Responses should be a minimum of 250 words and include direct questions. You may challenge, support or supplement another student’s answer using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. Also, do not be afraid to respectfully disagree where you feel appropriate; as this should be part of your analysis process at this academic level.
Respond to Patrick:
The protection of citizens and civil liberties is a controversial topic that has developed in the wake of 9/11 and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With the passing of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (US Patriot Act), controversy has arisen from the authority it has given law enforcement and how the use of that authority infringes upon civil rights. “Concern among civil libertarians arises from the expansion of police powers that make it easier for government agencies to conduct surveillance, use wiretaps and searches, obtain access to personal records, and track and question designated groups” (Powers, 2003, p. 6). The argument can be made that these expanded security measures sole reasons for implementation are to increase citizen protection from terrorist attacks like 9/11. Without the expanded authority, law enforcement would face additional obstacles in countering and investigating terrorism.
The US Patriot Act does serve a purpose to the American people but at what long term cost to the political environment? As our lesson discusses, the Patriot Act trumps our system of checks and balances allowing executive strength to go unchecked. In the wake of 9/11, Congress and the majority of the public had no objection to the increased security measures. This is because the laws were passed out of fear of another terrorist attack and this fear facilitated the expansion of executive power. The fear and potential for terrorist attack will remain a constant threat to national security but the way things are now cannot be sustained without changes.
I do not believe in our current state as a nation we will come to a balance between civil liberties and security. For the safety of the nation, law enforcement will need to continue to carry out counter-terrorism activities that will have positive and negative outcomes. Which is why I would advocate for a review of the sweeping laws that were passed out of fear after 9/11 and determine if all of them are actually worth the backlash. “We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War on Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over” (Strossen, 2005, p. 83). This statement was from 14 years ago and remains just true as we continue the battle against terrorism.
Assessing the tradeoffs between freedom and security is subjective to how each American feels about the security powers. As discussed in the lesson, if you are not doing anything wrong then data mining and surveillance is not a concern. Others would argue that is not the point and that some security measures like wiretapping and phone monitoring infringe upon the right to privacy. Arguments can be made on both sides which is why it is the responsibility of American citizens to speak up and demand change if the government cannot recognize the effects of their swiftly made policies. Security measures and technology have greatly advanced since 9/11 which could mean some polices are not essential.
Powers, T. F. (2003). Can we be secure and free? Public Interest, , 3-24. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/docv…
Strossen, N. (2005). Safety and Freedom: Common Concerns for Conservatives, Libertarians, and Civil Libertarians. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, 29(1), 73-83. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/docv…