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Talk Back: States, Citizens, and Security

Photo courtesy of cjdavis/Flickr


The line between security and liberty is at the forefront of both of today’s heated issues (T.S.A. security and the law just passed by Obama). We will likely get more information on what Obama signed tomorrow, but for now I want to leave readers with a link to the actual body of H.R. 1540.

My take on both of these issues is we need a new set of guidelines for dealing with terrorism. We need to be able to label someone an “enemy combatant” while ensuring that the labeling process doesn’t over-ride our liberties. A lot of our problems arise when we apply state vs. state conflict tactics to state vs. individual (or group) conflicts.

One of the solutions proposed on air is the “letters of Marque” tactic that Jefferson used. I feel that this will only allow private individuals and private armies to commit heinous crimes for which the U.S. will be held responsible.

Another proposal was to “unleash the C.I.A.”  This sounds fine when the C.I.A. is dealing with someone in Afghanistan, but what about when they are looking into an individual in the U.S.? I personally feel that this tactic will cross even more lines of personal freedom with the added injury that most people won’t even know that their rights are being taken.

As far as the T.S.A. goes, I feel that there must be a standardized approach to screenings across all the private airlines. In other words, I think the T.S.A. has to exist, at least until a transition can be made between the old world and the new. The airlines could not have afforded to by all the equipment to make the security switch without even more of them facing bankruptcy. The tough part is how to standardize the process without using racial profiling (maybe you think we should) or assaulting everyone’s liberties. Any suggestions?

So what do you think? Did Obama cross the line with H.R. 1540? Has the T.S.A. gone too far? Would you trust the C.I.A. more than the T.S.A.? Let’s hear what you have to say!


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