National Security is More Important than Human Rights
The conception of human rights and freedoms is the cornerstone of American traditions, law and the indicator of democracy. The approach of prevailing interest in personal privacy, property privacy and non-interference of state authorities in private affairs is the basic ground for modern organization of American society. For centuries the courts have been standing safeguards of protection of persons against unreasonable intrusion of the State, generally interpreting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with preference of personal human rights protection. Nonetheless in the end of the 21st century there appeared several factors which so much influenced our society that the matters of homeland security and protection raised with extraordinary emphasis and the thesis that the national security is more important than human rights causes no surprise. This research is focused on this controversial issue and contains the analysis of the reasons which changed the scale; the overview of national security vs. human rights from the points of view of internal and external national policy; the argumentation pro and contra preponderance of national security over personal human rights with the examples of concrete rights and evidence; the conclusion. So why the validity of what was right earlier should be now the subject of reconsideration? Among the reasons which preconditioned giving more political and legal importance to the national security over protection of individual rights and freedoms the general reason is the need to prevent U.S. citizens, infrastructures and lands from the increased threat of terrorist attacks, the protection of U.S. borders from potential foreign invasion. Another important factor which influenced the change in traditional legal and political doctrine is the globalization. Once, the rights of U.S. citizens guaranteed by the Bill of Rights have been expanded and extrapolated around the world. Close political, economical and cultural communications of the U.S.A. with all countries of the world and the U.S. hegemonic influence as of the world leading power have another side of the movement. The amount, the value and the accessibility of international communication on any level: governmental, regional, local or private, has risen extraordinary in comparison to earlier times due to technological revolution. Our state and people have been under the influence of other cultures and societies, as this exchange is bilateral. For instance, this led to increasing role of statutory law in the U.S. system of law which has been traditionally case-law system of law. So, many of our partner-countries have different traditions and regulations and many of them place national security and social interests prior to personal rights, justifying this with weighty arguments which in any case should be taken into consideration. The U.S. Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act are bright evidence for the two previous arguments, the public support and the reasonability of the change of emphasized values. Particularly the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001 was passed nearly unanimously by the Senate 98-1, and 357-66 in the House, with the support of members from across the political spectrum, which underlines public appreciation of placing more emphasis to national security prior to protection of individual interests of privacy. Improving the counter-terrorist protection, the Act proscribes profound changes in investigating procedures and contains numerous provisions far from democratic traditions and waiving protection of certain constitutional rights of almost any U.S. citizen (for instance, the Act expands the reasons for warrantless searches, simplifies the conditions of obtaining search and seizure warrants, expands the reasons for obtaining business records in criminal investigations etc) (The U.S. Department of Justice). Other national security questions which have...
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