Choice: Security or Civil Liberties

Civil liberties as a concept emphasizes the importance of due process rights, including legal restrictions against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to legal counsel, and prohibition of illegal detention, torture, and punishment. National security relates to protecting a nation from attack. While most Americans see national security as a priority, some are willing to set aside due process rights if they would harm a nation’s ability to protect its citizens; that is, they are willing to trade some of their civil liberties for security. This entry focuses on this trade-off.

Terrorism and National Security

Some researchers have compared the impact of terrorist attacks, such as that of September 11, 2001 (9/11), with an earthquake because they occur without warning and have the possibility of subsequent ...

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