Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Programs like this, which amount to nothing more than racial profiling, leave me kind of conflicted.

There's, of course, the big side of me that hates to see shit like this going down. Singling out a group of people and making them go through shit that others don't have to go through just because of where their ancestry lies. If nothing else, it seems to run over due process, with the implication of "maybe guilty until proven innocent."

Then there's the other side of me which says that the first side is being too fucking PC, and that we need to be practical about things like this. The people who are trying to kill us are predominately Middle Eastern or Muslim. Of course, that's not to say that all the people who want to kill us are of Middle Eastern or Muslim descent, just the ones who (so far) have been willing to fly planes into fucking buildings.

Even if it is practical, it's rife with potential for abuse and the ruining of lives that don't deserve to be ruined. This potential for abuse, along with the inherent damage to civil rights, is what pisses me off most about things like mandatory registration, the PATRIOT Act, and whatnot. Yes, it'd be nice if law enforcement would always play nice and not exploit things like this for non-terrorist activities, but you know that they have and will continue to do so.

One thing I would like to see is less harassment of people who have no known links to anything terrorist related, and more harassment of those who do have some known links. As September 11th helped demonstrate, we are clearly not doing a good enough job of keeping an eye on the people who we should be keeping an eye on.

Yes, new bad guys are going to show up from time to time and slip though the cracks. That's just one of the tough issues with having a system like we do. This is kind of along the lines of the tenet of "it's better to let 100 guilty men go free than to imprison one innocent man." We have to make tradeoffs like that in order to continue having the society and values that we have. It's just hard to argue that against 3,000 dead, but the argument has to be made.

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