TCS Daily


Naming Our Enemies

By Arnold Kling - September 6, 2006 12:00 AM

"Ideally, in the case of a right (for example, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures) that could be asserted against government measures for protecting national security, one would like to locate the point at which a slight expansion in the scope of the right would subtract more from public safety than it would add to personal liberty and [conversely]. That is the point of balance, that determines the optimal scope of the right."
-- Richard A. Posner, Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency, p. 31

Judge Richard Posner's new book on the relationship between anti-terrorist tactics and civil liberties, is larded with the language of economics. It is filled with discussions of trade-offs, costs and benefits, marginal decision-making, and other economic concepts. Ironically, given my background in economics, the results left me longing for a more clear-cut, legalistic statement.

For Posner, a central problem is that terrorism is, in his words sui generis (now there's something that's not in the economic vocabulary), meaning that it does not fall neatly under the heading of either crime or war. The way I would put this is that terrorists are neither suspects nor soldiers. Until someone commits an act of terrorism, there is no crime, and hence no suspect. And because they act to conceal their status as combatants (as opposed to a combatant who merely tries to conceal himself by camouflage or hiding), terrorists are not soldiers.

Enemy Agents and Traitors

I believe, however, that there is a proper legal category for terrorists. They are best thought of as spies, or enemy secret agents. The tactics and procedures that are appropriate for trying to apprehend spies in a time of war are appropriate for dealing with terrorists. Those tactics include counter-espionage and surveillance. Enemy spies do not fall under the Geneva Convention treatment for prisoners of war.

Another relevant category is traitor. A traitor is someone who does not act as an enemy agent, but who provides material and moral support to the enemy. Anyone who explicitly supports Al Qaeda is a traitor. Traitors risk losing their citizenship, among other penalties.

If we are going to describe people as enemy agents or traitors in a time of war, then we need a procedure for identifying the enemy. We do not want the decision of who is a spy or who is a traitor left entirely to the discretion of the President and his appointees.

One way to identify the enemy would be with a formal declaration of war. Unfortunately, because the enemy is not a sovereign state, a formal declaration of war is inappropriate. When America declares war, we expect our armed forces to engage in large-scale, brutal assaults until the opposing government surrenders. We cannot defeat terrorist enemies simply by declaring war on a sovereign government and overthrowing that government.

Designated Enemies

An alternative approach could be to designate specific terrorist groups as enemies. Clearly, Al Qaeda belongs in that category. However, other groups, such as the Tamil separatists or Basque terrorists, might be appropriately designated as terrorists, but not as enemies of the United States. It might be more difficult to classify Hamas or Hezbollah, but my initial thinking would be to designate them only as terrorist organizations, without declaring them enemies of the United States. I recognize that this is a debatable point.

Because the designation of a terrorist group as an enemy is somewhat akin to a declaration of war, such a designation should come from Congress. It should not be left to the State Department in particular or to the Executive branch in general. Moreover, judicial review might be appropriate. One would not want to see Congress abuse its power and start declaring any troublemaking organization an enemy of America.

Where the Executive would have some latitude, although with careful oversight by Congress, would be in declaring other terrorist groups to be affiliates of groups that have been named as enemies. In my view, an affiliate ought to be a group that has considerable overlap of membership and infrastructure with the Congressionally designated enemy.

The advantages of having a named list of enemy terrorist groups would be the following:

  • It constrains the focus of anti-terrorism efforts, especially surveillance. The goal of domestic surveillance would be limited to finding agents of designated enemies. There would be no mandate for the Department of Homeland Security to go on a fishing expedition to investigate any person or group who might pose a threat of some sort. I think this would be good from both from the standpoint of civil liberties and efficient use of resources.

  • It draws a line that can be used to distinguish dissidents from traitors. This could help address another issue raised by Posner, which is the problem of where to draw the line between legitimate free speech and illegal incitement. If Hezbollah is not a designated enemy, then a demonstration in favor of Hezbollah is legitimate. However, if Hezbollah were designated an enemy, then a demonstration in favor of Hezbollah would be treason. (Of course, I can remember plenty of people chanting for Ho Chi Minh back in the day, without suffering any consequences.)

  • It draws a line for potential enemies. It might make the leaders of terrorist organizations that are not yet designated as enemies think twice before ratcheting up their anti-American rhetoric. It might be a step that could be taken relative to Iran or its proxies that would be short of declaring war on Iran but still something with serious consequences. (If Iran itself were designated an enemy, then anyone dealing with the Iranian government could be treated as an enemy agent.)

On the whole, Posner makes a persuasive case for tilting the judicial balance in favor of reasonable efforts to promote security rather than strict-constructionist civil libertarianism. However, I believe that what we need to do is re-build our civil libertarian fortresses, not simply retreat from them. That is why I favor much stronger accountability for agencies engaged in surveillance. It is why I am proposing here a formal process for naming our enemies.

Arnold Kling is author of Learning Economics and a TCS Daily Contributing Editor.

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255 Comments

Naming terrorist groups
Terrorist groups unfortunately have the nimble ability to float Special Purpose Vehicles faster than corporates. The Indian experience has been that once a named organization is banned it just reappears under another name. These organizations do not have to go through any formal legal registration process and reappear overnight. If Congress has to ratify the names each time, I can't see them doing much else during the year (which some commentators might not view as a bad thing!). But enjoyed the point of view that you are trying to clarify in this article, i.e., liberty vs public safety.

Excellent point
The flaw in the argument is naming groups as if terrorists would not assume different identities to evade or obscure their intentions. Unfortunately the author should have drafted this article with more care for he seems to confuse sedition with treason and vice versa. He also neglects to mention that prior to 9-11 our problems were domestic terrorists rather than foreign ones.

Laws and enforcement should draw strict guidelines between the treatment of domestic and foreign organizations and how they are treated. In fact, such regulations should only be allowed if a declaration of war were declared which would serve the purpose of alerting people to the nature of the threat faced and what the implications would be. It would also allow a limit on the period such regulations could be used (the termination point being a victory).

Rule of law
As far as possible America should follow its laws. Those laws seem well suited to the issues Kling and Posner raise. For example, there is a law against murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Anybody in the US planning a terrorist attack would seem to be breaking that law. It is possible that murder laws need to be clarified so that conspiring within the US to kill people outside the US (except as authorized by the military) is illegal. AQ is an international criminal organization. Helping organized crime is illegal. If the Bushies catch someone helping AQ, let them use RICO.

As far as possible, findings of fact should be done by courts. It should be Kennedy, Scalia, and Ginsburg, not Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, who decide which organization is criminal. It should happen in public trials, not smoke filled back offices.

(This last point is particularly appropriate for Hamas, which both is a Red Cross style charity and a terrorist organization. An American could give to Hamas to build schools in Bethlehem possibly without knowing that the money could be diverted to buying guns.)

Movies often show good guys commandeering a car to chase bad guys. In real life, the good guys should need to break the law almost never.

Supreme Court and Findings-of-Fact More LG Ignorance
It should be Kennedy, Scalia, and Ginsburg, not Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, who decide which organization is criminal. It should happen in public trials, not smoke filled back offices.

This is absolutely ridiculous for several reasons:

1.) Accountability- The reference to "smoke filled back offices", implies a distrust of unaccountable processes. There is NO organization that is more unaccountable than SCOTUS, by design "we are not final because we are infallible, we are infallible because we are final", (justice jackson, I believe). If SCOTUS screwed up and decided wrongly that some organization wasn't criminal, what is our recourse? Substantively, there is no more "smoke filled back office" than SCOTUS chambers.

2.) Expertise- I can't think of one (let alone any plurality of members on an ongoing basis)SCJ that has any significant background in the military, intelligence, state department, NSA, CIA or other government body that would provide the experience with the facts or processes necessary to identify, assess and rank potential threats.

3.) Constitutionality- There is no constitutional provision for the court to hold hearings of the kind that would be necessary to make such determinations. Indeed, it isn't even a traditional power of courts to have findings of fact.

4.) Perogative. SCOTUS takes cases as it sees fit. It has enough on its plate finding hidden meanings in the constitution and disregarding its explicit provisions. I'm sure the justices would say "no thanks".

Do you actually even try to think something through to see if it comports with reality before you speak, or are your compulsions so strong as to render your reactions little more than the verbal equivalent of vomiting?



the problem with names
is that these terrorists groups spin off new names and new groups faster than we can go through the legal process of adding names to your list.

affiliates
I thought I made it clear in the essay that once a group is named, its affiliates would be included. There would be no process to go through, other than making clear the justification for calling a group an affiliate. It has to mean overlap of personnel and infrastructure, which I think would cover "spin-offs."

Take out the trash
Dear (blank),

Why not just present your arguments and let the readers keep score? Let the reader separate verbal vomit from pristine prose.

As to your arguments, trials and courts are the main way to determine facts -- whodoneit. Even when the acts themselves are not in question, juries and judges decide whether the actions are criminal. The adversarial system is intended to insure that all points of view are heard.

English National Opera
Hello: As an experienced human rights advocate, and victims' advocate, do you think we should include the ENO which is producing "Gaddaffi" on the pricey West End this month to our list of aiding and abetting anti-western PC flunkies? I wrote to the Gulf Times and the ENO website asking for them to cancel the show for fear of National Front demonstrations and Al-Qaeda threats, or invite me to play a part that lets me forcibly remove gaddaffi from power since he is the ordering tyrant who murdered my brother Mark on the Pan Am Flight #103 in 1988.
Short of that, I could at least be flown there First Class, given complimentary tickets and accomodations to write a review for Gray Lady The New York Times,or Times of London, and have the International community further moved to prosecute Gaddaffi himself, not just his henchman Abdel Bassett Ali Megrahi who sits in Glasgow, Scotland for his part in the conspiracy to murder, murder, posing as a baggage handler, which is against international aviation safety law, and using a forged passport as well I believe. Unfortunately Lamen Kalifah Fimah was let go due to lack of evidence, and there have been no successful attempts on Gaddaffi's wretched life.

I agree with (blank)
The arguments presented by (blank) are valid. The determination of enemies is done in one of two ways : 1: when it becomes obvious through a declaration of war, an attack or 2: Through the work of professionals dedicated to the purpose identifying and asessing threats (CIA, NSA, military). Congress declares war, not courts.

The courts are the place where matters of law and disputes between CITIZENS go. External organizations HAVE NO RIGHTS, since they assume no responsibilities. We already have an example of the damage imputing rights can do-Bill Clinton admitted he failed to take out OBL because he couldn't find a legal justification. The supreme court has no charter or experise (or time) to conduct national security operations.

Although I'd phrase it differently, your proposal is meritless. The courts have already become imperious in other matters and I wouldn't mind limiting their jurisdiction even further.


Who's who in modern terrorism
The problem with deciding which group is affiliated with another group, is that you have to define a common membership.
Terrorist groups, for the most part, keep their membership lists secret. It takes a great deal of intelligence work to pry out the fact that new group B, is cooridinating its actions with old group A, much less that many of the members of B, used to be members of A.

For that matter, what's the difference between splinter groups and affiliates? What if a splinter group claims that it disavows terrorism? Are they automatically listed as a terrorist organization until they prove that they are not? Or do we go by what they claim, until we can prove that they are indeed a terrorist group.

I agree with what Arnold said but what Constitutes a National Emergency? (politicans need issues to
I agree with what Arnold said but what Constitutes a National Emergency?



What constitutes a national emergency? 3,000 deaths to terrorism in 10 years? Over 40,000 deaths per year on our highways? Perhaps speeders should loose some of their constitutional rights. I am being sarcastic but that is how politicians think. They need issues to motivate voters and contributors and wars real and metaphorical give them those issues. (BTW the News services need issues also.) There are a few cases where things we would have said in sarcasm years ago, that the politicians have implemented.

Is terrorism a concern that requires government attention? Yes, a major national emergency? IMHO Not so far. See link below:

http://psweb.sbs.ohio-state.edu/faculty/jmueller/6PROPS.PDF


Much further!!
Saw to the point where they can't, in any way, legislate from the bench. I.E. judicial precident only stands when it is agreed to by legislated law.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
Our present circumstance should be well covered by the FISA rules. If we have any suspicion that a certain character may wish us ill, however vague the information against him, the Justice Department shall immediately commence to tap his phone calls, e's, smoke signals or any other means of communication he may employ. Then within 72 hours they are to report to the FISA court with their reasons why. This court virtually never turns down a tap request, so it allows them to continue. The only requirement is that they report periodically to the court to inform them as to whether any progress is being made.

And yes, they will be permitted to tap the calling lists of the calling lists of the people on the original suspect's calling list. They just have to keep the court in the loop.

Why do we need additional rules? This procedure doesn't sound all that restrictive.

inaccurate statement
this is untrue:

>Bill Clinton admitted he failed to take out OBL because he couldn't find a legal justification

Richard Minitar claims this, but it's not true. Admitted where? The history is, he signed an order authorizing killing him. Cruise missiles were launched at sites he was thought to be. do you thenk these missiles carried subpeonas?

Demonstrating why the Left should never be trusted with national security
The Left suffers from a mindset that refuses to recognize a threat no matter how great it might be. Hence we have the stock answer that we should treat terrorists as we would jaywalkers. Now I think jaywalkers should resent being subject to the same rules as terrorists, as should housebrakers, car jackers, pickpockets, muggers and the like. None of them would murder little children or blow up an aircraft full of innocents. Why then the solicitud for such scum? Because we have a court system designed not to protect the victim but the rights of the accused. In this instance, people who wish to see our system in ruins and Americans dead.


And Lefty Goodman wishes to see these people protected despite all historical precedent. But then there are people who see the Constitution as a suicide pact or a mere buffet menu.

Way to go Lefty one hopes this is adopted as a Democrat platform plank, oops they have adopted it?

Naming our Enemies
If we could get off our politically correct, non-judgmental and offend-no-one kick for about ten minutes there would be no problem but we cannot profile or name names or --gasp-- dare to insult the sweet peace-loving Islamic folk who mean us nothing but good. Diversity and multi-culturalism and judge-not roll over and play dead is going to sink us yet!

AzGaye

He said it in a speech, I've heard the tape myself
I'm not surprised that you are ignorant of this fact.

Terrorism is perhaps the worst of all crimes, however it is still a crime and the terrorist a crimin
From the article:

"Until someone commits an act of terrorism, there is no crime, and hence no suspect. And because they act to conceal their status as combatants (as opposed to a combatant who merely tries to conceal himself by camouflage or hiding), terrorists are not soldiers."

Let's change one word and see what happens:

Unitil someone commits a criminal act, there is no crime, and hence no suspect. And because they act to conceal thier status as criminals, criminals are not soldiers.

Does a Mass Murderer not terrorize and kill the innocent? Does not organized crime terrorize the communities in which it thrives? Are more people killed by acts of terrorism than by other criminal acts in this country?

What then is the differance between the ideologicly driven criminal and the criminal who kills out of greed, or because of race?

Our greatest enemy is not AQ or even Islamic Extremism, it's fear. Conservatives are going to have to muster up the courage to face thier fear and defend the constitution instead of burning our liberties at the alter of imagined security.

Oh really???
please document what speech, when.

Go private.
I think we ought to do one of the things we do best – go out to bid. Since most terrorist organizations are so changeable both in name and in organizational structure, and probably membership; why not let private security firms keep track of these people? Further, let them bid on the costs involved. Change the law here in the states and allow them to persecute by force any organization that by charter is by definition a terrorist type organization. In essence, you could pay a private firm to do what our government finds impossible to do, which is fight a war outside the “just war” doctrine, and do it at a profit.

Liberal Fear
2nd Amendment:

I might begin to agree with this line of resoning and support this style of defense if every liberal socialist supported the 2nd amendment.

(It is somewhat interesting that VT has NO gun laws.)

But the politicians in most other states are afraid of an armed citizenry.

O.K., but remember that you asked
It was comments to the Long Island Association on Feb. 15, 2002

CLINTON…
So we tried to be quite aggressive with them. We got - uh - well, Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan.
And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again.
They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.
So I pleaded with the Saudis to take him, 'cause they could have. But they thought it was a hot potato and they didn't and that's how he wound up in Afghanistan.

That was in 1996
Two years later, he signed a death warrant for Bin Laden authorizing deadly force, and several attacks were launched, trying to kill him.

These efforts stopped after Clinton left office and Bush came in, despite the fact that the attack on the Cole had been by that time traced to al Qaeda. Nevertheless, and even though Bush was explicitly warned in August 2001, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" nothing was done until after 9/11.

2nd Ammendment
It is possible to oppose abortion, support a strong military, support the 2nd Amendment and still be a Liberal Socialist. Just as it is possible to support Liberty, Freedom and the U.S. Constitution while being a Conservative Republican.

No Subject
I think private corperations already profit too much from the suffering in this world.

Liberalism IS a mental disorder
How can one simultaneously support more government control (socialism) and individual (presumably) liberty?

Clinton did NOTHING for 8 years!
except kiss terrorist arses, attack children and stain intern's dresses.

What the he ll!!!???
First off, he said this in 2002. Yes, the incidents were in the mid 90s, but they did happen 'cause old Billy-boy said so himself.

So, instead of admitting it happened, you go into the blame Bush mode. Cute liberal tactic.

How intellectually bankrupt is this!

Come on eric, don't change the channel just because you don't want to believe the truth!

Wow what a frisking of Lefty
Very nice takedown of a poorly reasoned and badly thought out comment by a counter culture ideologue.

We could get bogged down by legalisms and minutiae...
...or we could just call them "Muslims" and get down to business.

Dealing with ideologues
Pauled:
At least he didn't start spamming you with insults.

How do these legalisms protect us from terrorists?
They dont. They give us no new weapons. They serve only to handicap us. Hence the Left love such nonsense.

A leftist doesn't support a strong military, etc
Such a creature by definition couldn't be a Liberal, a National Socialist perhaps.

The mindset of a Lefty
Crimes are defined by the legislature not the courts.

Juries are not the courts.

Judges do not decide what acts are criminal-that's what police and prosecutors do and juries decide.

Juries decide facts except of course for the Supreme Court which is why no one trusts it.

Your comment was most amusing demonstrating how badly educated the public is and how those who fear democracy would allow the unelected supreme power over us.

business and government
That statement sounds as if you think corporations and the business community at large are responsible for all the worlds’ ills.

You learn in business school that a business is really just a group of people who have gathered together under a charter that specifically states what the businesses goals and methodologies are meant to be – this is part of the business plan of the organization. You might look at it like a mini-nation of people with similar goals involving some service or product that meets the needs of other humans somewhere else.

If a business misbehaves, there are various laws and sanctions that are available to correct the situation. In fact, considering recent history (Enron) you would have to say that the business community is amongst the most watched and regulated groups in our culture.

Whatever damage business or capitalism has done throughout the world is really small potatoes compared to what those in government “service” have done to us. With a business, you can decide to boycott the product or service, or use a competitor. Those options are not available when you speak of governments. No business has ever killed as many people as the various governments around the world. Think of the millions killed in the Twentieth century by governments – and I do not just speak of the wars, but of internal purges as well.

You yourself are really a business, when you consider that you market your skills and abilities to others – thereby contracting out your time or labor for a remittance.

That's your job, TJ
start spamming

It won't work, Arnold
Sorry Arnold. As has been pointed out elsewhere, naming affiliates of terror groups as designated enemies would simply cause a more rapid mutation of group names. For a very recent example note the Centani kidnapping. Requiring forensics to determine whether one terror group's DNA was related to another's is obviously futile. An economist should recognize that the terrorist's ability to respond to his market is infinitely more adaptive than the bureaucrat's ability to segment his 'customer' base. Nice idea--but wholly unworkable.

Eventually we will declare war on the real enablers of terror (Iran, Syria and North Korea at the minimum, possibly Pakistan) and loose the four horsemen upon them. Only when they are devastated and humiliated will be able to begin the generations of behavior modification that will be required. This will be hugely expensive for us as well in many ways, but our enemies will leave us no other choice. My guess is that we will get to this point only after two or three WMD attacks on American cities. For those who have yet to read "The Three Conjectures" I suggest you begin to ponder the imponderable.

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2003/09/three-conjectures-pew-poll-finds-40-of.html

PDQ

Recognizing danger
"Terrorism is a crime", "jaywalking is a crime", therefore "terrorism is jaywalking"? One danger is that we have people no brighter than this running the country:"AQ is bad", "Saddam is bad", therefore "Saddam is AQ".

Another danger is distorting our priorities, securing our fundamental rights, as in the bill of. Do we give up the right to be "secure in our papers (personal records)" -- allowing warrentless search on the whim of the Bushies -- because of a threat that kills fewer Americans per year than jaywalking? (I know, in jaywalking, it's mostly the criminals who die -- imperfect analogy).

Further danger: being distracted by the "war on terror" and not seeing the true threats to our way of life -- global warming, extreme income disparity, gun control, gay marriage, Democratic Congress, prayer in school, ...

eric dodges and weaves
We stated that Clinton had the chance to arrest Bin Laden, and didn't.
You called us liars.
We proved that it happened.
You say, so what, on another occassion he did something utterly meaningless.

And you wonder why most of the posters here laugh at you behind your back.

eric loses track of his multiple personalities again.
...

terrorism is an act of war, not a crime.
...

A War by any other name is still war
Richard A. Posner needs to stick to economics and avoid discussing what constitutes war or enemy combatants.

Maybe I have an advantage since I had a world history professor that required us to study the history of the Vietnam War including how we got there and how it was being fought. We didn't get to chose subjects but were assigned the topics. Mine was the history of guerilla warfare which some now call asymetrical war and Ho Chi Min's planning of the war. [Note Ho Chi Min's planning documents were available during the Vietnam War to anyone. Problem is no one imagined, even after our Korean experience, that Ho's plans could possibly work.]

War has evolved from its earlies days from the Peloponnesian Wars, through Alexander's conquests, to Napoleon's tactics to our Civil War, then WWI, WWII and Vietnam. All were very different wars, most importantly significantly different than the most recent past war. Our enemies have gone to school on our ways of war and our people. They understand clearly what Sun Tzu taught and Giap and Ho Chi Min executed. War is not always one side killing the other on the battle field. When fighting the USA that is a good way to get one's butt kicked. There are many other arrows in one's quiver if smart.

There are many other tools in war. For example, just as important is the use of misinformation, staged events, expanding rumors based on partial truths all to destroy the will of the people to sustain their fighting force. Our present enemies know it is hard to defeat the USA in a "traditional" or what some would call conventional warfare. [Note please what Hezbollah did in southern Lebanon. The IDF had never been beaten in conventional war, but Hezbollah held them to a stalemate.]

Folks we are fighting a world wide guerilla war. Guerilla fighters may spy and do many other things besides fight but generally they are trained to hide among the general population and to fight if and when it is believed necessary. Terror has always been a strategy in guerilla warfare, just one strategy in a much larger and broader war. "Fighting" or committing violence, especially against soft targets, in one place then running away is a classic guerilla tool of war.

Our enemies clearly know us. Many were educated here. They know the only time we have been defeated in war and they are using their understanding of how we were defeated to fight Western Civilization world wide or "where ever there are infidels".

Our present enemies are ruthless, intelligent, educated, well financed [thanks to oil], and extremely patient. They have planned this war to last decades, even generations. Yet the single biggest difference is the individual warrior we face. Our enemy in Vietnam was willing to risk their lives for their cause, for what they believed would be a better life. Our present enemies wish to die for their cause and are quite willing to kill infidels as well other Muslims, even those that have not chosen jihad, to accomplish their goals of spreading their version of Islam across the world. [Again note, in the mind of the devout Islamists there is only one Islam. The way they believe. No one else is a true Muslim or at best is a misguided Muslim who has lost their way.]

You are wrong mark
We laugh in his face. Laughing behind his back wouldn't be any fun at all. ;)

Done with the subject are we?
Fine, good-bye.

Pro-Strength Liberals
I'm a liberal because I support the rights of all Americans, including the rights of homosexuals to marry. I also support enough redistribution of wealth to insure everyone has an equal opportunitity to succed in our society, regardless of the wealth or class of their parents or thier current situation. I beleive that an educated populace greatly benefits society and that government should make all education free and public. I believe in a strong military becuase strength brings at least the potential for real peace. I believe in the 2nd Amendment becuase it's a constitutional right, and like any other constitutional right it must be protected at all costs.

The Media has a tendancy to try and put both Liberals and Conservatives in a box when that's just not the way things are (or should be) in the real world.

Greed and Lust for Power are responsible for most of the worlds ills
Despite the fact that you don't hear a lot about in on the news, Neo-Liberalism is wrecking havok all over the second and third world. In countries like Mexico, government is already using mercinary groups to murder political opponents in places like Chiapas.

In theory at least, Government is directly accountable to the public. The public can via elections control who is and isn't leading government. The ideal good government exists only to serve the people. Bussiness on the other hand exists to make a profit, it's primary objective is to increase the wealth of those who started it. There is nothing wrong with this so long as government maintains some balance by preventing monopolies as well as excessive exploitation of the environment or labor.

I'm disposed toward making governments more accountable and responsible while preventing organizations primarily interested in profit from becoming a military force that is not accountable to the citizenry.

Maybe we'll be spared Eric's usual spamming
Let's hope Eric doesn't start his usual spamming.

Your are a socialist.
" I also support enough redistribution of wealth..."

If you really support the Constitution, do you support federal rights that do not exist in the Constitution?

terrorism is aimed at the society
The terrorist doesn't care who he kills, he is killing in order to change the society that is being attacked.
This requires a different response than is appropriate for run of the mill criminals. Even mass murderers.

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