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Old Jan 25, 2013, 11:29 PM   #1
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The ole' liberty vs security debate

Recently came across this article about a guy who stripped at the airport to protest nude scanners.

Here's the summary:

Quote:
A Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area won a trial Friday in his lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages for being detained on a disorderly conduct charge.

Aaron Tobey claimed in a civil rights lawsuit (.pdf) that in 2010 he was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes by the Transportation Security Administration at the Richmond International Airport after he began removing his clothing to display on his chest a magic-marker protest of airport security measures.

“Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,” his chest and gut read.

In sending the case to trial, unless there’s a settlement, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 and reversed a lower court judge and invoked Benjamin Franklin in the process. According to the opinion by Judge Roger Gregory:

"Here, Mr. Tobey engaged in a silent, peaceful protest using the text of our Constitution—he was well within the ambit of First Amendment protections. And while it is tempting to hold that First Amendment rights should acquiesce to national security in this instance, our Forefather Benjamin Franklin warned against such a temptation by opining that those ‘who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ We take heed of his warning and are therefore unwilling to relinquish our First Amendment protections—even in an airport."
I agree with this wholly. And in the dissent it's mentioned that it inconvenienced other passengers. That's the whole point of a protest! What good is protesting if you're regulated out to some corner or box where nobody can see your message or hear your voice?

Do you agree with this ruling and Benjamin Franklin's position? Why or why not?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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I think liberty vs security is a very complicated issue. Without some restriction on liberty there would be no way to catch many criminals. But the only way to ensure total security would be to strip people of any and all freedom. A delicate balance must be struck.


Now as someone who opposes laws against public nudity, the funny thing is I'd support this guy either way...
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
Do you agree with ... Benjamin Franklin's position?
No.

I believe that Ben Franklin's statement has been overused by those who have a hard time thinking through complex issues and instead rely on trite platitudes.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:29 AM   #4
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There is a difference between giving up a little freedom for our safety and being raped by the TSA. Airport security is nothing more than legal groping and called a safety measure.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:28 AM   #5
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There is a difference between giving up a little freedom for our safety and being raped by the TSA. Airport security is nothing more than legal groping and called a safety measure.
The irony is that the 9/11 hijackers succeeded not because they had cutting devices but because airline passengers had been advised up to that time not to resist hijackers because, um, the hijackers might then hurt them. Now, if they allowed sharp things on the plane, it would not be a real problem unless half the passengers were part of the take-over plot: now that the horse is gone, we take comfort in the fact that the barn is securely locked.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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instead rely on trite platitudes.
Trite platitudes huh? I wish my vocabulary was this good. Does it come with age?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 10:31 AM   #7
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Here's an interesting and relatively brief article on Ben Franklin's often mis-used quote.

I've provided some excerpts below ...

Quote:
What Ben Franklin Really Said
By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, July 15, 2011


Here’s an interesting historical fact I have dug up in some research for an essay I am writing about the relationship between liberty and security: That famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” does not mean what it seems to say. Not at all.

Very few people who quote these words, however, have any idea where they come from or what Franklin was really saying when he wrote them.

The words appear originally in a 1755 letter that Franklin is presumed to have written on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assembly to the colonial governor during the French and Indian War. The letter was a salvo in a power struggle between the governor and the Assembly over funding for security on the frontier, one in which the Assembly wished to tax the lands of the Penn family, which ruled Pennsylvania from afar, to raise money for defense against French and Indian attacks. The governor kept vetoing the Assembly’s efforts at the behest of the family, which had appointed him. So to start matters, Franklin was writing not as a subject being asked to cede his liberty to government, but in his capacity as a legislator being asked to renounce his power to tax lands notionally under his jurisdiction. In other words, the “essential liberty” to which Franklin referred was thus not what we would think of today as civil liberties but, rather, the right of self-governance of a legislature in the interests of collective security.

... the Penn family later offered cash to fund defense of the frontier–as long as the Assembly would acknowledge that it lacked the power to tax the family’s lands. Franklin was thus complaining of the choice facing the legislature between being able to make funds available for frontier defense and maintaining its right of self-governance–and he was criticizing the governor for suggesting it should be willing to give up the latter to ensure the former.

In short, Franklin was not describing some tension between government power and individual liberty. He was describing, rather, effective self-government in the service of security as the very liberty it would be contemptible to trade.


About the Author

Benjamin Wittes is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he co-directs the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security. He is the author of several books and a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law.

http://www.lawfareblog.com/2011/07/w...n-really-said/
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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That's pretty interesting. Though I think now its at the point where commonly it's just accepted at face value, but I think that the meaning and sentiment behind it, even if misattributed is still very powerful. Giving up liberty for security. And I think airport scanners are a good example.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:33 PM   #9
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That's pretty interesting. Though I think now its at the point where commonly it's just accepted at face value, but I think that the meaning and sentiment behind it, even if misattributed is still very powerful. Giving up liberty for security. And I think airport scanners are a good example.
You believe a misrepresentation is now a powerful message?

Quote:
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'

George Orwell, 1984
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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You believe a misrepresentation is now a powerful message?
This one is

It doesn't really matter that Benjamin Franklin said it or not, or he intended it that way or not, because it's had a profound influence on our society. Liberty for security and vice versa.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:50 PM   #11
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That's pretty interesting. Though I think now its at the point where commonly it's just accepted at face value, but I think that the meaning and sentiment behind it, even if misattributed is still very powerful. Giving up liberty for security. And I think airport scanners are a good example.
So you just want free access to airplanes with no security measures at all? Or are you just averse to the scanners?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:57 PM   #12
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So you just want free access to airplanes with no security measures at all? Or are you just averse to the scanners?
I don't get this stance. Security measure are necessary for air travel.

No one forces one to take a plane. You can drive anywhere in the US if you wanted to where no security measures are taken
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:58 PM   #13
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I don't get this stance. Security measure are necessary for air travel.

No one forces one to take a plane. You can drive anywhere in the US if you wanted to where no security measures are taken
that's a love it or leave it fallacy
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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that's a love it or leave it fallacy
I'm pointing out that no one is forcing you to be in that circumstance of being searched. It is a result of a choice made in regards to traveling. It's like complaining going through security measures when one willingly decides to go see the president speak, see a sporing event, etc. What do you expect?

Are you against all forms of security for airports? When hundreds of strangers are crammed into a machine that weighs thousands of tons going sub mach speeds, it is entirely within reason to take measures to minimize any risk.

As far as current measures (to address the love it or leave it), I don't think they are invasive at all. Walking through a metal scanner or xray machine and taking off metal objects does not seem unreasonable.

What do you propose?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:06 PM   #15
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This one is
This one is more ...

Quote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:25 PM   #16
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This one is more ...
Right, do what's necessary to secure liberty, not become secure by removing liberty.

I'm in my car ill get back to you above ( sorry forgot who it was) tomorrow
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:27 PM   #17
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IAs far as current measures (to address the love it or leave it), I don't think they are invasive at all. Walking through a metal scanner or xray machine and taking off metal objects does not seem unreasonable.
I travel quite frequently, and have never felt "invaded". I think it's a little dumb to have to take off shoes and that you can't take a drink through, but I've simply become accustomed to it, and it's just part of my routine. The whole process would be SO much easier if we didn't have idiot travelers who show up with big suitcases full of crap, 8 layers that they have to remove (was with one friend once who wore full lace-up goth boots which took like 5 minutes to take off), 14 pieces of jewelry, etc. If no one is in my way, I am through security in less than two minutes every time, and that includes unpacking and repacking my computer bag.

I do have at least one friend who always bemoans "Felt up again at the airport...another groping at the airport...touched again at the airport" To which I finally responded: "What are you doing? I haven't been touched at an airport in years!" Her response was that she refuses to go through metal detectors or scanners. Well, then...no ****, you're going to get felt up. Stop bitching about it.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:16 PM   #18
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I travel quite frequently, and have never felt "invaded". I think it's a little dumb to have to take off shoes and that you can't take a drink through, but I've simply become accustomed to it, and it's just part of my routine. The whole process would be SO much easier if we didn't have idiot travelers who show up with big suitcases full of crap, 8 layers that they have to remove (was with one friend once who wore full lace-up goth boots which took like 5 minutes to take off), 14 pieces of jewelry, etc. If no one is in my way, I am through security in less than two minutes every time, and that includes unpacking and repacking my computer bag.

I do have at least one friend who always bemoans "Felt up again at the airport...another groping at the airport...touched again at the airport" To which I finally responded: "What are you doing? I haven't been touched at an airport in years!" Her response was that she refuses to go through metal detectors or scanners. Well, then...no ****, you're going to get felt up. Stop bitching about it.
People with implants have no choice but to get "felt up" at the airport. There is no reason to get molested in the name of security.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:21 PM   #19
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People with implants have no choice but to get "felt up" at the airport. There is no reason to get molested in the name of security.
Are you against police searches?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:31 PM   #20
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Are you against police searches?
Only if there is probable cause, not just walking down the street and getting frisked. Why should everyone be treated as guilty? The same goes for the police wanting to search your car. If you say no they get a warrant and do it anyways even if there is no probable cause.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:37 PM   #21
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Only if there is probable cause, not just walking down the street and getting frisked.
Just checking.

Because in your previous post you said "There is no reason to get molested in the name of security."

Now we have established that there is at least one.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:39 PM   #22
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Just checking.

Because in your previous post you said "There is no reason to get molested in the name of security."

Now we have established that there is at least one.
So why do they frisk every old lady at the airport? They seem to target the wrong people.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:52 PM   #23
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So why do they frisk every old lady at the airport? They seem to target the wrong people.
An entirely other question indeed.

But, would you argue that there should be no security measures?

I doubt that you would.

So somewhere between asking grandma to drop her drawers and letting everyone go through unchecked is the rational way to operate.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:56 PM   #24
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An entirely other question indeed.

But, would you argue that there should be no security measures?

I doubt that you would.

So somewhere between asking grandma to drop her drawers and letting everyone go through unchecked is the rational way to operate.
We never do anything proactive, it's always after the fact. The terrorists are always looking at ways to get around the TSA, then what even more restrictions? At what point do we all get locked into cages for our own protection.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:59 PM   #25
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We never do anything proactive, it's always after the fact.
I'm confused.

You don't consider airport security checks to be "proactive"?
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