Individual Rights Vs. National Security Essay

878 words - 4 pages

I negate the resolution, "Resolved: When the United States is engaged in military conflict, national security ought to supercede conflicting claims of individual rights. My value for the round is Human Dignity, or what can be defined as a respect for the individual and his or her rights and virtues. John Stuart Mill states that "Everyone who receive the protection of society owes a return for the benefit... but not to the point that it violates constituted rights." Thus those rights which are the fundamentals of human dignity must be maintained. No fundamental goal should ever undermine this fundamental goal. The criteria which must consistently achieve is the maintenance of a legitimate government, or a govt. that maximizes the rights of its citizensMy sole contention proves that a government's legitimacy is contingent upon its preservation of individual rights. According to Charles Ogletree, Professor of Law at Harvard University, "The U.S. has not been a fertile breeding ground for terrorism... diversity, religious and ethnic tolerance, a reliance on legal proceedings open to public scrutiny... are all values make it hard to nurture in the U.S. the ethnic or religious hatred that fuels much terrorism." Unfortunately, sacrificing such virtues for temporary security would undermine these values. The impact is clear, that a removal of individual rights, such as freedom of speech or freedom of press, would uproot key American ideals and neglect the value of the individual within the United States. . The government would no longer protect the foundation upon with it was built, and such actions would illegitimatize the government. As reported by Susan Stanberg, political analyst for National Public Radio, "Muslim communities throughout Florida have placed complains in the FBI's strategy in placing undercover agents in mosques to find our terrorists." This type of drastic action has also been taken up by new laws that grant police powers to search people travelling on public transportation without notifying them of their right to refuse the search and without sufficient evidence or suspicion; a severe incursion on the right to privacy. Police acknowledge this fact, stating that they have nothing else to go on. This impact is that investigations based upon ethnicity encourage citizens to do the same thing. This arouses xenophobia and hostility towards foreign groups of American society. Secondly, Prioritizing national security gives the govt. license to violate human worth in 3 ways: i. Dictating life choices - relocating people/Japanese internment camps ii. Dictating moral choices - whether to fight in war (draft) iii. Actually taking liberty and property - violating the rights of innocents in...

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