June 19, 2006

OVER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW FACULTY BLOG, Richard Posner and Geoffrey Stone are debating civil liberties and national security.

I’ll add this comment, which is only somewhat on-topic: Not so much nuanced discussants like Posner and Stone, but press coverage and political rhetoric generally, tend to suggest that there’s a “trade-off” between national security and freedom. But that’s misleading. You don’t buy national security by getting rid of freedom; you may, in fact, wind up less secure. (This is a point I was making back on September 13, 2001). Nor is it necessarily the case that improvements in national security burden freedom. They may, in fact, have no impact at all, or even result in more freedom in some ways. It just depends. Programs have to be judged on their merits.

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