Re : Libertarian viewpoint on "The new war"?

From: Joao Pedro de Magalhaes (
Date: Tue Sep 18 2001 - 02:59:33 MDT


J. R. Molloy wrote:
>Invasion of privacy does not bring benefits in the fight against terrorism,
>because terrorism operates openly, not privately. The purpose of terrorism is
>to openly proclaim violence, with the intent to instill fear and brting about
>submission. Terrorism only works when some group or organization claims
>responsibility for it. Otherwise, how would the victims know who to submit to?

Terrorists only operate openly when the death toll starts climbing. And if
the objective is the prevention of terrorist activities, invasion of privacy
could be an effective weapon.

In fact, in another e-mail I read:
> WASHINGTON -- FBI agents soon may be able to spy on Internet users
>legally without a court order.
> On Thursday evening, two days after the worst terrorist attack in U.S.
>history, the Senate approved the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001," which
>enhances police wiretap powers and permits monitoring in more situations.

This could be an effetive way to fight terrorism -- assuming it's done in
coordination with other activities. Yet it does involve violation of
privacy. How do you feel about it?

>We know who the terrorists are. The question is how to appropriately punish

This is not true. I've just read there could be dozens or hundreds of Bin
Laden's militants in the US and the UK and you don't have a clue as to who
they are. And here is where invasion of privacy comes in. As it could had
been used to spy on the men behind the WTC's destruction before they

Best wishes.

Joao Pedro de Magalhaes
The University of Namur (FUNDP)
Unit of Cellular Biochemistry & Biology (URBC)
Rue de Bruxelles, 61. B-5000 Namur. Belgium.

Fax: + 32 81 724135
Phone: + 32 81 724133
Reason's Triumph:

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