Domestic Intelligence and Civil Liberties



Please choose two short stories from the list below, and ask yourself the following

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questions about them: (1) how is story A the


as story B? (2) How is story A


than story B? After answering the above questions as part of the prewriting process,

develop a thesis statement. Then, explain at least

one similarity


one difference


the two stories. Please focus on the major


of each story, as well as two or more other

elements from this list:

character, plot, setting, symbol, style,



two short stories: no.1 :



Domestic Intelligence and Civil Liberties

Kate Martin

Since September 11, domestic intelligence authorities and technical capabilities have been expanded to fight terrorism. There are calls to substitute an “intelligence” paradigm for a “law enforcement” paradigm in domestic counterterrorism efforts and proposals to es- tablish a new domestic intelligence agency. While better information and analysis is needed to fight terrorism, there is reason to fear that transforming domestic counterterrorism pri- marily into an intelligence matter is unlikely to appreciably increase security, but will seriously threaten civil liberties. This article outlines an alternative approach that will serve to obtain the intelligence necessary to prevent catastrophic attacks without compromis- ing civil liberties.

The terrible attacks of September 11 have been described as the worstU.S. intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor.1 In their wake Congress and the Bush administration have expanded domestic intelligence powers and shifted institutional responsibilities for intelligence gathering inside the United States. There are now calls for further changes, including propos- als to create a new “domestic intelligence agency.”

While there is a general consensus that better information and analy- sis is needed to fight terrorism, there is reason to fear that many of these changes—in particular, transforming domestic counterterrorism primarily into an intelligence matter and expanding the legal authorities for “domes- tic intelligence”—are unlikely to appreciably increase security, but instead will threaten civil liberties. An intelligence-centered approach ignores the continuing importance of law enforcement measures to disable potential terrorists, increases the potential for serious abuses of power, and does not address the real problems highlighted by the intelligence failures before September 11. This article will outline an alternative approach that would serve to obtain the intelligence necessary to prevent catastrophic attacks without compromising civil liberties.

Civil Liberties Risks Inherent in Domestic Intelligence

Domestic intelligence activities—the secret collection of information by a government on its own citizens and residents—have always posed a serious threat to individual liberty and to constitutional government. (On the other hand, intelligence gathering to assess the vulnerabilities of domestic infra-

Kate Martin, a civil liberties lawyer, has been the director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington DC since 1992.

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