Comments

YossiSeptember 12, 2011 9:40 AM

With minor changes, the conclusions of this report could be copied into most western countries current mindset.

AlanSSeptember 12, 2011 10:06 AM

"...security agencies are flooded with junk data, generating thousands of false leads that distract from real threats."

The Frontier Airlines flight 623 incident from yesterday is a nice example. Next time you have an upset stomach you too may get an F-16 escort and arrested.

Last week NPR had a nice story on 'counter-terrorism' in Mall of America, where using the bathroom is one of many suspicious activities that can get you into trouble:
http://www.npr.org/2011/09/08/140262005/...



RHSeptember 12, 2011 12:14 PM

I wish the report had references. I'm apparently a bad American because I don't remember some of the events they refer to with such sideways ambiguity as to ensure that someone who doesn't recognize them has no chance of doing research.

At least they're preaching the right message!

AlanSeptember 12, 2011 12:42 PM

They're always looking for "profiling" but remember that veterans and Ron Paul bumper stickers were one of the items on Janet Napolitano's fusion-center danger list, and one diminutive Ron Paul representative found her name in a FOIA request too. Why did NPR ignore that factor? What's next? Anybody who uses email encryption?

tedSeptember 12, 2011 12:53 PM

Some of it is incredibly naive and sounds as if the US must abide by the Marquess of Queensberry rules.

This same thinking would have prevented the use of the bomb at the end of WW2.

I agree that the Constitution should not be thrown out when it becomes inconvenient, but it should not apply to non-US citizens who are know terrorists, here or abroad.

Paul R. DittrichSeptember 12, 2011 1:06 PM

One of the most interesting features (or perhaps most dangerous flaws) of the US Constitution is that except for a few things like holding an elective Federal office, the privileges and rights apply to *everyone*.

In fact, no state may "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

For all its flaws, until a better system comes along, I accept the risks and responsibilities of liberty and freedom that come with the Constitution we've got.

Steven HooberSeptember 12, 2011 1:16 PM

We need more conversations like this.

Setting aside morality, I have another issue. All over the past week, every time the security/surveillance apparatus is brought up in a 10-years-later retrospect EVERYONE talking (on TV, radio, in person) agrees that we're all safer.

I say, "prove the efficacy." And I am inclined to have zero faith in the new, giant bureaucracies. Why? Several things, but two words will suffice: Arab Spring. We seem, as a government, to have been blindsided by this. And that was a big deal, across a region. If US intelligence cannot gather that the entire Arab world is about to catch on fire, how can they hope to find a handful of guys amongst them coming to kill us all?

EHSeptember 12, 2011 1:25 PM

I agree that the Constitution should not be thrown out when it becomes inconvenient, but it should not apply to non-US citizens who are know terrorists, here or abroad.

Speaking of junk data, what constitutes a "known terrorist" in this Constitutional state of affairs?

Brandioch ConnerSeptember 12, 2011 1:33 PM

@EH
"Speaking of junk data, what constitutes a "known terrorist" in this Constitutional state of affairs?"

Whatever the current (or future) administration says.

Which is exactly why we cannot differentiate based on definitions. Everyone has the same basic human rights. No matter who they are, where they are or what they have been alleged to have done.

If you want to remove any of those basic human rights, you need a trial.

MikeASeptember 13, 2011 10:15 AM

Methinks it is time for a remake of "Man for All Seasons", in particular the part about, if you cut down all the laws in pursuit of the devil, where will you hide when he turns on you.

BTW: I believe that the U.S. government has been paying close attention to the Arab Spring. That's why they are scrambling to get more control over all forms of communication. "ISP Data Retention: It's not just for filesharers anymore".

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