The Associated Press Terrorism Civil Liberties Discussion

Terrorism: Civil Liberties

Psalm 27:1 states, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Terrorism is a very real threat that all Americans face. It does not matter wether you are Christian, atheist, democrat, republican, whatever political party you follow or whatever God you may pray too. In the end the attacks will continue to happen as long as there are those out there willing to die for their beliefs. Here in the US alone we have seen (Hess, Karen, & Orthmann 2019) “the raids of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the mail bombings of the Unabomber, the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.” These are not the only examples of terrorism either. The acts of violence that have plagued our nation recently have now become a worldwide problem (Parris Attacks, Sri Lanka Bombing, Nigeria shootings, ext.)… one that must be addressed. But how? Many believe that giving more power to the federal government is the answer.

(The Associated Press 2011) “Ten years after the 9/11 attacks led to amped-up government surveillance efforts, two-thirds of Americans say it’s fitting to sacrifice some privacy and freedoms in the fight against terrorism, according to a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.”

All though this might seem like a worthy solution to a major problem. What most people tend to forget is that sacrificing ones liberties for safety at the end of the day only means you are writing a blank check with your God given freedoms. And all though I would like to say our government would never loosely use that power we have unfortunately already seen examples of that abuse take place.

  • (The Associated Press 2011) “There have been recent efforts in Congress — unsuccessful so far — to require the Justice Department to estimate how many people in the U.S. have had their calls and email monitored under a 2008 law that gave the government more surveillance authority. And a recent AP investigation revealed the existence of a secret police unit in New York that monitored daily life inside Muslim communities.”
  • (Hess, Karen, & Orthmann 2019) “Justice Department has issued a regulation giving itself the authority to monitor inmate-attorney communications if “reasonable suspicion” exists that inmates are using such communications to further or facilitate acts of terrorism.”

Now I understand why people might be ok with these sort of losses if A. It doesn’t really affect their own personal lives and B. Helps better the safety of their loved ones. I can see why the act of giving up some of your liberties might be enticing. Yet just like a druggy and his dealer what many tend to forget about in these cases is the whole concept of “Giving them an inch and them taking a mile.” Although at the time it might seem like the loss is only minor at first with positive results. A drug dealer will always find a way to come back into their user’s lives when they’re most vulnerable. They will promise them a great time in exchange for only a few more dollars… or in the case “only a few more liberties.” It’s like putting a crack in a dam. If it’s not repaired soon, you are asking for it to eventually burst on you.

Now with all that said does that mean we should just ignore terrorism? No of coarse not we need to act as one people to help stem these problems. The fact is as long as we allow our politics, faiths, and personal morals to keep dividing us into different categories. These categories will end up defining who we are as a group of people, and there is no way realistically we can get all of these different categories to get along with one another. Therefore the one chance we have at solving these problems is to drop all categories and began treating each other as one people. And this act does not require us to give up our civil liberties. Rather it does the opposite and empowers the people to stand up front and center to solve their own problems on a global scale. Finally, we must accept the fact that the act of terrorism will never end. This is because someone out there will always find a way to separate themselves from the rest of society. This is why getting a majority of the world to stand as one people will help combat future attacks of terrorism as it will no longer just be one country having to deal with terrorism. But rather one world joined to help maintain everyone’s civil liberties by defending it against those who would seek it to altered or ended.

Work Cited

Hess, Kären M.; Hess Orthmann, Christine; Cho, Henry Lim. Criminal Investigation Cengage Learning. Kindle Edition.

The Associated Press. (2011, September 07). Poll shows most Americans are willing to give up some privacy and freedom to fight terrorism. Retrieved from https://www.nj.com/news/2011/09/privacy_freedom_po…

Answer:

In the wake of ongoing terrorism threats, the discourse surrounding civil liberties and security measures has become increasingly complex. The cited passage grapples with the tension between protecting individual freedoms and ensuring public safety in the face of terrorist attacks. It begins by acknowledging the universal threat posed by terrorism, irrespective of religious beliefs or political affiliations, citing historical examples of domestic and international terrorist incidents. The passage then delves into the debate surrounding government surveillance and the erosion of civil liberties in the name of counterterrorism efforts.

Drawing from a poll referenced in The Associated Press article, the passage highlights public sentiment favoring the sacrifice of privacy and freedoms for enhanced security measures. However, it cautions against the potential consequences of such concessions, warning against the abuse of power and the encroachment on individual liberties. Instances of government overreach, such as the surveillance of Muslim communities and monitoring of inmate-attorney communications, are cited as examples of the slippery slope inherent in sacrificing civil liberties for security.

The passage employs vivid analogies, likening the relinquishment of civil liberties to a blank check and the crack in a dam that, if left unchecked, could lead to catastrophic consequences. It underscores the importance of remaining vigilant against encroachments on civil liberties, even in the face of immediate security concerns. Furthermore, it emphasizes the need for unity and collective action in combating terrorism, advocating for a global approach that transcends political, religious, and ideological divisions.

In conclusion, the passage provides a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities surrounding civil liberties and security in the context of terrorism. It underscores the delicate balance between safeguarding individual freedoms and ensuring public safety, urging for a nuanced and principled approach that upholds the values of democracy and human rights.

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