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National Security vs. Individual Rights

H

HTColeman

Here is another past debate topic...

When the United States is engaged in military conflict, the demands of national security ought to supercede conflicting claims of individual rights.

Military conflict: not limited to war, any time the military is involved in some sort of conflict, involving the U.S. or not

Things to note:

Only applies WHEN IN MILITARY CONFLICT

Which is more important, in situations when you have to decide, national security or your rights, such as privacy.
 

surftide

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I am currently debating this topic in Kormatzu vs. The United states of amaricia, so tell me; pro's and cons of valuing individual rights vs. National security. Please.
 
H

HTColeman

surftide said:
I am currently debating this topic in Kormatzu vs. The United states of amaricia, so tell me; pro's and cons of valuing individual rights vs. National security. Please.
IMHO

Individual Rights:

Obviously it is one of the founding principles of this country. So in violating an individual's rights you are violating those principles. Also, if the issue of national security comes up, you are trying to protect the individual people's rights. How can you claim to protect rights from those who would violate them by violating them yourself? In the case of Korematsu, those Japanese were also American. And they claimed they needed to protect against espionage, but what are they protecting against espionage? American rights, which they violated. They violated their due process rights, they violated their right to liberty.

Also, on the extreme side, one could argue a possible slippery slope idea. As the gov't violates one right, it becomes easier to violate other rights. Our right are our only check on the government. For example, the gov't takes away privacy rights, and while tapping your telephone, they hear you bad mouthing the government. In a time of heightened war and caution, this could be percieved as probable cause to arrest. (this is possible, they believed being Japanese American was probable cause) Lets go further and say they caught a terrorist by violating privacy laws, then they see that it has good effects, so there is a widespread violation of privacy. Now everyone is afraid to speak against the gov't, and our voice is our check against government actions. And as we all know, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

National Security:
The easiest refute of the above, is if you aren't alive, you can't practice your rights. As National Security is meant to provide the general welfare, it outweighs individual rights. There is no reason to believe that the American gov't would violate rights without a proper cause (though you could compare other gov'ts like Stalin Administration). In Korematsu, even though some peoples rights were violated, it was in the interest of the greater good. In this idea, since the U.S. suffered no attacks other than Pearl Harbor, the ends justified the means. Sometimes you simply cannot do things the conventional way and attain the desired results.

Also, by not providing National Security, the nation becomes fearful and paranoid of what might come. The country is vulnerable and fear prevents people from practicing their rights to the fullest. One cannot live a complete life while in fear. So, from this viewpoint, valueing individual rights is useless because people are to afraid, or dead, to practice those rights.


So, in the end, you really have to ask yourself does the means justify the end, or does the end justify the means? If you violate ind. rights to attain national security, is the security corrupt because went to attain it by corrupt means. Or is the violation of rights o.k. because national security was achived and that is good.

P.S.: I would do some research on whether or not the internment camps for Japanese were even effective.
 

mike49

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surftide said:
I am currently debating this topic in Kormatzu vs. The United states of amaricia, so tell me; pro's and cons of valuing individual rights vs. National security. Please.
What exactly are you debating in Korematsu v. U.S.?

Personally I agree with the dissent by Justice Jackson in that case.

I don't think anyone, today, agrees with the decision in that case.
 

XShipRider

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I'll go with the Bill of Rights. The Patriot Act is a misnomer (and I've
voted Republican more than I've voted Democrat).

Our rights as individuals is slowly ebbing away.
 

Old and wise

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XShipRider said:
I'll go with the Bill of Rights. The Patriot Act is a misnomer (and I've
voted Republican more than I've voted Democrat).

Our rights as individuals is slowly ebbing away.
I think our rights as individuals have been eliminated and they will continue to do so until we elect a responsible Government that abides by the Constitution.
 

liberal1

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I knew of a country once that valued national security more than rights, they were called the Soviet Union. Eventually the government simplyused "national security" as an excuse to eliminate all who opposed their views or goals. Though the government started out at first by hoping to protect the lives of their citizens, eventually the "defense of the country" was more important than the citizens of the country.
 

Iriemon

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It is true that we would have greater security if we gave up individual rights.

Individual liberty and freedom have a cost -- they increase risk. But ...

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE.

Are you willing to pay the price and take the risk?
 

liberal1

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Often tyrranical countries take the easy way out by just concerning themselves with the security of a nation, not the rights of the people (to protect your lives, we're going to throw you in jail). If the United States wants to still be perceived as the land of liberty, it has do things the hard way, like sacrificing laws like "The Patriot Act". You can't protect a country if the people in the nation are oppressed or their freedoms are limited.
 

Old and wise

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While national security is absolutely important, our Government does not have the right to ignore the rights given to us by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. To do so would be the creation of a dictatorship and the unconstitutional patriot act is the beginning of such an effort.
 
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