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A balance

Reader comment on item: To Profile or Not to Profile? [The Abdullah al-Kidd Case]

Submitted by John H. Rubel (United States), Sep 21, 2004 at 11:09

Dr. Pipes is correct. Profiling, as a practical matter, is a modality that cannot prudently be discarded in mounting and maintaining an effective shield against would-be terrorists, supporters and friends of terrorists, their funders, cheer leaders and others bent on disrupting American civilization, fueled by Islamist religious teachings and zeal.
At the same time we must remain alert to the "slippery slope" dangers. A militant policing bureaucracy endowed with excessive powers is also a danger. Too much of almost anything, even aspirin, can be dangerou,s if not fatal.
Balance is difficult. It requires constant vigilance. It is not sharply definable. It can be destroyed by group-think. It cannot be sustained under tyranny or populism. Representative, liberal, constitutional, tolerant "democracy" is endangered by both. That said, security trumps anti-profiling, yes; and, at the same time, NO to profiling carried to excess.

Where is the "line?" Nobody knows. We must be ruled by good instincts and good sense.
Submitting....

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