DEBATE: Civil Liberties vs. Security

Posted: September 5, 2008 in Uncategorized

This report from has added a few really great ideas to get the solution tank stirring.

“The key to understanding this situation … is that it isn’t necessarily a trade-off as most people assume,” Rowley said.

“The key to both improving security as well as civil liberties is accuracy. Judiciousness improves accuracy. For instance, it doesn’t help to bomb the village in Afghanistan a couple days ago if the village is mostly children (60 were killed) and our allies.

“It doesn’t help to confiscate journalists’ cameras or even citizen journalists’ or tourists’ cameras if the cameras are not a clever way of concealing a weapon,” Rowley continued. “All you do when you overreact is square the error and make it worse for maintaining security and civil liberties objectives, ” said Coleen Rowley, former FBI trainer and RNC protest marcher.

Coleen Rowley appreciates the delicate balance between ensuring public safety and protecting civil liberties, especially at flashpoint events like a political convention and demonstrations.

Rowley was a longtime FBI agent and lawyer who trained agents on search-and-seizure laws as well as First and Fourth amendment rights, the ones guaranteeing free speech and assembly, and protection against unreasonable searches. Now retired, she will be among the throngs of folks marching and taking part in other RNC-related civilian activities.

Read Ruben Rosario’s complete story here.


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