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Old 04-13-2010, 06:36 PM
Consumatopia Consumatopia is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
Default the tradeoff between preventing terrorism and "personal liberty"

I think they way Lake phrased this--to say that one doesn't want to prevent terrorism because the risk to your "personal liberty" is too great--is questionable. It would make as much sense to say that you don't want to preserve our nation's liberty because the risk to your "personal security" is too great. Why is liberty considered "personal" while security from terror is shared?

Sometimes that fits reality--complaining over "nude" body scans really is a claim of personal dignity against general security. But other times it's the other way around--people who are very concerned with their own personal security are less concerned with the injustices we sometimes inflict in pursuit of that security at Guantanamo and Bagram.

Look, I'm white, middle class, and not doing any drugs. I don't plan to become the government's enemy. When I worry about government overreach, I'm not particularly worried that the government is going to harass me personally, I'm worried about the lives of future Americans.

I'm worried that operating further away from the rule of law damages our trustworthiness and inhibits cooperation with potential informants and allies.
I'm worried about blowback as our efforts to fight jihad just produce more jihad. I'm worried about young people being sent to fight wars they shouldn't fight. I'm worried that a lack of accountability will lead to corruption and incompetence. I'm worried about a slippery slope to mass tyranny.

It's not a "guns vs. butter" argument between national security and personal liberty. There are lives at stake on both sides of the argument--and I think, in the long run, the balance of lives is on my side of the argument.
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