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Author: BeanieMike One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 744148  
Subject: Re: OT: MSNBC town hall: Muslim or American? Date: 10/2/2001 11:11 PM
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[JAFO]: 'And for another view:

"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)'

Golfwaymore now inquires: "So JAFO, in this particular case, do you feel that Judge Brandeis' comments apply more to "good men who refuse to do nothing" or to the terrorists?

Cause I wasnt very clear on which angle you were coming from. <grin>"

I feel I am being set-up, but I will bite anyway. . .


I think it applies more to the "good men," and a little expansion on Brandeis' dissent adds more clarity:

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning, but without understanding.

After a very long career in law enforcement, I don't share the concerns of libertarians and others about the encroachment of rights thru changes in the law, but I am concerned about those who enforce and prosecute under those laws. I have seen many examples of "men of zeal" - even former cohorts - who lost perspective on what their exact role and duty was, by overstepping the boundaries and bending the rules "to get the bad guys." They tarnish the reputation and dedication of the overwhelming majority who work within the system, and who realize that because of our system, some guilty people will escape punishment [pause here to insert an extremely long list!]. Hopefully, a fewer number of innocent people will be wronged by the system, or more specifically, by the actions of "men of zeal." Whatever that humber is, it's too many.

This country struggles with an extremely delicate balance, to assure that extremists of all views are allowed to express their views openly while we strive to define the moment when those views may turn to violence, so we can act to protect ourselves and others.

Heard an interesting comment from someone appearing on CNN that had we had or used a profile of previous terrorists - WTC '93, embassy bombings, etc., we would not have focused on these recent terrorists.

I suspect that we will being saying something similar in the years ahead. We can hope that the changes in security and intelligence work will be more successful at preventing a larger %-age of future attacks.
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