2006-01-26 / Letters to the Editor

Trading liberty for security

Dialogue is a great thing, and I was delighted to see a response to my letter, “What kind of a nation do we want?” There is no point debating the writer’s criticisms because I suspect he is pretty inflexible in his views, and it would not be constructive. I would, however, offer some observations and opinions.

Rest assured, a student taking a course on the Constitution who states “There are no unreasonable searches and seizures” is in dire need of summer school.

But consider the following statements:

• “Let the president spy!”

• “Suspected terrorists should be detained until evidence proves otherwise.”

• “There are factors that justify the U.S. refusal to participate in the International Court for War Crimes.”

• “Constitutional rights should not take precedent over threats to national security.”

Frankly, a student who expressed these sentiments would not benefit from summer school, and said student should repeat the entire course on the Constitution.

The critic suggested it might be appropriate for me to move to Canada, but I prefer to stay and defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights from the naive attacks of those willing to surrender freedom earned by the millions who sacrificed their lives fighting to wrest individual rights from despots.

I do not believe my critic has the right to casually surrender and disregard the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The millions, who died in the evolutionary struggle against power hungry tyrants for individual rights, moan from their graves at those who casually suggest surrendering these blood soaked rights.

Remember Ben Franklin, who so eloquently said: “Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither.”

Then again, what did that old fool know about freedom and rights?

Joseph Clifford

Jamestown

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