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Although America strives to protect its citizens' civil liberties, it must not sacrifice its protection. Following the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks, President Bush directed that civilians be carefully watched to ensure that no one was working with the terrorists (Doherty). The American government is tasked with protecting its people from possible danger through its governmental agendas, military intervention, and diplomacy (Strossen 73). This article addresses America's options for upholding civil liberties and national security.
Civil liberties should be preceded with strict vigilance, and the country should not be turned into anarchy with utter chaos (Saward 214). Civil rights violation may, however, be evidenced by the public display of all information gotten by the National Security Service which hence is infringing on people’s rights (Waxman 377). America can establish policies that foster harmony between civil liberty and national security by involving its citizens in maintaining personal security. The nation’s security needs to come first because it offers the excellent platform for personal liberty.
Indeed, national security and civil liberty could be mutually exclusive depending on the situation within the country. While indeed the constitution safeguards the personal rights, certain thresholds must be met to maintain it (Michaelsen 1). Communication among the citizens should hence be closely monitored regularly to ensure that there are no planned attacks against the state (Bronitt 65). In a report files by pew research, about 55% of the citizens support close surveillance on the government while 35% consider it an infringement on personal rights (Doherty). The majority, however, feel that following the 9/11 incidence, there is a need for the government to enlist strict measures to ensure that the citizens are safe.
In conclusion, personal liberty and national security should work in harmony. In instances where the country has a constant threat, there is a need to restrict the freedom of the citizens. The citizens need to understand that their freedom has its limits and they also have a responsibility of safeguarding peace in their nation. National security should always come first, and it should never be compromised for personal freedom.
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Bronitt, Simon. "Chapter Five Balancing Security and Liberty: Critical Perspectives on Terrorism Law Reform." Fresh Perspectiveson the ‘War on Terror’ (2008): 65.
Doherty, Carroll. "Balancing Act: National Security And Civil Liberties In Post-9/11 Era." Pew Research Center, 2013, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/07/balancing-act-national-security-and-civil-liberties-in-post-911-era/.
Larkin, Paul. "How Must America Balance Security And Liberty." The Heritage Foundation, 2011, http://www.heritage.org/homeland-security/report/how-must-america-balance-security-and-liberty.
Michaelsen, Christopher. "Balancing Civil Liberties against National Security-A Critique of Counterterrorism Rhetoric." UNSWLJ 29 (2006): 1.
Saward, Michael. "The State and civil liberties in the post 9-11 world." Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 212-230.
Strossen, Nadine. "Safety and freedom: Common concerns for conservatives, libertarians, and civil libertarians." Harv. JL & Pub. Pol'y 29 (2005): 73.
Waxman, Matthew C. "Police and national security: American local law enforcement and counterterrorism after 9/11." J. Nat'l Sec. L. & Pol'y 3 (2009): 377.
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