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-   -   If I were a terrorist... (http://archives2.twoplustwo.com/showthread.php?t=399661)

coffeecrazy1 12-16-2005 01:33 PM

If I were a terrorist...
 
Would I like the Patriot Act, or dislike it?

I honestly don't know, because, on the one hand, I suppose the PA does make it harder for terrorists to harm Americans on our soil.

But...at the same time, it also successfully alters the American way of life, shifting us more toward a less free, authoritarian state.

So, which is it? [img]/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

BCPVP 12-16-2005 01:34 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
But...at the same time, it also successfully alters the American way of life, shifting us more toward a less free, authoritarian state.

[/ QUOTE ]
Islamic terrorists aren't looking for just any ole authoritarian state.

tylerdurden 12-16-2005 01:40 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
Islamic terrorists aren't looking for just any ole authoritarian state.

[/ QUOTE ]

Exactly. A lot of people have problems with particular authoritarian states, not because they oppose authoritarianism in principle, but because *they* aren't the ones in charge of the particular state they have a problem with.

12-16-2005 02:02 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
... I would hate it, because it makes it harder to kill Americans.

The federal government should be doing everything possible domestically to prevent terrorism, including adopting the following: absolutely secure borders, denial of entry visas to citizens of certain countries, racial/religious profiling, domestic wiretapping and other surveillance, infiltration of Islamic religious groups, national ID card, no-fly lists, extraordinary renditions of terror suspects, etc.

The liberal/civil libertarian Chicken Littles are irrelevant. Without security, there can be no liberty. We should have avoided this Iraq quagmire, and spent the $350B on domestic security initiatives.

tolbiny 12-16-2005 02:08 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
"I would hate it, because it makes it harder to kill Americans."

Eitehr the terrorists are imcompetant or killing americans isn't really their primary goal. Getting people into this country isn't that hard, and killing people isn't that hard. They don't do the second very often.
Why is that?

theweatherman 12-16-2005 02:19 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
Without security, there can be no liberty.

[/ QUOTE ]

Haha, if only there was a quote out there, maybe by a founding father, that goes against this ridiculous idea. . .

oh wait, got one:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
~Ben Franklin

Thanks Ben, your wisdom rings true then and now. I'm so glad you can make these enemies of liberty (aptly named as a despot) look stupid with their silly tyrannical ideas.

12-16-2005 02:27 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
Getting people into this country isn't that hard, and killing people isn't that hard. They don't do the second very often. Why is that?

[/ QUOTE ]

1. It is widely believed that the Al Qaeda network has been disrupted. Part of this is due to international efforts (Afghanistan, international intelligence gathering, etc.) However, they have also been domestically disrupted. You tend not to hear a lot about the latter, because of the general practice of law enforcement to not comment about ongoing investigations and/or sources & uses of intelligence. However, some reports have been published, e.g. Oregon training camps, Lackawanna group, etc. Additionally, the relationship between international and domestic intelligence gathering blurs--for example, the Times article noted that the NSA wiretaps of international calls accelerated after Abu Zubayda was captured in Pakistan, and his computer showed contacts with persons in the united states.

2. Al Qaeda has historically shown a preference for "large" demonstrations of terror--e.g., WTC1, WTC2, Bojinka plot, African embassies, etc. It took them 8 years to get from WTC1 to WTC2. These operations can take a while. Just because we havent seen a major act of domestic terrorism in the country since 9/11 doesnt mean the threat isnt real.

You civil libertarians hate this stuff, and as a small government conservative, Im a bit leery as well. But im a pragmatist, and I recognize that without security there can be no liberty. As of today, young muslim males are more likely to be terrorists than any other group. Is it unfortunate that we may infringe on some patriotic muslims in this country? Yes. Do I have a problem with doing so if it would greatly increase the likelihood that we coudl prevent another 9/11 attach? No.

Easy to say as a non-Muslim, perhaps, but c'est la vie. The Europeans have a much greater problem with their domestic muslims, because the horse is already out of the barn--they're in legally, bringing in their extended families, and reproducing at a higher birthrate than non-Muslims. The United States should view the muslim population with suspicion, and avoid the European road to ruin. Patriot Act helps us keep tabs on these people.

theweatherman 12-16-2005 02:32 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
Easy to say as a non-Muslim, perhaps, but c'est la vie. The Europeans have a much greater problem with their domestic muslims, because the horse is already out of the barn--they're in legally, bringing in their extended families, and reproducing at a higher birthrate than non-Muslims. The United States should view the muslim population with suspicion, and avoid the European road to ruin. Patriot Act helps us keep tabs on these people.

[/ QUOTE ]

Good God what the hell are you talking about? Under no circumstances should America keep tabs on any of its citizens unless they are being investigated under due process fo the law. Anythign else would go against the very fundementals of our national ideals.

Americans should never, ever surrender our hard fought for freedom in order to feel safe. As a free nation we face risks, but this is the price of liberty. Your line of thinking leads down a very short path to tyranny. I wont just sit around and wait for you to take us there.

tolbiny 12-16-2005 02:36 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
"2. Al Qaeda has historically shown a preference for "large" demonstrations of terror"

This is exactly my point- killing americans isn't the primary goal, it is simply an effective way of getting mass publicity.

sam h 12-16-2005 02:43 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
However, they have also been domestically disrupted. You tend not to hear a lot about the latter, because of the general practice of law enforcement to not comment about ongoing investigations and/or sources & uses of intelligence. However, some reports have been published, e.g. Oregon training camps, Lackawanna group, etc.

[/ QUOTE ]

But would you agree that from the very scant amount we know about domestic enforcement of Al Qaeda activities, is is impossible to ascertain (a) the degree to which the group's activities in the US indeed have been "disrupted" overall and (b) the degree to which the provisions of the Patriot Act has done anything to help?

I don't think the public can get past pure speculation on this one, because we are not privy to inside information.

12-16-2005 02:44 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
"2. Al Qaeda has historically shown a preference for "large" demonstrations of terror"

This is exactly my point- killing americans isn't the primary goal, it is simply an effective way of getting mass publicity.

[/ QUOTE ]

I dont see your point at all. To the extent that the Patriot Act disrupts networks and cells, and helps law enforcement and intelligence prevent more large-scale terrorist acts, this is a goal we should applaud. If Patriot Act serves this goal--and that is the central point up for debate--we should continue to support it.

theweatherman 12-16-2005 02:49 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
"2. Al Qaeda has historically shown a preference for "large" demonstrations of terror"

This is exactly my point- killing americans isn't the primary goal, it is simply an effective way of getting mass publicity.

[/ QUOTE ]

I dont see your point at all. To the extent that the Patriot Act disrupts networks and cells, and helps law enforcement and intelligence prevent more large-scale terrorist acts, this is a goal we should applaud. If Patriot Act serves this goal--and that is the central point up for debate--we should continue to support it.

[/ QUOTE ]

My father has been a NYS trooper for 25 years, and scary as it is he has told me that there are guys he "knows" are gulity, but that they dont have the evidence to arrest. He told me thet the patriot act helps remedy this obvious "flaw" in the due process system.

Its ridiculous, Unconstitutional, and should be abhorred by anyone who truely believes in democracy, but the Patriot act has no doubt taken criminals off the streets. (Plus a number of innocents, but people like Despot seem to think that it is ok so long as itisnt them.)

BTW despot, I thought of a great way to keep Al Qeada from killing any more americans ever, WE should kill all the Americans first!! Terrorism drops to zero and we win the war. Booyah!

Why aren'tyou aplauding my ridiculous idea to stop terrorism, but you will the patriot act?

12-16-2005 02:54 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
Under no circumstances should America keep tabs on any of its citizens unless they are being investigated under due process fo the law. Anythign else would go against the very fundementals of our national ideals.

[/ QUOTE ]

First off, a couple of things. There is a material difference in my mind between citizens, and legal residents, and illegals.

Illegals from suspect (read: Islamic) countries should be deported. Well, first we should turn their prints over to Egyptian/Jordanian/Saudi intelligence, and see if they come back hot--if so, we send them to Gitmo for a talk. But if they come back negative, we should ship em home.

Second, legal residency can be revoked. If any of these guys are remotely involved or supportive of terrorism, they should be deported also. It is unacceptable for the US to become a safe haven like London has become, for imams preaching hate and anti-western calls to jihad. Omar Rahman should never have been allowed to stay in this country--we should have sent his bearded ass back to Cairo.

Now as for citizens, I hate to say it, but muslims fall into two groups here. There are the American born and educated muslims, who should presumptively be given a pass on loyalty just like you or I would. I have little reason to suspect a domestic fifth column, so I agree we need to be careful about having government oversee these guys.

There is a second group of citizen, namely naturalized citizens. For these guys, I think a little background work is in order. Born in Pakistan, lived there until age 20, then moved here and finally got naturalized? Hmm... used to go to summer camp in Afghanistan? Time for a visit from the FBI.

Granted lots of these guys will be law abiding, tax paying guys who are just trying to make their way here, and I got no problem with them. We should definitely try to respect their rights as much as possible.

But we've got some naturalized American muslims in this country who hate the country. Those guys need to go. Surveil them. Tap their phones. If they spit on the sidewalk, send their ass back to Egypt.

12-16-2005 02:56 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
I am much more scared of my gov't taking my freedom away than a few teraists.

theweatherman 12-16-2005 03:06 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
You keep repeating things like, "i hate to say this" etc. Thats because your post is full of flagrant racism.

This may suprize you, but there have been a number of waves of immigrants to this country (there is a good chance that you come from an immigrant line, i most certainly do)

Everytime there is a wave of immigrants, there are people who filp out about the end of the world caused by the evil Irish/Italian/black/arab/ people destroying our country. So far it has yet to happen.

Obviously this is slightly different because there is a numbe rof people who are pissed off at America (for what may be good reasons, but thats another thread)

Illegal Arab immigrants should be dealt with in the same way as any other illegal in our nation. To suggest they be treated any differently is outright racist and dumb. I hope every one of the people you hope to treat like this sue the government until we are broke.

Citizens, native born or naturalized, are granted full rights and protection by the Constitution. Assuch they should not be subject to anything outside of due process. Regardless of their skin color, or the fact that they happen to be from a predomiantly Arab or Muslim nation. Again see the quote i posted earlier in the thread.

Ben Franklin is right, compromising our national ideals by falling into thetrap of "security" means we have already lost. Whats thepoint of America if it is going to be like every other tyrannical state in history? There is none.

When the terrorists make us destroy our own nation from within they win big time.

FYI, you realize that the term Muslim is a religious denomination, not a nationality. Hence you cant deport Muslims anywhere, you can deport Arabs to their nation of citizenship.

12-16-2005 03:30 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
(there is a good chance that you come from an immigrant line, i most certainly do)

[/ QUOTE ]

I am first-generation ethnic immigrant.

[ QUOTE ]
Everytime there is a wave of immigrants, there are people who filp out about the end of the world caused by the evil Irish/Italian/black/arab/ people destroying our country. So far it has yet to happen.

[/ QUOTE ]

Historically, anti-immigrant sentiment has related to issues like jobs, intermarriage, etc. This is not the basis of my concern. My concern is narrowly limited to keeping out terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. While religious belief/nationality is an imperfect proxy for this, it is nevertheless a proxy (albeit one with an imperfect correlation). My anti-immigration views are anti-terrorist views, and religion/nationality is only the proxy I use to measure for terrorism.

[ QUOTE ]
Illegal Arab immigrants should be dealt with in the same way as any other illegal in our nation. To suggest they be treated any differently is outright racist and dumb.

[/ QUOTE ]

While I agree in theory with your statement, the fact is that resources are limited, and it should not be a national security priority to expel every illegal Mexican, Chinese, or Central American--until those groups start blowing up buildings. Muslims/Saudis/Pakistanis/etc. however, have shown a propensity to terrorism, thus expelling these illegals should be first priority. That is all I am saying.

[ QUOTE ]
I hope every one of the people you hope to treat like this sue the government until we are broke.

[/ QUOTE ]

Nice implicit self-hating Americanism, I see. Typical.

[ QUOTE ]
Citizens, native born or naturalized, are granted full rights and protection by the Constitution. Assuch they should not be subject to anything outside of due process.

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree with this, within limits. Naturalized citizens, in fact, do not have the same guarantees as native born citizens. Naturalized citizenship can be, and has been (rarely), revoked. For example, former Nazis have had their naturalized citizenship stripped.

That said, I generally agree with you that we should be careful not to single out groups of citizens for special treatment, as we begin to run into problems. This is why I favor solutions like National ID. Let the government observe all of us--then based on statistical profiling (which is, by the way, extremely good at flagging certain terrorists), the government should dig deeper on certain citizens. At that point, religion/pre-naturalization nationality should be considered a "plus factor".

[ QUOTE ]
Regardless of their skin color, or the fact that they happen to be from a predomiantly Arab or Muslim nation.

[/ QUOTE ]

Unfortunately, profiling works. Soccer moms didnt hujack the planes. Young Arab/Pakistani males did.

[ QUOTE ]
Whats thepoint of America if it is going to be like every other tyrannical state in history?

[/ QUOTE ]

This is a slippery slope argument at its worst. Just because certain "liberties" get curtailed doesnt mean we become one giant gulag. The fourth amendment has developed plenty of exceptions to the search warrant/probable cause requirements--for example at national borders. Random drunk driving stops. Checks at the airport.

Look at a country like Israel. Undoubtedly "democratic" and "free" in the way you and I both agree on the term. But I promise you that if an Arab tries to fly on El Al, he gets extra scrutiny. Why? Because El Al security knows that profiling works--since the Hassidic jews dont happen to be hijacking too many planes.

The reality is that we CAN make all sorts of sensible changes that wont, as you so dramatically put it, "let the terrorists win." We will have to make many changes to our society to become safer. 40 years ago, airplane passengers were routinely permitted to board the cabin with rifles & shotguns, which they left in the cockpit during the flight. We no longer do this.

If you go to a major sporting event, there is a good chance you will pass through a metal detector and subject yourelf to a pat-down. The social security number, which was originally introduced with express limitations about how it was not to be a "national ID", has become the de-facto national ID in this country since without it you cant get credit, get insurance, get a loan, open a bank account, etc.

We've made all of these changes but our country today is as free as ever. Why? Because the cornerstones of liberty aren't found in the details. They are found in the free press, the independent judiciary, the balance of powers, the electoral process, etc.

Singling out a few higher profile Americans for some extra scrutiny won't turn is into an Orwellian nightmare by any means.

[ QUOTE ]
FYI, you realize that the term Muslim is a religious denomination, not a nationality. Hence you cant deport Muslims anywhere, you can deport Arabs to their nation of citizenship.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes obviously. And I recognize that the set of muslims is not coextensive with the set of arabs. Muslim is the overall risk factor--and within that group are arabs, pakistanis, indonesians, etc. Ideally we would screen for religion, but since we can't do that perfectly, nationality is the proxy. We need to re-inject ethnicity also to deal with situations like naturalized British/German/French muslims.

12-16-2005 03:37 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
WE should kill all the Americans first!! Terrorism drops to zero and we win the war. Booyah!

Why aren'tyou aplauding my ridiculous idea to stop terrorism, but you will the patriot act?

[/ QUOTE ]

Because my goal is to prevent Americans from being killed, not stopping terrorism for its own sake. I couldn't give a damn about, for example, terrorists in Chechnya except to the extent that it harms american interests. Your (joke) solution would harm Americans.

PoBoy321 12-16-2005 05:18 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]

Historically, anti-immigrant sentiment has related to issues like jobs, intermarriage, etc.

[/ QUOTE ]

Not true. There was a huge fear of an influx of communists and anarchists coming over and destroying America in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Exsubmariner 12-16-2005 07:11 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
It's one of those problems which determines whether a civilization lives or dies. That's what it is.

X

mackthefork 12-18-2005 01:04 PM

Re: If I were a terrorist...
 
[ QUOTE ]
"I would hate it, because it makes it harder to kill Americans."

Eitehr the terrorists are imcompetant or killing americans isn't really their primary goal. Getting people into this country isn't that hard, and killing people isn't that hard. They don't do the second very often.
Why is that?

[/ QUOTE ]

They don't want you to get used to it, that would dull the pain when it happens, shock and fear and surprise are the goals as much as death.

Mack

Felix_Nietsche 12-18-2005 01:15 PM

Can You..................?
 
Can you name one specific example in which the Patriot Act has altered your life?

12-18-2005 01:47 PM

Re: Can You..................?
 
[ QUOTE ]
Can you name one specific example in which the Patriot Act has altered your life?

[/ QUOTE ]

Banning guns would alter my life not one bit, by I still don't want to do it. I guess you can say it may indirectly affect it somehow, but that doesn't really matter. Not every single liberty is important to (in that it affects them) every individual, but a lot of people still want them for liberty's sake. If midgets weren't allowed to vote if probably wouldn't affect 99% of people.

12-18-2005 01:58 PM

Re: Can You..................?
 
[ QUOTE ]
Can you name one specific example in which the Patriot Act has altered your life?

[/ QUOTE ]
Yes, I used to work for a very lefty, progressive lobby. We had to constantly change our meeting places at the last minute because we knew it was legal for our government to spy on us and we thought it a high likelyhood that they were. We simply didn't feel safe to question and rebel against our government, no matter how legal our actions. That feeling is pretty darn unAmerican in my mind. If the Patriot Act instills this kind of fear among civilians seeking change, it's gotta be bad.

InchoateHand 12-18-2005 02:49 PM

Re: Can You..................?
 
Mrs.NPA

You are good people.

DespotInExile...your moniker fits. I am much more frightened of people like you than of your "imperfect proxy" in Muslims.

"Christians" will be the death of America. They are a doing a good job so far.

12-18-2005 03:09 PM

Re: Can You..................?
 
[ QUOTE ]
"Christians" will be the death of America.

[/ QUOTE ]

This is very disturbing that you think this. I dare not ask that you elaborate.


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