Counterterrorism vs. Civil Liberties Persuasive Essay by Nicky

An analysis of the debate surrounding civil liberties in the era of anti-American terrorism.
# 145655 | 1,252 words | 5 sources | APA | 2010 | US

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The paper considers the belief that certain fundamental liberties and constitutional values must be reinterpreted and adjusted to meet the current terrorist threat, but then considers how civil libertarians argue that the fundamental constitutional rights that make the United States a free society cannot be changed. The paper looks at reinterpretations of the Equal Protection doctrine over the years, and contends that the current threat to national security also requires judicial reinterpretation of certain elements of constitutionally protected rights and liberties to protect the U.S. The paper asserts that this process must be guided by applicable constitutional standards and restricted to reasonable and appropriate measures.

Balancing Civil Liberties and Effective Counterterrorism Strategy
The Equal Protection Conundrum

From the Paper:

"In principle, optimal protection against terrorism (and crime) conflicts directly with many of the civil liberties and fundamental constitutional rights that make the United States a free society. Counterterrorism strategy would be much simpler, and arguably, much easier and more cost effective if national security efforts were exempt from ordinary constitutional protections (Dershowitz, 2002). Undoubtedly, national security could be greatly enhanced if law enforcement authorities could conduct investigations without any constitutional restrictions. However, the larger result would be the destruction of the very way of life for which this country stands and transform life in the U.S. to something much closer to life in a police state instead of a democracy that provides equal protection and respects fundamental principles of civil liberty."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dershowitz, A. (2002). Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. New York: Little Brown & Co.
  • Dyer, C., McCoy, R., Rodriguez, J., Van Duyn, D. (2007). Countering Violent Islamic Extremism. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin; Vol. 76 No. 12, (pp. 3-9).
  • Friedman, L. (2005). A History of American Law. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Hoffman, B. (2003). The Logic of Suicide Terrorism: Lessons from Israel that America Must Learn. The Atlantic Monthly; Vol. 291 No. 5.
  • Larsen, R. (2007). Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America. New York: Grand CentralPublishing.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Counterterrorism vs. Civil Liberties (2010, November 21) Retrieved March 25, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Counterterrorism vs. Civil Liberties" 21 November 2010. Web. 25 March. 2023. <>