a higher ranked Taliban, you are subject to coerce interrogation (w/e it might be, Water boarding is for the most extreme situations).
Now, the only civil liberties we've actually lost due to the terrorist attacks is
1. if we call suspicious people in Iraq the government can wire tap us
2. We are searched in train stations and airports without a warrant. yep, that airport security is against civil liberties technically.
Problems voiding your argument.
1. "terrorists do not have any American rights". Some terrorists are American. Some are not. For the sake of this debate, this is irrelevant, but that fact is worth noting. It's not a question of whether it's OK to impinge on the terrorists rights, it's the rights of all of us that are in question.
2. Listing what "civil liberties we've actually lost" directly because of one issue is not the point of the debate. If you want to go down that track, here is an ACTUAL list of lost liberties that you can examine (because yours if incorrect in stating only 2 items): http://www.historycommons.org/
3. Your list of 2 items is factually incorrect. See above link, but also note that the government is/was not monitoring only the terrorists lines, but they monitored everyone's lines. They are tapping your call regardless of it you called Iraq. Whether anyone chooses to look at it is an irrelevant issue.
So getting beaten or sexually abused is not so bad? How about water boarding or any of the other "advanced interrogation techniques"?
We have already had arguments about whether the prisoners deserve American rights, so I don't want a repeat of that; however, torture is a completely different matter.
So let me ask you again...in your expert opinion, is Guantanamo "much better than most American prisons"?
the "sexual abuse" charge is not STANDARD operating procedure, and it often happens in American prisons too. the only difference is that not only are prison guards abusing the prisoners, but so are OTHER prisoners.
the fact that most prisoners are racist and are violent really is just bad news for these American killing terrorists. Now, if you think it's better for terrorists to be raped and murdered by American prisoners, I can see where you're going with this. the only problem is that not all of these guys are ALWAYS guilty.
now, on the coerce interrogation techniques, i went over this already in the post you responded to. Standard techniques (such as sleep deprivation and listening to the same song over and over again for 36 hours straight) are used on ranking members. These are people who are not only found guilty and on obvious terms but have access to important information that we can use to save American and Military lives.
Water Boarding was used three times and only on the the top leaders. they were used for extreme circumstances where thousands of lives were immediately at stake.
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin. He even messed up the quote.
And in typical Conservative Cognitive Dissonance (TM), Conservative probably doesn't understand that that quote kind of goes against most conservative views on national security. The quote seems intelligent that's probably why he said it. Or maybe he just posted it in the wrong side. I highly doubt it though because he is a brutish torture supporter.
It dependes. If we are referring to wire tapping I really dont mind. I have nothing to hide and I would rather have someone eavesdropping on my conversation than be in fear of a terrorist attack. If we are talking about something completely unconstitutional like allowing the U.S. to become a dictatorship for the sake of national security, then it's really not the U.S. anymore and I would dissagree.
"Terrorism sows terror, and many States have fallen into a trap set by the terrorists. Ignoring lessons from the past, they have allowed themselves to be rushed into hasty responses, introducing an array of measures which undermine cherished values as well as the international legal framework carefully developed since the Second World War. These measures have resulted in human rights violations, including torture, enforced disappearances, secret and arbitrary detentions, and unfair trials. There has been little accountability for these abuses or justice for their victims.
Seven years after 9/11, and sixty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is time for the international community to re-group, take remedial action, and reassert core values and principles of international law. Those values and principles were intended to withstand crises, and they provide a robust and effective framework from within which to tackle terrorism. It is clear that the threat from terrorism is likely to be a long-term one, and solid long-term responses are now needed."
Why bother preserving national security if that nation impinges on civil liberties?
I know it seems like a simplified view on things, but really, come on!
I don't want to support any nation that does this, and if it can't be fixed by the people it "supports," then it doesn't deserve to be a nation.
No! It is not but it happens more and more. This is what has happened in the US and it's a travesty. The best part is that most Americans have lost their will to fight for their own rights. (don't get me wrong, plenty people bitch, but when it comes time to actually do something most will do nothing- we have more followers than leaders and it's growing exponentially) The government just keeps taking more and more away. Now that Obama is president, I'm not sure what will change. So far, as I've stated many times, the concentration is on the economy. My fear is that Obama is just a puppet, the same way bush was. We shall see.
Once you impinge on certain civil rights it opens doors to open others and it will be masked with a "national security" claim.
> Once you impinge on certain civil rights it opens doors to open others and it will be masked with a "national security" claim.
This is factually correct, and accurately describes the use of the Patriot Act and wiretapping against US citizens. The Patriot Act opened up Civil Liberties holes to expedite the capture of terrorists, but it has been repurposed by law enforcement officials to trap run-of-the-mill criminals who are US citizens and are not suspected of any direct forms of terrorism.
It is unacceptable to impinge on "certain" civil liberties because there is no limit to what "certain" means. You can make an innocuous sacrifice of liberty and find that it has blossomed. See the illegal wire-tapping issue for reference. US citizens said it was OK to tap the TERRORISTS cells, but they didn't realize that to find the terrorists ALL our phones would be tapped and monitored by computers.
That's just an example, of course; but it is proof of the supposition that "loss of civil liberties is a slippery slope".
The Declaration of Independence, written by the very men whom garnered the strength and courage to rebel against the King of England, wrote, "All Men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights." If you were to open a dictionary, and find the word Inalienable, you will find something along the lines of this "unable to be taken away from." I proclaim that this means that the rights the founders set for us in the Constitution, are in fact inalienable. This does not mean that it is permitted to "temporarily" suspend the rights of one citizen, a group of citizens, or the nation as a whole when it becomes an inconvenience. Although I do suppose that I have looked in the wrong dictionary, and the Bush and Possibly the Obama administration have somehow come across as secret scripture that gives the true meaning to every word. In all seriousness, I do not believe that it is necessary, acceptable, or legal to suspend the rights of citizens. The Liberties of the people, are a key factor in the definition of the United States of America. When our Rights disappear, so to shall our definition, and thus I foresee that all boundaries that limit the Executive branch of government, (all that remain) will thus begin to wither away with every Liberty that crosses the path of this administration.
If a civil right is not guaranteed 100% of the time then it is not a right it is a privileged. - George Carlin
We do not have rights, as the government can and will suspend our rights when it deems necessary. IE. Japanese internment camps, Guantanamo Bay, warrant-less wiretaps, Jim Crows laws, black codes. Yeah we may look back on these things 30 years later and say 'Oh yeah that was a bad idea,' but you're naive to think things like that won't happen again. Unfortunately the idea of rights is an illusion, albeit a comforting one.
In every country there is a scale of freedom and security and you have to give up one to get some of the other. I think the constitution outlines a pretty good balance. However once something is established as a civil liberty it cannot be impinged upon no matter what. Something is not a right if it can be taken under any circumstance. Maintaining our values is far more important than maintaining national security.
It certain circumstances I think it's ok. To cite an extreme example, if a nuke is about to go off and you can stop it by violating certain civil liberties, then I think it would be acceptable.
However, I think we've gone too far in this war on terror. Torture is counterproductive. There was not enough of a reason to justify violating our right to privacy through wire-tapping.