National Security vs. Individual Rights - Essay Example

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In seeking a scrutiny at individual rights and how they merge with the National Security presents a paradox which claims that avenues are often crafted that propagate terror which broods in the liberty bestowed by democracies…
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National Security vs. Individual Rights
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National Security vs. Individual Rights al Affiliation Introduction In seeking a scrutiny at individual rights and how they merge with the National Security presents a paradox which claims that avenues are often crafted that propagate terror which broods in the liberty bestowed by democracies. According to Kettl, (2013), American citizens treasure freedom of movement. The key dilemma resonates on the extent the government should intrude, interfere or compromise with its citizens lives in its pursuit to offer national security to the same citizens. The fundamental core objective of this paper is to screen and probe at the tenets of the legal response of the terrorism jurisdictions portrayed on the United States response to the Open Society attacks (pg 161).
On the contest of seeking to unearth the delicate equilibrium between citizens’ rights and the concern on national security, Kettl expounds on the terrorist attacks which were opportunistic of the America’s open society as they stage-managed their mass murder incursion on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Deep scrutiny on the predicament unravelled that the roots of this incident encompassed the effortless and accessible means and avenues to obtain passports to foreigners. It was also unravelled that key American immigration sites were often jeopardized by lack of resolute scrutiny. On this concern, President Bush reiterated to the attack urging American Citizens to deliver terrorists to the state authorities altogether with their respective ring leaders or opting to succumb into the terrorists snare. The U.S went further to imprison the captured terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, hence evading the Geneva Convention restriction (Kettl, 2013, pg 162).

The aftermath of this terror attack resulted to arrests of the terrorists’ suspects who underwent “enhanced torture” as a means of probing for evidence for their involvement in the said attacks. The key concern still remains whether this was the appropriate action and if the affirmative wins, then, to what extend should this “liberty” be expended. Human liberties and rights are acknowledged as universal and inherent, but that does not highlight that they cannot be restricted under any incident, occurrence or circumstance- a key note reality that is acknowledged by the bounds and confines of non-derogable and derogable rights (Kettl, 2013, pg 164).
According to Article 4 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, there are certain irrevocable and irremediable rights which are not subject to derogation under any circumstance regardless or notwithstanding the extent of the public urgency. The core fundamental facet of such rights includes the right from any inhumane, degrading subjection, freedom from torture, cruelty, or slavery. The right to life takes the foremost precedence among these. However, the rights which are inclined to the realm of individual liberty which encompasses the right to personal liberty and the right to face trial can be derogated in instances which infringe national security such as life-threatening attempt- though to the limits strictly needed by the distress, contingency and the constraint availed by the situation (, 2015).
According to Article 2 captured in The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment (UNCAT), each nation or state has a mandate to take responsibility on ensuring effective judicial, legislative, administrative or any additional dimension to avert conducts of torture within its jurisdiction. This article further asserts that under no prevailing circumstance whether political instability, war threats or any related urgency that warrants invocation of justification of torture (, 2015).
In this regard and concerning the American Open Society incident, Alan M. Dershowitz proposes a “torture warrant” affirming that he has a deep conviction that the overall suspects’ rights and liberties would preferably be shielded with a “warrant requirement”. Dershowitz expounds that suspects ought to be offered immunity and be informed that they are under forced coercion to testify and bound to be expended to imprisonment threats and if they withhold cooperation, and awarded a chance to provide the required information, under only circumstance that they have refrained to offer what they had been legally coerced to provide, the essential information, which could were not to be a subject to their incrimination due to the immunity shield- would then be subject to torture threats with a clear cognizant that such assertion was imposed by the law, the suspects may still be accorded an opportunity to offer the required information. Dershowitz finally sums this up by saying that if the suspects further denied to cooperate, they would now be susceptible to judicially controlled physical dimension or measure objectively crafted to trigger agonizing pain void of leaving any long-term harm or injury. The aforementioned Dershowitz assertion implies that at some instances torture is justifiable (Farrell, 2013).
The largely and universally enjoyed civil liberties such as the freedom to movement, expression and association often offers a favorable aura to the planning and execution of extreme detrimental acts of violence objectively aimed at disrupting, unsettling, sabotaging or wrecking the states property or to facilitate a key ideological end and hence a clear demarcation of the delicate equilibrium between civil liberties and the national security ought to be drawn. In this regard, it’s paramount to note that although human rights are inherent, there are specific instances which allow expedition of torture threats and controlled pain to elicit key information necessary to deduce their involvement in a felony which is subject to national instability or any such related public urgency (Margulies, 2006).
Farrell, M. (2013). The prohibition of torture in exceptional circumstances.
Kettl, D. F. (2013). System under stress: The challenge to 21st century governance.
Margulies, J. (2006). Guantánamo and the abuse of presidential power. New York: Simon & Schuster.,. (2015). Convention against Torture. Retrieved 22 November 2015, from,. (2015). International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Retrieved 22 November 2015, from Read More
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