According to a
June 18 AP article, Obama’s Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano has
defended monitoring Internet communications as a "civil liberties
trade-off the US must make to beef up national security." In addition,
she said "it is wrong to believe that if security is embraced, liberty
is sacrificed." Unfortunately, it is incomprehensible how "beefing up"
national security can be both a civil liberties trade-off and not a
sacrifice of liberty.
contradiction betrays the sad reality that the Obama administration has
followed the lead of the Bush administration in escalating the
abridgment of civil liberties in the US to protect "national security."
Napolitano, there have been an increasing number of homegrown terrorists
who have used the Internet to "reached out" to Islamic extremists for
training and inspiration; and the AP article points to the recent Times
Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and accused Fort Hood Texas shooter
Major Nadal Hasan as possible examples.
It is not clear,
however, how a relatively few instances of homegrown terrorists who may
have been influenced by their online activities to become radicalized
can warrant government abridgment of the privacy of millions of
Americans. However, it is not hard to see how easily such a principle
could be expanded to include any private activities that may possibly be
linked to radicalization. Thus, the communications that may occur
inside a mosque may be deemed grist for the mill of government
monitoring. And the same logic could well be applied to private
communications in the homes of Americans because there may possibly be
plans afoot by a few homegrown, would-be terrorists.
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