Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

You choose: Civil liberties or safety? by James P. Pinkerton
Newsday ^ | December 29, 2005 | James P. Pinkerton

Posted on 12/29/2005 9:01:59 AM PST by Nicholas Conradin

This will be remembered as the year in which mass surveillance became normal, even popular. Revelations about the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping rocked the civil liberties establishment, but the country as a whole didn't seem upset. Instead, the American people, mindful of the possible danger that we face, seem happy enough that Uncle Sam is taking steps to keep up with the challenges created by new technology. Ask yourself: Do you think it's a bad idea for the feds, as U.S. News & World Report mentioned, to monitor Islamic sites inside the United States for any possible suspicious radiation leaks?

(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: homelandsecurity; patriotleak; pinkerton; spying
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-229 next last

1 posted on 12/29/2005 9:02:00 AM PST by Nicholas Conradin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

My civil rights arent hindered so the question is moot.


2 posted on 12/29/2005 9:04:13 AM PST by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

self ping for later


3 posted on 12/29/2005 9:05:02 AM PST by jmc813
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smith288
My civil rights arent hindered so the question is moot.

Do you own firearms?

4 posted on 12/29/2005 9:05:42 AM PST by jmc813
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: jmc813

When the PATRIOT Guards come collecting the guns, a lot of folks are gonna be very confused.


5 posted on 12/29/2005 9:06:49 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

Mass surveillance? Oh, I hardly think Bush cares one iota about my phone calls asking Mr. M to pick up a gallon of milk or the kids asking me to pick the up after practice.


6 posted on 12/29/2005 9:07:13 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

Interesting article.

I always see this as not an "either/or" chioice, but a balance. We "give up" freedom by having laws in the first place, or by empowering police at all. We couldn't have a society at all with total anarchy. It's a question of how much liberty, how much security.

There is the argument that we shouldn't want President Bush to have powers that we wouldn't want a Democrat president (ecch!!!) to have. Then again, when did the law ever stop the Clintons? When will we get the true story of the IRS abuses? That was NOT legal, and yet they apparently did something, and the MSM ignored it.

I hereby give up all rights to privacy I have with respect to nuclear materials in my home, office or car. :)


7 posted on 12/29/2005 9:07:38 AM PST by cvq3842
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

This is actually a pretty good article and I'd suggest others reading it.  Don't be put off by this ridiculous line at the start:

This will be remembered as the year in which mass surveillance became normal, even popular.

"Mass surveillance"?  If we've got enough people here on Khalid Sheik Muhamed's buddy list to qualify as mass, we've got way bigger problems than we think.

Owl_Eagle

"You know, I'm going to start thanking
the woman who cleans the restroom in
the building I work in.  I'm going to start
thinking of her as a human being"

-Hillary Clinton
(Yes, she really said that
Peggy Noonan
The Case Against Hillary Clinton, pg 55)

8 posted on 12/29/2005 9:08:40 AM PST by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin
?You choose: Civil liberties or safety? by James P. Pinkerton ...

There can ONLY be Civil-Liberty-Safety when sovereign NATIONAL BANKING exists again.....vested interest money....

.....Safe-Money-First.....is the future

.....True Free-Speech.....is out in the 'PC' future.....

?...Is Free-Speech-Safe?

9 posted on 12/29/2005 9:08:50 AM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

Isn't it interesting that the liberals are continuing to run around concerned about offending people's senibilities while the grown-ups are debating life and death issues. These people wil never get it.


10 posted on 12/29/2005 9:08:54 AM PST by Spok (Est omnis de civilitate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smith288

"My civil rights arent hindered so the question is moot."

Let's phrase that properly:

My civil rights aren't hindered AT THE MOMENT, so I don't care about anyone else's civil rights.


11 posted on 12/29/2005 9:08:58 AM PST by MineralMan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: smith288

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1548376/posts?page=79#79


12 posted on 12/29/2005 9:09:02 AM PST by mosquitobite (As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: mtbopfuyn
This President's concerns are not the question, no matter how many times folks express their trust and confidence in him. The question is whether this kind of program would be a good idea under the worst President you could imagine.

If you don't want Hillary, or someone like her, to have unfettered surveillance capability, then you shouldn't be complacent about this President having it.

13 posted on 12/29/2005 9:09:56 AM PST by lugsoul ("Try not to be sad." - Laura Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: cvq3842

The issue is not Democrat or Republican. It's trust of the government. Unfortunately too many people only trust the govt when "their" man is in the office. I don't trust govt period.


14 posted on 12/29/2005 9:10:04 AM PST by mosquitobite (As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: lugsoul

Well said.


15 posted on 12/29/2005 9:10:52 AM PST by mosquitobite (As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

For the last week or so, I have been thinking a lot about the possibility of the NSA listening to my phone calls or driving by my home or church and testing the level of radiation present. I have come to the conclusion that they should. It will eliminate me as a possible terrorist or my affiliation to them.


16 posted on 12/29/2005 9:11:31 AM PST by jazusamo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Owl_Eagle; jmc813
Remember when Britain put up traffic cameras at intersections, for safety, of course?

Britain will be first country to monitor every car journey (Cameras Everywhere-Database Kept)

17 posted on 12/29/2005 9:12:27 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MineralMan
My civil rights aren't hindered AT THE MOMENT, so I don't care about anyone else's civil rights.

So you think its unacceptable for the US govt to monitor comm between an American and a known terrorist? You could read a bit more on history prior to the 8 yrs of Clinton to know that there is many examples of the executive branch allowing for the monitoring of communications.

18 posted on 12/29/2005 9:13:01 AM PST by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: lugsoul
If you don't want Hillary, or someone like her, to have unfettered surveillance capability, then you shouldn't be complacent about this President having it.

As one Freeper pointed out to me yesterday, we'll just change the laws once a Democrat is in office. Yeah, right.

19 posted on 12/29/2005 9:13:37 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: smith288

"So you think its unacceptable for the US govt to monitor comm between an American and a known terrorist? "

Nope. I think that's just fine. You haven't read much, have you. I used to work for the NSA. What you don't know is amazing.


20 posted on 12/29/2005 9:14:39 AM PST by MineralMan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: mosquitobite

As good a starting point as any.


21 posted on 12/29/2005 9:15:41 AM PST by cvq3842
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin
This will be remembered as the year in which mass surveillance became normal, even popular. Revelations about the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping rocked the civil liberties establishment, but the country as a whole didn't seem upset.

Only if the lie is perpetuated.

There isn't evidence of mass surveillance. There is evidence of compiling large amounts of data about patterns of international calls, but in those cases they didn't listen in on the conversation or even know who the call was made to, so it isn't surveillance.

The "domestic eavesdropping" is only on either foreigners or on people acting as agents of a foreign power. It has not been widespread. It has been targeted appropriately and done within the law.

This is definitely not an example of us trading our civil liberties for security. We haven't sacrificed our civil liberties. The media and politicians have sacrificed their integrity to make it sound as if we have.

22 posted on 12/29/2005 9:15:50 AM PST by untrained skeptic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo
yeah.... The question is .... do Americans have a civil right to make or receive calls from members of AlQueda in the middle east on the telephone without the government listening in? I'm with you... I'm not participating in AlQueda, and my home or church isn't going to glow in the dark.

The real answer though is that we quit following all of these people who are communicating with AlQueda and round them up instead. Our system gives them to much freedom. It requires that they do something illegal before we can round them up. Consorting with the enemy is illegal enough for me.

23 posted on 12/29/2005 9:16:23 AM PST by kjam22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Wolfie
When the PATRIOT Guards come collecting the guns, a lot of folks are gonna be very confused.

Only the ones who are presently confused and would sheepishly forfeit their liberties for some silly promise of security offered by notorious liars.

24 posted on 12/29/2005 9:16:53 AM PST by eskimo (Political groupies - rabid defenders of the indefensible.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin
Mr. Pinkerton cites Thomas Hobbes' The Leviathan as a corollary of today's circumstances. Yet many folks, instead of opting for stringer government decided to embark on a journey across the Atlantic, and voilà, a little over a century later fifty-six men signed off on the Declaration of Independence. Proving that acquiescence to the status quo is not the only option.
25 posted on 12/29/2005 9:17:01 AM PST by jla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wolfie

You think there might be a minor difference between puting up cameras (drag net) and monitoring the international phone calls of people with known terrorist ties?

Owl_Eagle

"You know, I'm going to start thanking
the woman who cleans the restroom in
the building I work in.  I'm going to start
thinking of her as a human being"

-Hillary Clinton
(Yes, she really said that
Peggy Noonan
The Case Against Hillary Clinton, pg 55)

26 posted on 12/29/2005 9:17:22 AM PST by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin
Extraordinary circumstances sometimes call for extraordinary measures.

But only for a finite period of time. That's the problem I see: government seems to be using this as an opportunity to lock in greater surveillance powers permanently.

27 posted on 12/29/2005 9:17:49 AM PST by B Knotts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mosquitobite

The so called American Government think's once elected they no longer answer to us!!


28 posted on 12/29/2005 9:18:40 AM PST by An American Opinionist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

If some civil liberties are gone, they are gone....at least with safety, there is a good chance, that nothing may happen.


29 posted on 12/29/2005 9:18:44 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: untrained skeptic
The tinfoilers here (and there are obviously tons...) can never answer directly when I post a simple "Do you personally know anyone who's rights have been violated by things like the Patriot Act?".

They can't, because they don't, because it just ain't happenin'...

30 posted on 12/29/2005 9:19:05 AM PST by ErnBatavia (I post in slang..live with it or ignore it - reader's choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

PING for Later (because I don't want to miss a single word from Jim Pinkerton, who I think is one of our underexposed, great conservative treasures!)(no...I am not him!)


31 posted on 12/29/2005 9:19:43 AM PST by LK44-40
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

Without security, there are no "civil liberties". And historically, societies have opted for security every time.


32 posted on 12/29/2005 9:19:53 AM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wolfie

No, a lot patriot guards are going to be dead.

I don't really care how much info the government collects on me, as long as the collection process doesn't interfere with my daily life, and they don't abuse the info after they've got it. Abuse it, and THEN it's time to go ballistic (literally). I think gun registries are and should be illegal, but to the extent info about guns is acquired during the course of info-gathering that has a legitimate purpose, I don't think that's necessarily a big problem. I WANT the government to know if some al-Qaeda operative has a stash of high powered firearms, and I WANT the government to show up at his door and take them (and him).


33 posted on 12/29/2005 9:21:01 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Owl_Eagle
You're right -- the article does make a number of very good points. I think the entire issue of personal liberty vs. government power can be summed up in the following two paragraphs from the article . . .

We like to think that we have made progress in the four centuries since, especially here in the United States. But we're up against a basic reality: As populations grow denser, and as technology improves, there's a natural need for more regulation to keep people's elbows, and machines, from banging into each other.

That's the reason why, for example, Wyoming is a more libertarian place than New York City. Out in the West, where miles might separate people, you can pretty much do what you want. But, if millions are going to live in close proximity to one another, then lots of red tape is going to thread itself around each resident, governing not only the obvious concerns, such as weapons and pollution, but matters such as noise abatement and cigarette smoking.

I have long believed that the U.S. Constitution is a unique document that could only have been written in a certain place (North America) and time (the post-Reformation colonial era), for it required a unique combination of two factors that didn't exist any other time and place in history and has become more difficult to find with each passing day. These are: 1) a social order based on Western culture and influenced heavily by a northern European, Anglo-Saxon civic/economic system; and 2) a sparsely-populated geographic region with a large frontier.

34 posted on 12/29/2005 9:21:01 AM PST by Alberta's Child (Said the night wind to the little lamb . . . "Do you see what I see?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: untrained skeptic

Agreed. What is the number of cases where US citizens have been involved. I have seen so many numbers, but the moonbats think its tens of thousands.


35 posted on 12/29/2005 9:23:14 AM PST by sgtyork (If Osamma calls someone in the US, should the NSA hang up?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: PzLdr

It's not an either/or question, where you pick all security and no civil liberties, or all civil liberties and no security. A reasonable balance needs to be maintained. Dead people have little use for civil liberties.


36 posted on 12/29/2005 9:23:18 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Owl_Eagle

What I'm saying is that monitoring communications will expand to everyone, everyhwere, just as Britain's traffic cameras have.


37 posted on 12/29/2005 9:23:18 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: PzLdr
And historically, what has happened to those countries? ;)
38 posted on 12/29/2005 9:23:43 AM PST by mosquitobite (As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: jmc813
Do you own firearms?

I own firearms.

I highly value my second ammendment right and support fighting to protect them.

I've read HR 3199 and I find no justification for the GOA's claims that it could be used to build a firearms database.

The ability of the government to collect sales records is very limited.

However, please feel free to show me that I'm wrong, but point me to the law or the bill, not to some site where someone makes broad accusations, because so far I've found that a lot of people seem to think it more important to fight the Patriot Act than to be honest.

39 posted on 12/29/2005 9:24:19 AM PST by untrained skeptic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ErnBatavia

""""The tinfoilers here (and there are obviously tons...) can never answer directly when I post a simple "Do you personally know anyone who's rights have been violated by things like the Patriot Act?".
They can't, because they don't, because it just ain't happenin'..."""

I doupt if anyone has, they would be at liberty to tell you about it.


40 posted on 12/29/2005 9:25:04 AM PST by commonerX (n)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

There are lessons of history to refer to. Lincoln violated many civil liberties during the civil war, they returned after the conflict. Wilson and Roosevelt did the same. Roosevelt incarcerated tens of thousands without justification, that didn't continue and now we are rightfully ashamed.


41 posted on 12/29/2005 9:25:07 AM PST by sgtyork (If Osamma calls someone in the US, should the NSA hang up?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Alberta's Child

That is one of the reasons I question our policy of bringing our democracy and way of life, to other nations.


42 posted on 12/29/2005 9:26:09 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: cvq3842
I always see this as not an "either/or" chioice, but a balance. We "give up" freedom by having laws in the first place, or by empowering police at all. We couldn't have a society at all with total anarchy. It's a question of how much liberty, how much security.

Common sense? What's that doing here? Don't you know that you can't make an arguement for anything unless you take your point to a bizarre absolute?

Most people seem to be stuck in one of two panic mode absolutes.

PANIC: FOR "If we don't let the government do whatever it wants to keep us safe, atomic weapons will start going off in major cities by Thursday."

and

PANIC: AGAINST "If we give up any rights at all, we'll become a police state. Wiretapping Al Qaida members in the U.S. is only a step away from death camps for anyone that disagrees with the State."

43 posted on 12/29/2005 9:29:25 AM PST by Steel Wolf (If the Founders had wanted the President to be spying on our phone calls, they would have said so!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin
The number one freedom, civil liberty if you will, is life. If, by getting wiretaps on suspected terrorists and acquaintances of terrorists, officials save my life, how is that infringing on my civil liberties?
44 posted on 12/29/2005 9:29:42 AM PST by brothers4thID ("Kerry demands that Iraqis terrorize children in the dead of night")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wolfie

See, I disagree.  We're not like the British.  They have a history of being pushed around by their kings and lords.  That's not our history and I doubt we'd stand for something like that. 

Look at the anger people have over the traffic light cameras (to catch those who run red lights) here.

They installed those in super blue, uber liberal Philadelphia and there's enough public outcry that I think they may remove them.  You try hooking that up to a monitoring data base, and you'll have every politico in support of it looking for a real job next election cycle.

Owl_Eagle

"You know, I'm going to start thanking
the woman who cleans the restroom in
the building I work in.  I'm going to start
thinking of her as a human being"

-Hillary Clinton
(Yes, she really said that
Peggy Noonan
The Case Against Hillary Clinton, pg 55)

45 posted on 12/29/2005 9:30:04 AM PST by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Owl_Eagle

Here's hoping you're right and I'm wrong.


46 posted on 12/29/2005 9:31:22 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: mtbopfuyn

I was thinking the same thing. No one would find my calls all that interesting. LOL


47 posted on 12/29/2005 9:31:26 AM PST by tioga (Happy New Year!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: sgtyork

I think nowadays, it will be harder and harder to get anything turned back to the way it was before 9/11. I will still rather take my chances on safety and secutity, and keep my liberties as an American.


48 posted on 12/29/2005 9:31:34 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Nicholas Conradin

Nobody seems to have any qualms about the IRS knowing how much money you make.


49 posted on 12/29/2005 9:37:04 AM PST by Sybeck1 (The Washington Redskins- the Cinderella team of 2005)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-229 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson