In Boston, citizens too accommodating?
In the wake of the apprehension of the second Boston bombing suspect, it may be time for a serious discussion about the apparent forfeit of our constitutional rights for the sake of public safety. Watch citizens’ video accounts of the Boston police and the FBI as they go door-to-door in Watertown, Mass., searching for this terrorist.
Ten or more heavily armed and camouflaged SWAT-team types pound on a family’s front door, yelling at them to come out with their hands held high. When an innocent Bostonian answers the door, the authorities, guns raised, rush into that person’s home to conduct a complete search. Every man, woman and child is ordered outside, hands high, cops shouting at them to follow orders.
The Fourth Amendment of our Constitution protects “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures …” Of course, every thinking American wanted this man apprehended. But how could the citizens of one of the most liberal cities in America so quickly give up a signal right? Are we so obsessed with our personal security that we willingly concede our freedom from unreasonable searches?
Mark H. Reed, Plymouth
* * *
Emphasis on defense is a moral deficiency
When I read that the CIA has been secretly paying corrupt Afghan President Hamid Karzai tens of millions of dollars (“CIA paid millions to Afghan president,” April 29), I was reminded of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who said: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
Stephen Kriz, Maple Grove
* * *
It is not, as some say, forever expanding
An April 30 letter claimed: “It amazes me, given the expanding size of the public sector …”
Yes, it would be amazing if in fact the government was getting bigger. But it is not. As reported in the Star Tribune on Aug. 4, 2012, “A snapshot of the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2012 shows that Minnesota state government cut 863 positions — more than 2 percent of the workforce — according to the latest state data.”
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.