Reason’s Pro-war Libertarian Quiz

How far are you willing to go to win the War on Terror?

An interesting set of questions, 12 for the price of 10, and some with a bit of context missing. I’ll shamelessly copy the questions and give my answers first. tl-pharmacy.com

1) Should the National Security Agency or CIA have the ability to monitor domestic phone calls or e-mails without obtaining judicial approval?

2) Should the government have the ability to hold an American citizen without charge, indefinitely, without access to a lawyer, if he is believed to be part of a terrorist cell?

3) Can you imagine a situation in which the government would be justified in waterboarding an American citizen?

4) Are there American journalists who should be investigated for possible treason? Should Sedition laws be re-introduced?

5) Should the CIA be able to legally assassinate people in countries with which the U.S. is not at war?

6) Should anti-terrorism cops be given every single law-enforcement tool available in non-terrorist cases?

7) Should law enforcement be able to seize the property of a suspected (though not charged) American terrorist, and then sell it?

8) Should the U.S. military be tasked with enforcing domestic crime?

9) Should there be a national I.D. card, and should it be made available to law enforcement on demand?

10) Should a higher percentage of national security-related activities and documents be made classified, and kept from the eyes of the Congress, the courts, and the public?

My answers:

1. No, not domestic only. And not even with a warrant. Their turf is outside the country. I would allow them to provide technical assistance to the FBI, however.
2. Only if arrested outside the country by military or foreign police, under circumstances where such treatment would be justified for any other prisoner.
3. Yes. A theoretical American civilian taken in a combat zone, under circumstances where such treatment would be justified for any other prisoner. If it’s ever justified.
4. Yes, and No. The ‘journalists’ who actively cooperate with terrorists in exchange for access, provide slanted and staged news, and act as propaganda services for the enemy are treasonous.
5. Yes. It could prevent a war, and such a policy would make state sponsors of terrorism and other ‘proxy wars’ sleep a bit less comfortably.
6. No. Family law, for example, so emphasizes ‘protecting’ the children that no hint of due process remains.
7. No.
8. No.
9. No and No.
10. No.

Questions of the form ‘Can you imagine X’ are usually tests of imagination more than anything else.

Your turn.


1 Comment »

  1. Matt said,

    January 7, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    1) No. Thier purview is not domestic. However, should the FBI wish to do this sort of thing, I would still disagree based on the concept of “without judicial review”.
    2) No. American citizens have the right of due process. If the person was a hostile combatant, however, then military policy should rightly take over.
    3) I have a good imagination. Try asking what you really mean.
    4) Yes and No. American journalists are still american citizens. They should be treated no better than “normal” citizens.
    5) Yes. We haven’t formally declared war since the early part of ‘45. I see assasination as a neccesary evil for the same reason as Hiroshima and Nagisaki were neccessary evils; kill the fewest possible people to bring an end to a conflict. The point dave brought up, of making proxy wars less attractive, I see as mostly a fringe benefit.
    6) In theory; Yes. In practice; No. There are many situations where law-enforcement has been granted powers they shouldn’t have been granted.
    7) No. They shouldn’t even be doing that in drug cases.
    8) No. We have domestic organizations already tasked with doing that. The domestic organizations *should* be held to the standards the constitution has set up. The military goes by a different set of rules, that are more suited to dealing with hostile combatants than citizens.
    9) There already is several forms of identification we are expected to furnish if available, whether it be a driver’s license, passport, or social-security-card. personally, I prefer my anonymity.
    10) No. Transparent governments are subject to the review of it’s citizens. Opaque goverments turn into dictatorships or bureaucracies. I like being able to determine how my government is screwing up.

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