In a piece called Storm Clouds Gathering -- your safety, your freedoms and the Obama White House Judge Andrew Napolitano says:
According to the Constitution, the president’s first job obligation is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. According to the Constitution, that means preserving Americans’ freedom first and safety second.
But the Constitution includes the obligation to "provide for the common defense" so it seems like Judge Napolitano is pitting the Constitution against the Constitution. Or it seems that he is forgetting about a portion of the Constitution that is not only very important but is also necessary, a necessary function of government.
Wouldn't that mean that Americans' freedom and defense of our nation (safety?) are equally important? Does national defense merit the same level of importance as our freedoms?
I agree that citizens have no guarantee of safety by the government. But there are ways that our government can reduce the amount of risk posed to the citizenry as much as possible by using certain laws and advancements in technology to counteract threats to our country.
Shouldn't there be a balanced approach to both our national security and our freedoms? Why does there seem to be such friction when some talk about our freedoms and national security?
I totally agree that we had no business in Libya. There was no declaration of war so President Obama clearly crossed the line, neglecting his constitutional duty, abused his authority and power by refusing to follow the Constitution by not declaring war on Libya.
The President is the Commander-in-Chief. He commands the military and is in charge of national security and foreign policy. Disagreeing with a president's foreign policy agenda doesn't mean that his actions are unconstitutional. Just because you may disagree with United States intervention in certain countries, or authorizing certain wars doesn't mean that the president's policies are unconstitutional or that he abused his powers.
Here are the three powers from the Patriot Act in question:
One is roving wiretaps, which criminal investigators have been using for years so that they don’t need to get a new court order every time a suspect changes phones. Another is the business records provision — the Left sometimes calls it the “library records” provision even though library records are not mentioned in it — which simply allows national-security agents to collect information on terrorist suspects almost (but not quite) as easily as criminal investigators can. And finally, there is the “lone wolf” law (not part of the original Patriot Act but now tied to it), which allows agents to go after someone as to whom the evidence that he is a terrorist is strong but the evidence that he is tied to a known terrorist organization is weak.Do these three provisions violate our constitutional rights? If so, how?
The Patriot Act could be constitutional. But it may be unconstitutional. I believe that the Patriot Act needs to be revamped so that it better respects citizens constitutional rights. But I do believe that overall the Patriot Act is a good piece of legislation that has saved lives.
Why pit parts of the Constitution against one another? Why not have a balanced approach between national security and our freedoms?