You Can’t Have It Both Ways
Reading your recent editorial in Government Security (“Patriot Act and Beyond,” November 2003), I had the same reaction that always accompanies the pronouncement that civil liberties are being threatened in the name of security.
You can’t have it both ways. Either you band together, give up your individual rights in the name of a nation-state for protection, or you walk alone, untethered by laws at the peril of a hostile world.
This simple principle goes back beyond even John Stuart Mills. But we both know that the cry from the crowd is “just leave me alone” until the towers are hit and then it’s “why didn’t you do something.”
Can you imagine the court ruling if the airport security at Logan Airport [had] “profiled” young Arabic men who were only carrying simple tools like box cutters?
And we know that the next time tragedy strikes, the same cries will want more security — and ask why we let it happen.
We welcome your comments and opinions. Please send your comments and letters to editor Larry Anderson at [email protected]