This article asks which normative framework should be applied in determining whether privacy is unduly diminished in the American quest for enhanced protection against terrorist attacks; which specific criteria should be employed in determining whether the balance has tilted too far toward enhancing security or protecting privacy; and which measures can be taken to reduce the inevitable conflict between security and privacy. It also seeks to show that enhanced transparency is inferior to enhanced accountability, although there is some room for adding more of both kinds of scrutiny.
As Syria descends into civil war, the international community again finds itself debating intervention: an idea that is at odds with the Westphalian norm of sovereignty. While the United States and Europe have shown themselves willing to intervene with force to prevent humanitarian crises and nuclear proliferation, China has largely opposed such measures. Can China be convinced to support the West’s proposed changes to the world order, or will it cling to the traditional Westphalian norm?
Here we go again, jerking the steering wheel to the left after we oversteered to the right (in an effort to correct a left bias), vainly seeking a reasonable, middle road between the pull of public safety and that of individual rights. The events of 9/11 led Congress to enact the USA Patriot Act, granting enormous new powers to law enforcement agencies. Now, we are once more trying to correct the overcorrection with little hope of striking the right balance. (Just wait for the next terrorist attack to witness additional overreactions.)
It is no accident that the issue of gun sweeps in Chicago’s public housing recently caught the attention of the president of the United States and the national press. The question of the legitimacy of those sweeps has profound implications for the future of civility in American society.
While Washington sweats out the crime bill, communities from coast to coast are experimenting successfully with various antiviolence measures.
Nobody calls it “group searches,” not to mention “the search and seizure of the innocents,” although both terms would capture an important trend in our courts’ interpretations of the Fourth Amendment. In fact, many observers still cite what is held to be the prevailing interpretation of the Fourth Amendment: that no one is subject to search and seizure unless there is “probable cause” that the particular person has committed a crime, is committing one or appears predisposed to commit one (say, carries a bomb).
Recently, an FBI employee was severely reprimanded for using an FBI car to transport a civilian. He had spotted his son, stranded in the family’s broken-down car alongside the highway and had given him a lift to school – seven blocks out of his way.
Defense analysts have long understood the need to keep careful watch over the defense industry and the role it plays in shaping our military policy. Yet few people seem to have noticed the disturbing way that many defense contractors are encouraging the Government to neglect preparations for conventional war and thus rely increasingly on nuclear weapons.
I do not know who started it, but in 1972 the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a lengthy inquiry into my past. Someone had charged that "Etzioni had made statements critical of the United States' foreign policy, that he had defended the position of Red China and the Soviet Union, and had made unwarranted accusations against the military and intelligence organizations of the United States."
Not many outsiders know about the small, sprited band of optimists-called Team A- that the Defense Department keeps hidden away inside the Pentagon.