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Civil liberties-really?

Reader comment on item: Monitoring Iraqis Living in the United States

Submitted by Barry Shmookler (United States), Nov 20, 2002 at 18:07

This discussion revisits the debate on civil liberties versus profiling. Profiling, in the context of terror prevention, can be considered as a variation of risk management. This latter concept deals with the prevention of problems and crises by identifying, neutralizing or eliminating known causative events and agents. For example, children are immunized because it is common knowledge that certain infectious agents can be lethal. We also know there is a population of individuals ("causative agents") currently in the U.S. who are determined to wreak lethal havoc within our borders. Their numbers may be relatively small; their terror leverage is overwhelming. We know this because it has already happened. (19 fanatics in American airplanes killed over 3,000 multinational civilians) Finally, we know these particular individuals are young males, many of Arab origin, who are adherents of radicalized fundamentalist Islamist groups. Whether illegal aliens, green card-toting legal immigrants or US citizens, they are united by the common goal of inflicting mass casualties. To date, elderly Chinese grandmothers and 3 year olds in strollers have not made it to the list of most wanted terrorists. This is not a law school debate about the legal implications of entrapment of petty shoplifters or streetwalkers, but rather the imperative to capture and detain individuals, or groups, who are maniacally driven to kill as many Americans as possible. In this setting, profiling trumps the theoretical civil liberties of such individuals. A quote attributed to a famous jurist aptly applies here: "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."
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Reader comments (22) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Paula Zahn bias [65 words]EricOct 28, 2004 20:3618025
Racial profiling or not? - who cares! [450 words]FarzadFeb 18, 2003 02:316708
Native Americans should have monitored Europeans [28 words]MichelleFeb 13, 2003 13:076614
In for a penny, in for a pound [67 words]Kim S. Barban.Jan 23, 2003 09:165906
Fatal Conditions [36 words]Jan WolfsburgDec 6, 2002 16:114451
Monitoring Iraqis Living in the United States [358 words]Arlinda M. De AngelisNov 27, 2002 10:414279
Paula Zahn's bias is showing [55 words]Dr William ClaytonNov 24, 2002 16:304189
Profiling [123 words]Del RoachSep 14, 2006 20:294189
Profiling Iraqi Americans [192 words]Andrea HyattNov 23, 2002 01:514166
Slight of mind [289 words]RjhylandNov 22, 2002 15:594151
Face the facts. [143 words]AdrianNov 22, 2002 07:444146
Let's imagine, for a moment [125 words]Boris FrenkelNov 21, 2002 16:564126
Rationale [133 words]MontyNov 21, 2002 15:494123
REALLY? [66 words]PattyNov 21, 2002 08:434115
Arab Enclaves? This isn't the Middle East [142 words]BobNov 20, 2002 20:584110
Agree with Comments on Paula Zahn show Nov 18th [179 words]Warren SmithNov 20, 2002 18:234104
Civil liberties-really? [251 words]Barry ShmooklerNov 20, 2002 18:074103
Arab Community Leaders? [132 words]GaryNov 20, 2002 16:554100
Pleased [52 words]Ron WeinerNov 20, 2002 15:554097
Reality trumps feelings [114 words]William ZelkoNov 20, 2002 15:374095
Community Leaders? [Response to Nadir] [136 words]DavidNov 20, 2002 09:484075
The lesson of the day is 'Responsibility' [280 words]RM PaineNov 20, 2002 09:344072

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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