In this modern day, in a country as strong as the United States is, one would have to argue that the greatest threat our country faces is
Our economy grows annually, our military strengthens daily, and our technology advances exponentially at a rate that one cannot calculate. However, as
the attacks of 9/11 have proven, our economy, which is our very core, can
be derailed by shaking our confidence. This effects both our military
and our technological growth.
I further believe that the average American feels helpless, and defenseless against modern enemies; That these same Americans would trade some basic
privacy for security, and most of all, the stability that comes with it.
My opponent would have you believe that by trading your privacy, (be it e-mail, telephone calls, or any other electronic communication) we are safer
in our lives today. He would also want you to believe that the government is not interested in whether you cheated, lied or partook in herbal
medicine, and TPTB are only trolling for terrorists!
I disagree, and will show you, the reader, that there is much
to fear in this trend to monitor all citizens, and that our current methods of
enforcement should be enough to handle the threats that we face today.
We will start with the case that my opponent has kindly pointed out; Lyman Faris.
Lyman Faris was under suspicion already because of Testimony from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He was targeted, in a manner in which normal warrants would
have sufficed. After FBI agents intercepted ONE call, they moved in on this terrorist. They then used him for MULTIPLE calls in order to gain
information on other terrorists. This was a man who went multiple times into unfriendly countries, who could have been detained many different times.
They actually could have followed the law and just gained a warrant to tap his lines after his name was provided by a prisoner.
So no, telepathy is not needed. This was a case of overemphasizing the actual good that this program provided in this case.
There exist already, a number of laws and programs that serve to protect us domestically. Restrictions on explosives, weapons, ammo, rentals, and
money transfers require Photo I.D., which is a method that has proven effective for decades. There are also many awareness programs that serve to make
the common citizen pay attention to things that are out of the ordinary... and to report what might be suspicious activity.
Now that we have seen that the gov't is willing to over state the gains of said programs, I ask you this;
Is it fair to hazard a guess that if the government decided that for any reason an activity was "terrorism", they could cast a wide net and justify
it with a few arrests? THat any activity can be labeled as subversive by a government that can easily detain it's loudest protesters? This is what
happened in Saddam Husseins regime.
Even in this country, we have 9/11 Truthers equated with
! I would argue that this kind of power cannot be handed to any one group, especially if we want to keep our democracy intact! The
ability to abuse this system is beyond measure, as our history with J. Edgar Hoover should attest.
My opponent would argue that the average person is not being surveilled, yet the power for this to happen is in the hands of those that also decide
their own restraint! This is NOT the mark of a free country!
The laws that are on the books today, can and should protect against domestic attacks, when followed properly. Until this can be done, I see no need
to sign over more power.
To answer my opponents questions;
question 1- What qualifies as an infingement upon your privacy.
This is a rather broad question, but one that I will answer simply.
An Invasion of my privacy is when I am being observed, or monitored, when I am under the illusion that I am not.
question 2- If the government is disallowed to continue with this strategy what means of obtaining the information do you suggest.
I suggest we continue to use the same police methods that have been used for years, while also using all
methods possible overseas.
question 3- How many people have to die because your afraid of having your privacy invaded before you say "enough is enough life is more valuable
than petty privacy encroachments tantemount to nothing when you look at the scale at which the information is distributed (which is virtually non
I guess that we will differ greatly on what one might consider to be "petty". I don't feel like my private correspondence is a "petty" matter.
As for how many have to die? Well, if there were many attacks in a row, and we could not find the attackers to destroy them, then I believe that
personal privacy will not be an issue. See my opening statement.
However, this is not about multiple attacks. In order to have caught the 9/11 terrorists, they would have had to troll EVERY line in this country for
months. Would I have considered that a fair trade? I guess not when I consider the many gaps that these men slipped through on the way to their
attack. Normal police work, and laws at that date, would have stopped those men had procedure been followed. (at least some of them)
There was one attack. And seeing as I would die for the personal freedom I have now, I guess that the number is higher than three thousand, but less
Socratic Question for my Opponent;
1. Seeing the nature of this site, is it really all that far fetched to say that trust in government prevents many (rightfully so) from embracing
these new tactics?